Top 10 Most Difficult Names in Football (Soccer)

Updated on August 11, 2016

Followed in almost every country around the world, 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 language roots. Here is a list of the top 10 most difficult names of famous footballers around the world.

10) 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 a 100% on the field after enjoying a good last season with former club Shakhtar Donetsk, 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 team well. He has won an array of awards so far, with his last season with Shakhtar being the most fruitful 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 as well guiding the club to a 1st place finish in the league and cup. If he keeps on grabbing the headlines, the world will finally be able to spell his name correctly.

9) 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.

8) 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 an attacking and defensive midfielder role as well as in the centre of midfield. His determination is a key quality in midfield where he is confident to jump into tackles and laying assists for him team mates as well.

7) 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 2 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.

6) 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.

5) 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.

4) 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.

3) 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 team mates.

2) 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 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.

And the award for the most ridiculous of names (no offense) goes to.....

1) 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.

5 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:

Player Name
Siphiwe Tshabalala
South African
Yevhen Konoplyanka
Panagiotis Tachtsidis
Leon Goretzka
Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa
Benoît Assou-Ekotto
Stephan El Shaarawy
Vasilis Torosidis
Simon Kjær


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    • profile image

      Marko 3 weeks ago

      Blerim Džemaili last names means he's a muslim from Bosnia

    • profile image

      Yovani 13 months ago

      I LOVE SOCCER!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • muzzster profile image

      Muzzammil Maniar 18 months ago from Karachi, Pakistan



    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Some true tongue twisters. Very fun hub!

    • muzzster profile image

      Muzzammil Maniar 4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Thomas Swan

      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 profile image

      Thomas Swan 4 years ago from New Zealand

      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.

    • muzzster profile image

      Muzzammil Maniar 4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Jan Brianne

      Thanks, glad you like it.

    • Jan Brianne profile image

      Jan Brianne 4 years ago

      It was a funny and an interesting hub... nice work! Enjoyed it! :)

    • muzzster profile image

      Muzzammil Maniar 4 years ago from Karachi, Pakistan

      @Thomas Swan

      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 profile image

      Thomas Swan 4 years ago from New Zealand

      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.