Crazy football names XI

MILAN, ITALY - MAY 07:  Wojciech Szczesny of AS Roma directs his defense during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AS Roma at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on May 7, 2017 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
The Roma shot-stopper has one of the most complicated names in football
Umid Kumar Dey

Football is a global village, to put it very frankly. The power of the game to unite people from different countries is astonishing in itself. Since almost every country in the world plays football, it is only natural to see a variety of names in the football fraternity.

Some names are so simple that they are hardly names, Manchester City’s former Brazilian striker, Jo, comes to mind, while some others have names so crazy that it is almost impossible to pronounce them without twisting the tongue.

So, here we are, trying to enlist a football XI entirely of players with ridiculous names in a classic 4-4-2 formation.


Wojciech Szczesny

When he first entered Arsenal’s starting XI, fans weren’t sure how to pronounce his name without swallowing their own tongue and dying in the process. As it turned out, it wasn’t really that hard to get it right.

Shez-ni is how you say his name. However, what I don’t understand is why these guys don’t use the pronunciation as the spelling itself. In this XI, Szczesny will be the goalkeeper, guarding the posts with reassurance combined with a touch of his name-like eccentricity, like he did for Roma last season.


BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - MARCH 25:  Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Greece in action during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Group H  Qualifier match between Belgium and Greece at Stade Roi Baudouis on March 25, 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Name so hard it is impossible to type

The right-back of the team will be another Pole – what’s with them and difficult tongue-twisting names? – who goes by the name of Bartosz Bereszyski. Keeping his name aside, the 24-year-old is quite a talented fullback who plies his trade in Italy for Sampdoria. Bereszyski would do a commendable job in defence while also playing a good support role to the winger.

At right centre-back, Sokratis Papastathopoulos will take guard with a name longer than the wall of China. The Greek defender plays for Borussia Dortmund and is among the most revered players in his position due to his commanding presence and a good eye for a pass.

Grzegorz Wojtkowiak of Legia Gdansk will partner the Greek in the middle. He might be somewhat of an unknown entity but has a lot of experience under his belt. Indeed, he has played 24 times for his national team – guess which? – Poland and can hold his own in pressure situations.

And finally, at left-back, we have yet another Polish defender, Artur Jdrzejczyk, who makes forward runs as mazy as his name. Another rather obscure player, he has played 30 times for Poland and does a decent job on the left.


MARSEILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 30:  Jakub Blaszczykowski of Poland reacts after the penalty saved by Rui Patricio of Portugal at the penalty shootout during the UEFA EURO 2016 quarter final match between Poland and Portugal at Stade Velodrome on June 30, 2016 in Marseille, France.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The leader with an impossible name

Since this is a classic 4-4-2, it is only sensible to have a right-footed dribbler, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, to play on the right-wing. The Manchester United man adds substantial quality on the right with his creativity and is perhaps the best player on this team.

In the centre, former Borussia Dortmund midfielder, Jakub Blaszczykowski, also known as Kuba, takes up the role of the creative playmaker at the centre of the pitch along with the captain’s armband. Indeed, Kuba’s leadership qualities were the reason why he captained his country for a considerable amount of time before passing it on to Robert Lewandowski.

Partnering him in the centre is another very trickily named Krzysztof Mczyski of Wisla Krakow. The 29-year-old isn’t as famous as his midfield partners, but has the quality to partner Kuba given that he has already done so for Poland.

On the left wing, one of Kuba’s former team-mates, Kevin Großkreutz, has been chosen to partner Artur Jdrzejczyk on that flank. Back in Dortmund’s glory days under Jurgen Klopp, Großkreutz was one of the players that helped the German side topple the giants Bayern Munich from their perch.


Reza Ghoochannejhad in all his glory

Choosing the forwards was a rather difficult job. On the left, Dutch-Iranian forward, Reza Ghoochannejhad, who plays for Dutch club, SC Heerenveen, has been burdened with the goal-scoring duties. He scored 22 goals in 34 games last season, proving that he is actually a good striker.

Partnering him is someone whose name is impossible to pronounce, Billy Ketkeophomphone. Yes, I kid you not. And no, this is not a fictional character I just made up to give this slideshow a cracking ending. Ketkeophomphone, yes, that is his real name.

He is a French player of Lao descent and plays for Angers in Ligue 1. He is a pretty decent player who would do an above average job in assisting his strike partner, Reza. Ketkeophomphone. That’s wicked.

Edited by Staff Editor


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