I have been a huge football fan since I was seven years old. My favorite team is Manchester United.
Followed in almost every country, football is the most played and watched sport on the planet. With over 265 million people said to be associated with the sport in one way or another, there are bound to be some names that will come across as overly complicated and difficult to pronounce due to their various linguistic roots. Here is a list of the top 10 most difficult names of famous footballers around the world.
The 10 Most Complicated Names in Football
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
- Blerim Džemaili
- Kevin Großkreutz
- Stefan Kießling
- Gylfi Sigurðsson
- Wojciech Szczęsny
- Jakub Błaszczykowski
- Sokratis Papastathopoulos
- Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
1. Henrikh Mkhitaryan
The Armenian footballer was born on 21st January 1989 and plays as an attacking midfielder for German club, Borussia Dortmund. His last name, Mkhitaryan, is based on the Armenian root word "mekhitar,” which means healer or consoler. Other meanings of the name suggest that the person is a hard worker, creative and has the drive to be successful. The player has all these qualities, giving 100% on the field after enjoying a good last season with former club Shakhtar Donetsk and scoring 25 goals in 29 matches, which was the league best.
Along with his good goal-scoring run, the player creates a host of opportunities for his teammates as well. He has won an array of awards so far. He was most fruitful during his last season, which saw him bag the Ukranian Premier League Golden Boot and the title of Ukrainian Premier League Footballer of the Year for the 2012–13 season. He also guided the club to a 1st-place finish in the league and cup. If he keeps on grabbing the headlines, maybe the world will finally be able to spell his name correctly.
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabonese international was born on 18th June 1989 and plays as a striker for German club, Borussia Dortmund. The player's last name, Aubamayang, means energetic and generous. The player has shown these qualities time and time again by beating defenders for pace and by not being afraid to run with the ball. He has shown his generosity by not letting his team down in the goals department, scoring an array of goals during his time at former club Saint-Étienne where he finished as the 2nd top scorer in Ligue 1.
3. Blerim Džemaili
The Swiss player was born on 12th April 1986 and plays as a central midfielder for Napoli. His last name, Džemaili, means determined, eventful and versatile. The player can perform in a variety of positions including both attacking and defensive midfielder roles as well as in the centre of midfield. His determination is a key quality in the midfield where he is confident to jump into tackles and lay assists for his teammates.
4. Kevin Großkreutz
The German international was born on 19th July 1988 and plays as a winger for Borussia Dortmund. His last name, Großkreutz, means unique and mysterious. The player has achieved a lot of success with his team, winning the Bundesliga two times as well as reaching the UEFA Champions League final in the 2012–13 season. He also boasts a good goal scoring record with about 50 goals to his name, all scored from midfield.
5. Stefan Kießling
The German player was born on 25th January 1984 and plays as a striker for the German club, Bayer Leverkusen. His last name, Kießling, means wealthy, honest and either very successful or very miserly. The first quality is true of most footballers who play in top teams, and as for this player, he earns around €552,000, which is a good amount. As for his honesty, the player most recently celebrated a goal which wasn't against rival club Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga. The ball somehow ended up in the back of the net after the player headed the ball into the side netting which resulted in Leverkusen winning 2-1, resulting in a lot of controversy. The player has achieved some success on a personal level scoring 25 goals in 34 appearances in the league to be crowned the Bundesliga Top Scorer for the 2012–13 season but has not been able to help his team to trophies, finishing as runner ups in the league during the 2010–11 season.
6. Gylfi Sigurðsson
The Icelandic international was born on 8th September 1989 and plays as an attacking midfielder for the English club Tottenham Hotspur. His last name, Sigurðsson, means courageous, bold, energetic and strong willed. He does not shy away from a duel with a rival during matches and always looks to attempt a difficult pass to open up the field of play. He is full of running but sometimes becomes greedy to score a goal rather than passing the ball to a teammate.
7. Wojciech Szczęsny
The Polish footballer was born on 18th April 1990 and plays as a goalkeeper for English club Arsenal. His last name, Szczęsny, means having the ability to learn easily and peacemaker. He has developed into a decent goalkeeper since having been called up from the Arsenal youth team and at the age of 23, he has lots of time to mature into one of the Arsenal greats. He is also known for having a cool head, not getting involved in a lot of skirmishes.
