The 'Irish' Non-Irish Eleven

The 'Irish' Non-Irish Eleven
By Eoin Lyons
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Every once and a while you come across a footballer that has such an 'Irish' name. You frantically check their Wikipedia page and are then stunned when they somehow end up being Scandanavian or Gabonese.

Of course you get a lot of that in England, with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Martin Keown and John Flanagan having some connection to the republic, but I'm talking more about the Irish names that pop up further abroad, the more exotic 'Paddys'.

Here is the 'Irish' non-Irish eleven.


The Brazilian 'keeper had a spell at Roma before warming the bench for Liverpool. Donie is our Irish non-Irish pick for between the sticks.

Kenny Cunningham

Though the Costa Rican Kenny Cunningham plays primarily as a winger, we think the 32-year-old can be moulded into his namesakes' role in the heart of the defence. I wonder do his eyebrows go up and down as well...

Adam Maher

Moroccon born Maher has made five appearances for the Netherlands, and I'm sure having gone through the Dutch system he will be more than capable of stepping in at centre back.

Daniel O'Shaughnessy

Plying his trade in Finland, O'Shaughnessy has three caps for Finland and will slot in at left back. Look a the Irish head on him!



Josimar, or Josie Maher as he is known for the purposes of this post, was part of the Brazil side that competed in the 1986 World Cup and will add a bit of South American pedigree at right back.

Kevin De Bruyne


Now the Manchester City midfielder only makes the list on the condition that his name is pronounced like Kevin De Broon, i.e. Kevin De Brúin. Kevin De Brúin is a staunch gaelgóir who played gaelic football underage for Galway before a scout spotted him at a match in Spiddal.

Thomas Delaney

Thomas Delaney was on the Danish side that ruined Irish dreams of a World Cup last year, and you'd have to wonder if the Dane was wearing the green of Ireland would we be the ones going to Russia? Probably not, but with a name like that he should at least have a few caps at underage level.



Deco (full name Anderson Luís de Souza) would be the gem of this Irish non-Irish eleven, pulling the strings and irrigating the channels. He would also more than likely wear his tracksuit while playing.

Fabian O'Neill

Fabian O'Neill  is the great-great-grandson of Michael O’Neill, an Irishman from County Cork who arrived in Uruguay in 1837. O'Neill will operate on the right wing for this Irish but not Irish eleven.


Joaquin or 'Joe Quinn' will line out just behind the striker, in a floating role.


Benni McCarthy

The South African is his countries all time top scorer with 31 goals, but with a name like that he should have been challenging Robbie Keane's place in the Ireland team for the best part of a decade.

Honourable mentions go to:

Shunsuke Connemara
Roger Milla
JJ O'Kocha
Patrick V.Eire
Clint Dempsey
Landon Donovan
Brian McBride
Mathew Ryan
Ricardo Clarke



See Also: Ranking The Ten Finest Jerseys You Won't See At The World Cup

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