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25 Of The Absolute Best Sounding Names In The World Of Football

Ste McGovern
By Ste McGovern
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One of the most underrated aspects of the World Cup coming around every four years is finding those new players with incredible names you've never heard before. This summer should be no different, so in that spirit, we have compiled a list of some of the best footballer names in recent history. Just try and get through this article without reading them out loud.


Shaka Hislop

A name as fun as the Newcastle goalkeeper tops he wore in the nineties.


Thorgan Hazard


Eden might be the better footballer, but he doesn't have the best name in the family. Even better, his father apparently wanted to call him Thorgal, after a famous Belgian comic book character.



Papa Bouba Diop

best footballer names

I'm not sure which is better, his actual name or the nickname Fulham fans bestowed upon him; "The Wardrobe".


Shunsuke Nakamura

There was something iconic about Nakamura in the green and white hoops of Celtic during the noughties. He could belt in a free kick too.


Wolfgang Wolf

The only thing that could improve this name is if he worked for Wolfsburg.



Taribo West

Sounds like a cross between a liqueur and a bag of sweets.


Jan Vennegor of Hesselink

No player has ever sounded so royal.


Neeskens Kebano

The DR Congo and Fulham winger was named after Dutch legend Johan Neeskens.



Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

best footballer names

Arguably the most fun name to say in Premier League history.


Celestine Babayaro

A close second to his former Chelsea teammate, but he gets bonus points for his middle name, "Hycieth".



Danny Drinkwater

Already possessing one of the great surnames, his parents showed true dedication to alliteration when naming the future Premier League winner.


Claude Makelele

Anything with repetitive syllables is onto a winner.


Shinji Kagawa

Insanely satisfying name to say after one of his typically stellar finishes.


Christ Bongo


There are some amazing African names in this list, but this might be a winner.


Juan Mata

best footballer names

Purely for the fact that it translates as "Johnny Kills".


Sunday Oliseh

It has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Rumour has it that Harchester United fictional legend Monday Bandele was inspired by the Nigerian.

Ricky Van Wolfswinkel

Basically anything with 'Wolf' in it. The Dutch striker moved to Norwich City from Sporting CP for €10 million in 2013, scored on his debut and then never again. The Canaries were relegated that season.


Hidetoshi Nakata

There was a real novelty to seeing the names of Japanese footballers pop up in European football during the late nineties, before it hit its peak just after the 2002 World Cup. Nakata was only the second player fro the Asian island to play in Italy's top division when he arrived at Perugia in 1998. Many forget that he also won a Scudetto with AS Roma in 2001.


Bixente Lizarazu

best footballer names

The kind of brilliant name you would expect from a Basque-French footballer.


Linvoy Primus

Sounds like he should be a Transformer and not a former Portsmouth player. He also has an MBE for his charitable work.


Kevin Lasagne

Italian, obviously.


Junichi Inamoto

best footballer names

I used to love this little guy.


Vagner Love

best footballer names

Footballer. UEFA Cup Winner. Two time Copa America champion. Lover.


Danny Invincible

One of those whose name is far superior to their career, his golden period being an eight year spell at Kilmarnock before finishing his career in his home country of Australia. Danny Invincible also sounds like a really boring pro-wrestler.

And what better to finish this list than with...


Climax Lawrence

He's a good finisher, apparently.



Honourable mention: Britt Assombolonga.


Images via WikiCommons and Shutterstock.

What are the best footballer names that we have missed?


Read: It's Time To Fully Appreciate The Truly Incredible Career Of John O'Shea


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