8. Jakub Błaszczykowski
Born on 14th December 1985, he is the captain of the Polish national team and plays as a winger for his club Borussia Dortmund. Known as Kuba, his last name, Błaszczykowski, means having the ability to reach great heights and dependable. He has certainly been successful since arriving at Dortmund back in 2007 and has been a regular starter, helping the side to 2 Bundesliga titles as well as 1 DFB Pokal title. Along with his pace, he also has a sublime pass to split open defenses and can be depended upon laying assists for his teammates.
9. Sokratis Papastathopoulos
The Greek international was born on 9th June 1988 and plays as a centre back at Borussia Dortmund. His last name, Papastathopoulos, means clever and able to accomplish the impossible dream. It is common that a player's surname is written on the back of the player's kit, but in his case, his kit has his first name on the back simply because his last name is too long to fit. Bought in the summer of 2013, he was purchased to play as a back up to fellow defender Mats Hummels who has been approached by Spanish champions Barcelona and has also had a couple of injuries during the last 2 seasons. He is considerably experienced, having played in the Serie A as well as the Bundesliga before and his eagerness to say yes to a transfer to the club is a statement of intent that the player is not afraid of a challenge and is ready to fly with the big boys.
10. Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
The Icelandic international was born on 14th March 1990 and plays as a striker for Dutch club Ajax. His last name, Sigþórsson, means independent and perfectionist. The player has scored 42 goals in almost a 100 appearances since starting his career, with some fine solo goals in that mix to help Ajax to 2 Eredivisie titles. The player also boasts a good record for the Icelandic national team, scoring 13 goals in 19 appearances.
Strategy or Coincidence?
Five players from the list belong to German club Borussia Dortmund. I wonder if this might be some tactic to buy players with really difficult names in order to confuse the opponents and make them forget who they were assigned to man mark. Some other players worth mentioning include:
Stephan El Shaarawy
For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.
- What is the spelling of the last name of Sokratis?
- What is the spelling of the last name of Jakub "Kuba"?
- What is the spelling of the last name of Henrikh?
- What is the spelling of the last name of Panagiotis?
- What is the spelling of the last name of Yevhen?
mkion#' on October 10, 2019:
use all smell
Rajesh on September 13, 2019:
I am not like
saint etienne on May 06, 2019:
wheres Timothée Kolodziejczak
Cristiano Ronaldo on November 12, 2018:
Pronounce this you are so sad, they're not even hard and you don't know if you are pronouncing them wrong. PS did you see my 6 pack on insta. Just a beast what can i say ;)
Marko on March 29, 2018:
Blerim Džemaili last names means he's a muslim from Bosnia
Yovani on March 10, 2017:
I LOVE SOCCER!!!!!!!!!!!!
Muzzammil Maniar (author) from Karachi, Pakistan on October 15, 2016:
Larry Rankin from Oklahoma on July 28, 2015:
Some true tongue twisters. Very fun hub!
Muzzammil Maniar (author) from Karachi, Pakistan on October 30, 2013:
Yes, i can also pronounce it properly but when it comes to spelling his name, that's a different story. For most people, they get both the pronunciation and the spelling wrong. Just so confusing it is!
Thomas Swan from New Zealand on October 30, 2013:
I used to know how to spell it when I was writing about Euro 2012, but I can still pronounce it properly. I know others have trouble pronouncing it though, so I understand why you put it in.
Muzzammil Maniar (author) from Karachi, Pakistan on October 30, 2013:
Thanks, glad you like it.
Jan Brianne on October 30, 2013:
It was a funny and an interesting hub... nice work! Enjoyed it! :)
Muzzammil Maniar (author) from Karachi, Pakistan on October 29, 2013:
hahahaha, sir chesny!! That's a new one for me. Are you sure you know how to spell Kuba's last name though because that isn't correct, just saying :-P
Thomas Swan from New Zealand on October 29, 2013:
Haha, lots of good ones. I like how people pronounce Szczesny like "Sir Chesny"... makes me laugh every time. I seem to have no problem pronouncing Blaszycowski or Sigurdsson though.