The referee’s a Juankar! The 11 worst footballer names of all time

Definitely some nominative determinism at play.


David Seaman – They say that Ronaldinho was such a big hit with the ladies because he could lob Seaman from 30-yards. The moustachioed Arsenal stopper’s unfortunate sounding surname probably derived from a distant relative’s nautical exploits. Which makes you wonder what the hell the ancestors of anyone called Dickinson were at?

Mark de Man – Is there a more appropriately named defender in world football than Mark de Man? The Belgian won 5 international caps during the 2007-2008 season while plying his trade with Anderlecht. Now in the twilight years of his career, De Man is currently on the books of lowly Stade Bierbeek.

Danny Shittu – The towering centre back won a total of 32 international caps for Nigeria during a 16-year-long playing career. Despite being without a club since being released by Millwall in 2015, the 39-year-old has never officially retired from the game. Shittu is a friend of rapper Dizzee Rascal, whose music sounds similar to his pal’s surname.

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Milan Fukal – Now happily retired, the Czech defender almost signed for Leeds United in 2007. The centre back returned to former side FK Jablonec instead, before living up to his name until his retirement in 2013.

Chiqui Arce – It may sound like something your nan would call you for giving her back cheek, but this is the legitimate name of a Chilean international defender. The former Gremio and Palmeiras star represented his country during the 1998 and 2002 World Cups, scoring a wonderful freekick against South Africa during the latter.

Ars Bandeet – Is alleged to have been an Algerian footballer during the 1970s, although evidence of his existence is scarce, to say the least. However, for the purposes of this article, let’s just say he definitely did exist.

Rod Fanni – With a name more suited to porn than professional football, English fans of all persuasions prayed the Frenchman would one day ply his trade in the Premier League. Alas, despite repeated links to the likes of Newcastle, Everton and West Ham, a move to England never materialised. Now 37-years-old, Fanni’s still getting action in the MLS with Montreal Impact.

Rafael Scheidt – Perhaps epitomising the disastrous Dalglish/Barnes regime at Celtic, was the £5m signing of Brazilian Rafael Scheidt. The 23-year-old defender lived up to his name and started only one league game before being shipped out on loan by Martin O’Neill after seeing his player run ragged in a friendly against Bray Wanderers.

Juankar – Born Juan Carlos Pérez López, the Spaniard known as ‘Juankar’ was blissfully unaware of the English connotations of this nickname before he selected it. He started his career at Real Madrid where he made only one appearance for the first team before signing for Real Zaragoza. Still only 29, the pacy winger is on the books of Malaga.

Ralf Minge – The hilariously named German’s name cannot be mentioned without evoking memories of the Mel B character from Bo Selecta. The striker spent his entire playing career with Dynamo Dresden becoming the third-highest ever goalscorer in the process. After a modest coaching career, Minge is currently Dresden’s sporting director.

David Goodwillie – The Scottish striker was tipped for great things during the early years of his career while at Dundee United. But a string of controversies has plagued him since then and still only 30, Goodwillie currently plays for Scottish League One side, Clyde FC.

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