What's in a Name?
It's part of sporting culture to give team-mates nicknames. Here is
Will and Guy's collection of football nicknames.
Football Player's Nicknames
Edson Arantes do Nascimento = Pele. As a very small child he used to pretend he was a goal-keeper and would say, 'I'm am Bile'
(name of a goal-keeper of
those times) after each save. 'Pele'
came from the wrong pronunciation of 'Bile'
Manoel dos Santos = Garrincha. (One of the greatest forwards to play for Brazil with Pele. 'Garrincha'
is the name of
a bird that Manoel liked to hunt when he was a child).
Diego Maradona = El Pibe de Oro (Some English supporters know him by other names! However,
Maradona was a footballing genius.)
John Charles = The Gentle Giant
Brilliant Wales, Swansea, Leeds and Juventus
player. Quite simply, John Charles is one of the finest footballers ever.
Swansea honours its Gentle Giant
A memorial to Swansea football great John
Charles has been unveiled at the Liberty Stadium as his home city club played their last game of the 2007 season.
All the players in this section would at least be considered for a
'World 11'. However, none of the others were revered in a foreign land DURING THEIR PLAYING DAYS quite the way that Welshman John Charles was feted in Italy.
Lev Yashin = The Black Spider USSR. (Had the best anticipation that I have ever seen in goalkeeper)
Franz Beckenbauer = The Kaiser (Led West Germany and Bayern Munich to many triumphs. A skilful and thoughtful player)
Gerd Muller = The Fat One or Bomber (He certainly could score goals)
Ferenc Puskas = The Galloping Major (A little left footed genius from the famous Hungary side of the early 1950's)
It's not just footballers that attract nicknames, see here for cricket nicknames also rugby nicknames
Jack Charlton = The Giraffe (Have you seen his neck and his legs?)
Marco Van Basten = The Swan of Utrecht (A great goal scorer)
Ruud Gullit = Il Tulipo Nero (The black tulip : a gem of a player)
Stuart Pearce =
Psycho (Would run through a brick wall for his team)
David Unsworth = Rhino (Look at
the size of his legs!)
Chris Waddle = Dribbler fou [Crazy dribbler] (Named this by the Monaco supporters after his spell in the French league)
Paul Gascoigne = Gazza
Chopper Harris (Chopper had the original and best scythe tackle, amazingly, some of his challenges were even legal. The greatest thing watching Chopper was
that you could see his tackle coming five seconds before he made his hit.)
David Beckham = Goldenballs (Named by his wife '
in her autobiography)
Eusebio = The 'Black Panther'
(Excellent and quick centre-forward)
Paul Ince = The 'Guv'
wanted to be, and was, in charge)
Zinedine Zidane = 'Zizou'
Kevin Keegan = Mighty Mouse
Darren Anderton = Shaggy (After TV cartoon character) and Sicknote (Often unable to play due to
- Hilario is in the Chelsea squad in the English premiership.
- Australia once had a goalkeeper called Norman Conquest.
- Harry Daft won five England caps.
- The Seychelles', Johnny Moustache has yet to hit the big time.
- Midfielder Frank Awanka remains unknown outside Luxembourg. [Good thing too, say Will and Guy]
- Apparently Wagner, Mozart and Bismarck all
played in Germany recently.
- Segar Bastard played for England and later became a referee. [There is no truth in the rumour that his name is regularly chanted at football matches in Britain.]
- Roberto López
Ufarte, born in Morocco and played in La Liga, Spain, tends to raise a smile.
- Nicky Butt played for England, Manchester United and Newcastle United.
- Martyn Booty played for Reading.
- Rafael Felipe Scheidt, once of Celtic [cost £4.9 million in 1999] and of whom a fellow
professional said, 'The guy couldnae trap a bag of cement.'
- Lionel Prat played for Le Havre AC and had a trial for Aberdeen.
Windass: Hull City, Bradford City, Oxford and Middlesbrough always raised a grin.
- New world meets old world - Mozart plays for Spartak Moscow.
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