Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Great Footballing Nicknames

Often affectionate and always with an edge of humour.  Most nicknames attributed to players are from the fans themselves.  Others are personal and some even come from the media.  The most comical nicknames tend to be based on dominant physical features and quirks of players personalities.  There doesn't appear to be as many characters in the game or big personalities as there seemed to be in the past.  Despite that, it hasn't stopped fans and the players themselves donning unique names.
Calamity James- David James

David James, as famous for his haircuts as his goalkeeping.  He has had many a blunder and innumerable crazy moments between the sticks.  It fits very well.  A cowboy film called Calamity Jane and a character from the popular comic strip The Beano are possible origins of his nickname.

Butcher from Bilbao- Andoni Goikoetxea

A famously dirty player, the Argentinean got this nickname following a horrific tackle on a young Diego Maradona. He clearly embraced the more physical side of the game as he keeps the boot that wrecked Maradona’s ligaments in a glass case.

Kun- Sergio Aguero

He used to have Kun Aguero on the back of his shirt when he played at Atletico, unsure if he still does.  Though he does use it for his personal website and social media sites.  His nickname is one he has had since he was a child and was given to him by his grandparents.  Its origins are a character, Kum Kum from a popular televised cartoon series.  Aguero bore strong physical resemblance and the nickname has stuck ever since.  It is Kun due to him mispronouncing the characters real name of Kum Kum.

Choccy- Brian McClair

Brian McClair transferred to Manchester United in 1987.  In his first season he succeeded in scoring over 20 league goals in a season.  It was something a United player had failed to do since best in the 1967/68 season.  His nickname of Choccy came from his manager Alex Ferguson.  It relates to a sweet called a chocolate eclair, which of course rhymes with his surname.

Floquet De Neu (Little Snowflake)- Ronald Koemen

This was the name given to Koemen by Barcelona fans due to his fair complexion.  The Dutchmen was also called Tintin (from the massively popular French comic book series and that was recently turned into a film), it is ridiculously uncanny the resemblance! 

La Brujita (The Little Witch)- Juan Sebastian Veron

Juan Sebastion Veron got his nickname from his football playing father, Juan Roman who famously played for the side Estudiantes.  It is difficult to decipher where it came from, possibly physical (big nose?).  Though if anything like his son, Juan Roman must've been magic to watch.  Another player who has a paternal nickname is Javier Hernandez who even has his on the back of his shirt- Chicharito.  It means little pea, his football playing father was nicknamed Chicharo due to his green eyes. 

Formica Atomica (Atomic Ant)- Sebastian Giovinco

Akin to Aguero, the Juventus man was named after a famous cartoon character.  In Giovinco's case a Hanna-Barbera one.  At 5ft 5 he is one of the smallest players, playing at the highest level.   He is also pretty rapid and a skillful player.

Billy- Alessandro Costacurta

Costacurta had an impressive career AC Milan, where he played for some 20 years.  A big basketball fan.  He followed the team Olympia Milano who were sponsored by a soft drinks company called Billy, hence his nickname.  Basketball teams in Italy were known primarily by their sponsors name during the 80's.

El Pupi- Javier Zanetti

What a mighty good man and player, Zanetti has to be one of the most consistent players around.  His nickname originated in Argentina and translates as puppy.  Guessing that is because of his youthful looks. Hope that he gets over his injury pronto as he has said he still wants to keep playing.  He and his wife formed a foundation in Argentina for children and families in need.  it provides support, education and food.  He gave the foundation the name P.U.P.I.  Some of his fellow teammates also offer financial support to it.  In Italy he is also called Il Trattore (the tractor) due to his resilience, strength and work rate.

Duncan "Disorderly" Ferguson

Not hard to see why this was such an apt nickname.  Hard man on the pitch, never far from trouble on or off of it.  So very fitting, witty and one of my favourites. 

The Non-Flying Dutchman- Dennis Bergkamp

 Without any doubt, one of the very finest players to ever grace the Premier League.  Bergkamp had a very strong fear of flying, so much so that he point blank refused to get on a plane.  It meant that he missed a number of games because of it.  It was a bit of an inconvenience to him too as it meant international destinations for club and country had to be reached by car and that was not always possible.  As a result he did miss a good number of away Champions League ties for Arsenal, with him in the side you do wonder if they'd have fared better in Europe.  His fear stems from a scare he had in 1994 when the engine of the plane cut out. 
Dolly and Daisy- Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister
An affectionate name for a solid and ever present defensive duo in Sir Alex Ferguson's early years.  This nickname was given to them by Ferguson.  You do wonder which was which.  Tend to think that Gary Pallister was Daisy for some reason!

Village- Jonathan Woodgate
He is certainly not alone in football when it comes to lacking in the brain department.  The former Leeds United mans name comes from the saying of village idiot.  If you've seen a post match interview with him it is clear why.
The Incredible Sulk- Nicolas Anelka

One of the most transferred football players and the most expensive if you add up all the fee's he has accumulated through the years.  Anelka always looked a right miserable sod on the pitch.  The antithesis to Ronaldinho, the Frenchman certainly never played with a smile.

La Pulga- Lionel Messi
Translating as the flea, it is not difficult to see why the diminutive Barcelona man is nicknamed this. The origins of this nickname are believed to come from the players Grandmother. She watched him play with/against much older players, aged just five- you can just imagine the height differences!