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Top 20 nicknames of footballers - Part 2 of 2

FEATURED WRITER
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Andoni Goiketxea was nicknamed for his aggressive style of play

There have been enough players in this history of football who have gone on to be known by names other than their official names. Ronaldinho, Pele, Kaka are a few of the players who are commonly known by their nicknames. 

Sergio Aguero named himself ‘Kun’, while players like Fernando Torres (El Nino) and David Villa (El Guaje) were nicknamed “the kid” for breaking into their club sides when they were only teenagers. 

We looked at 10 such players here, here is part two: 


#11 Andoni Goikoetxea – The Butcher of Bilbao

Goikoetxea was part of the Athletic Bilbao side when Diego Maradona was with Barcelona and he was nicknamed ‘The Butcher of Bilbao’ as a result of a strong challenge on the Argentine legend. 

Maradona had just received the ball and Bilbao’s no. 3 rushed in like a raging bull, and it looked like his sole purpose was to injure Maradona. His challenge, studs showing, made contact midway up the calf of Maradona’s standing leg, snapping his ankle and rupturing every ligament that surrounded the ankle.

Incredibly, Goikoetxea was only shown a yellow card for that horror “tackle”, if you may call it that. 

Maradona recalls the incident: “I just felt the impact, heard the sound – like a piece of wood cracking – and realised immediately what had happened”

The British journalist Edward coined the term “The Butcher of Bilbao” just then, in the aftermath of that incident. Goikoetxea was given an 18-match ban that was reduced to seven matches after multiple appeals. 

He came back to win the title with Bilbao, but the ghosts or the memories of that tackle on Maradona will linger long in the memories of whoever witnessed it. 

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FEATURED WRITER
Bengaluru-based Indian Football aficionado.
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