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 be 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
This Armenian footballer was born on 21 January 1989, and he currently plays as a midfielder for Roma. 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. Mkhitaryan has all of these qualities as he gave 100% on the field after enjoying a good last season with Shakhtar Donetsk in 2013. He scored 25 goals in 29 matches, which was the league best.
Along with his good goal-scoring run, Mkhitaryan has created a host of opportunities for his teammates as well. He has won an array of awards so far. His best year saw him win 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 first-place finish in the league and cup. If he keeps collecting accolades, maybe the world will finally be able to spell his name correctly.
2. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
The Gabonese international was born on 18 June 1989. He currently plays as a forward for Arsenal. Aubamayang means energetic and generous. He has shown these qualities time and time again by beating defenders on the pitch and by not being afraid to run with the ball. He has not let any of his teams down in the goals department. His 19 goals for Saint-Étienne in the 2012-13 season placed him as the second top scorer in Ligue 1. He scored a whopping total of 98 goals during his four seasons playing for Borussia Dortmund.
3. Blerim Džemaili
Blerim Džemaili is a Swiss player that was born on 12 April 1986. He most recently played as a midfielder for Shenzhen F.C. Džemaili means determined, eventful and versatile. This player has performed in a variety of positions, such as 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 make assists for his teammates.
4. Kevin Großkreutz
This German international was born on 19 July 1988. He most recently played as a right back and winger for KFC Uerdingen 05. Großkreutz means unique and mysterious. This footballer has achieved a lot of success as he has won the Bundesliga title twice while playing for Borussia Dortmund. He was also part of the German national team when they won the FIFA World Cup in 2014. He has a total of 27 goals while playing in the Bundesliga.
5. Stefan Kießling
Stefan Kießling is a German player that was born on 25 January 1984. He most recently played as a striker for Bayer Leverkusen. Kießling means wealthy, honest and either very successful or very miserly. The first quality is true of most footballers who play in top teams. As for this player, he earned around €552,000. As for his honesty, Kießling once celebrated a ghost goal against rival club Hoffenheim. The ball ended up in the back of the net as Kießling headed the ball into the side netting; officials did not notice that the ball managed to squeeze through a hole to end up in the back of the net. This allowed Leverkusen to win 2-1, which resulted in a lot of controversy. This player has achieved some success on a personal level, like scoring 25 goals in 34 appearances in the league to be crowned the Bundesliga Top Scorer for the 2012–13 season.
6. Gylfi Sigurðsson
This Icelandic international was born on 8 September 1989. He currently plays as an attacking midfielder for Everton. Sigurðsson means courageous, bold, energetic and strong willed. He does not shy away from a duel with opponents during matches and he always looks to attempt a difficult pass to open up the field of play. He can occasionally be greedy to score a goal rather than pass the ball to a teammate.
7. Wojciech Szczęsny
Wojciech Szczęsny is Polish footballer that was born on 18 April 1990. He currently plays as a goalkeeper for Juventus. Szczęsny means having the ability to learn easily as well as peacemaker. He has developed into a decent goalkeeper since being called up from the Arsenal youth team. He is also known for having a cool head and not getting involved in a lot of skirmishes.
8. Jakub Błaszczykowski
Jakub Błaszczykowski, who was born on 14 December 1985, currently plays as a winger for Wisła Kraków. He has also been a captain for the Polish national team. Known as Kuba, his last name, Błaszczykowski, means having the ability to reach great heights and being dependable. He has certainly been successful as he has won two Bundesliga titles as well as an Ekstraklasa title. He is a great passer that is capable of splitting open defenses and can be depended upon to make assists for his teammates.
9. Sokratis Papastathopoulos
Sokratis Papastathopoulos is a Greek player that was born on 9 June 1988. He currently plays as a centre back for Arsenal. Papastathopoulos means clever and being able to accomplish an impossible dream. It is common that a player's surname is written on the back of the player's kit, but that is not possible for Papastathopoulos. His kit has his first name on the back because his last name is too long to fit. He won a Serie A title as well as three DFB-Pokal competitions with Borussia Dortmund.
10. Kolbeinn Sigþórsson
Kolbeinn Sigþórsson is an Icelandic player that was born on 14 March 1990. He currently plays as a striker for AIK. Sigþórsson means independent and perfectionist. This player has scored 35 goals while playing in Eredivisie. He has also scored a total of 26 goals for the Icelandic national team.
Strategy or Coincidence?
Five players from the list have played for Borussia Dortmund. I wonder if this might be some tactic to buy players with really difficult names in order to confuse their opponents. They might forget who they were assigned to cover. Here are some other players worth mentioning.
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.