Not since Kaka have we enjoyed the names on the backs of so many jerseys in the 2014 World Cup.
I’m not a huge soccer fan (well, I’m like 6-foot-2). So while I’m certainly enjoying the tournament, I’m about as knowledgeable as a 14-year-old kid at a baseball game, or an any-aged woman at anything.
What I do like, however, are the great names we’re exposed to.
Understand, of course, that I’m used to primarily American sports, where we have hilarious names of our own. Like NASCAR’s Dick Trickle, former pitching coach Dick Pole, and of course, former Twins outfielder, Rusty Kuntz.
By the way, as you read through these names and some of my little editorial comments, understand that I am 5 years old.
Note: Greece has three players named, “Panagiotis.” I just felt that needed mentioning.
37 Best Names in the 2014 World Cup Tournament
Hulk, Brazil: I want to say these first two guys are the same guys, with one of them being the green, angry version of the other.
Allan Nyom, Cameroon
Sammy N’Djock, Cameroon: Was named after MTV’s Rock ‘n’Djock TV series.
Ron Vlaar, Netherlands
Dirk Kuyt, Netherlands
Leroy Fer, Netherlands: It’s rare you come across a Dutch fella named Leroy.
Memphis Depay, Netherlands: Michael Scott’s protagonist in his next movie, now that “Threat Level Midnight” is behind him.
Juanfran, Spain: Hey, we’ve got one of those!
Koke, Spain: It’s like CVS cola.
Pepe Reina, Spain: his makes me think of the song, “It’s Raining Men.”
Faryd Mondragon, Spain
Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Greece: … bananafana, fo-sokraitis, fee fi mo papastathopoulous ..
Kostas Katsouranis, Greece: This is the Greek version of “What’s wrong, cat’s got your tongue?”
Boubacar Barry, Ivory Coast: You touch one boob in one bumper car, and you get a nickname.
Wilfried Bony, Ivory Coast
Sylvain Gbohouo, Ivory Coast
Constant Djakpa, Ivory Coast: I had this once after I ate some spoiled shrimp. Had to throw away my shorts.
Serey Die, Ivory Coast: Totally hates iPhones.
Marco Parolo, Italy: Will no longer go play in swimming pools.
Granit Xhaka, Switzerland
Blerim Dzemaili, Switzerland
Fabian Schar, Switzerland: You left us too soon, Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Xherdan Shaqiri, Switzerland: His hips don’t lie.
Ermin Bicakcic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Senijad Ibricic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Reza Haghighi, Iran
Karim Ansarifard, Iran: He who spelt it, dealt it.
Reza Ghoochannejhad, Iran: I bet they call him the Gooch.
Azubuike Egwuekwe, Nigeria
Per Mertesacker, Germany
Shkrodran Mustafi, Germany: I bet he hates kicking balls.
John Boye, Ghana: Makes me think of the boy on The Waltons that became a rapper.
Andre Ayew, Ghana
Toby Alderweireld, Algeria
Yun Suk-young, South Korea: Whatever you do, do NOT Google his name.
They all wish they had a name as cool and easy to pronounce as “Gonos!”