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Big names in football are all well and good, but the real crowd pleasers are the silly and strangely apt names. Luckily there have been plenty of those over the years and, in some cases, they are only getting better. It feels only a matter of time before we get a goalkeeper called Don Shotstopper or a full-back named Emile Offtheline-Header, and while we can still only dream of those for now, we already have a treasure trove of names to appreciate.
In a purely footballing sense, there was nothing remarkable about Eric Skora. He was a French midfielder who played for AS Nancy, Preston North End, Walsall and Kilmarnock. He was a bit of a cult figure in his playing days, presumably because of his name. He failed to live up to it in truth, though, scoring just five league goals in an injury-shortened career.
I don't care who you are… if you come across a striker while playing Football Manager called 'Christ Bongo,' you're going to sign him.
Christ Bongo was a Congolese international who tried, and failed, to make a career for himself in Germany, France, and Switzerland in the late 1990s and early 2000s. He did mange one international goal. It was in a 2002 World Cup qualifier at home to Tunisia and it counted for absolutely nothing.
If, as they say, the modern footballer must have multiple layers to his game, then Kevin Lasagna is a very appropriate name. Lasagna is more than just a great name, though. He plays in Serie A for Hellas Verona, on loan from Udinese, and has even got seven caps for Italy to his name.
He isn't the most prolific striker around but he's a solid enough performer. To put in another way: Lasagna is no one's favourite, but everyone likes it… er, him.
🇭🇳 Carlo Costly played an indispensable role in getting Honduras to their 1st #WorldCup in 28 years and scored their 1st goal in the competition in over three decades ⚽️
🎁 Happy birthday to a man the passionate Catrachos fans will love forever 💙@carlocostly31 | @FenafuthOrg pic.twitter.com/XchVJ6SGzK
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) July 18, 2021
Considering the sum of Carlo Costly's achievements up until that point was 16 goals in 71 games in Poland, it was a surprise to see Birmingham City take a look at the striker.
The Honduran had a trial with Birmingham when they were in the Premier League, no less, and then joined them on loan the following season in the Championship. Eight games and no goals later, the Blues decided Carlo was too Costly for what little he was contributing and sent him to Romania to continue his career.
Carlo Costly is still playing too. Now 39 years old, he turns out for Honduran side Lone FC - a side so obscure they don't even have a Wikipedia page.
Every time I hear Max Power’s name mentioned by the commentator I can’t help but sing Homer Simpson’s song. “He’s the man with the name!” pic.twitter.com/ojx8b1bQ41
— Jai Taylor (@MrJaijo) May 16, 2019
As Homer Simpson once famously said, "Max Power… he's the man whose name you'd love to touch, but you mustn't touch…"
Max Power has made a name for himself with the likes of Wigan, Sunderland and Tranmere and is a really solid League One midfielder.
He has just captained Wigan to another promotion, too, so he is not just a name. What a name it is, though. Kudos to Mr and Mrs Power.
Okay, so at first glance Roberto Soldado doesn't look at that exciting a name, but it becomes a lot more fun when you realise the literal translation is Bobby Soldier.
And what manager wouldn't want a soldier to lead the line? Well drilled, disciplined, efficient…
Granted, Roberto Soldado is none of those things, and it turns out a lot of managers over the years haven't wanted him.
Back in the day, it was said that you had to be a bit of a nutter to play left-back. Stuart Pearce and Julian Dicks were cases in point. By the way, Julian Dicks, also a funny name. Anyway.
Gillingham probably took that perception a little too far when they decided to give non-league left-back John Nutter a chance in the professional game.
The plot twist, of course, is that John Nutter wasn't much of a nutter at all. In fact he was a very lovely player to watch who was much more about technique than he was tackles.
🎙 "We've got ten men and a Panther..."
⚽️ Today's Goal of the Day is Manny Panther's delightful finish in a 1️⃣-1️⃣ draw with @ShrimpsOfficial in November 2️⃣0️⃣0️⃣8️⃣ 👇#ECFC #OneGrecianGoal pic.twitter.com/V0JqXTRT2F
— (P) Exeter City (@OfficialECFC) July 27, 2020
If you want a midfielder with predatory instincts and the ability to hunt down possession, then Manny Panther sounds the dream addition.
The Scottish son of a Nigerian boxer, Panther played most of his career in the Conference for York City.
He did eventually make it into the Football League with Exeter, Morecambe and Aldershot before retiring at 28 to pursue a career in business.
Danny Shittu did make it to the Premier League in fairness, but he was a little bit, you know, rubbish.
Shittu was a powerful central defender but his mobility wasn't the best, so the quicker the game got the more…rubbish…he became.
After failing at Premier League level for Watford and Bolton, Shittu eventually settled in at Millwall in the Championship.
Unless you are a keen follower of 21st century Indian football, you probably haven't heard of Climax Lawrence.
Now retired, Lawrence played in the midfield for Salgaocar, East Bengal, Dempo and Mumbai. He also amassed 73 international caps for India.
However, given he only scored three goals in those 73 games, he was perhaps not as good a finisher as you'd think.
If ever a name was also a piece of advice that should have been followed, then this is it.
For a while, Danny Drinkwater looked like he was really on the up. He was part of Leicester's remarkable Premier League-winning team and had forced his way into England contention.
In 2019, he was crashed his Range Rover while over the legal alcohol limit. He was charged with drink driving and pleaded guilty. Turns out that while drinking water was good career advice for his conditioning, it was even better advice for driving.
Nortei Nortey wasn't very naughty at all, despite what The Shamen wrote.
He also wasn't very good. Although signed by Chelsea as a kid - presumably because of his name alone - the highest he got up the professional ladder was a loan spell in the Scottish Championship.
Nortey is 27 years old now and still playing - for Northern Colorado Hailstorm in the third tier of US Soccer.
But even there he isn't the main geezer.
Everyone knows that Australians are made of tough stuff but, cricket teams in the 1990s aside, they've never actually been invincible before.
Danny Invincible played in Britain for 11 years for Kilmarnock, Swindon and St Johnstone and it always raised a smile when his name popped up while watching Soccer Saturday.
I mean, it didn't really happen all that often, but it was fun when it did.
Franklin Daddys Boy Nyenetue
Franklin Daddys Boy Nyenetue is only just starting his career in Norway, but I think we can all agree that it would be brilliant for everyone if he has a long and successful career. Nyenetue was born in Liberia and moved to Norway with his family when he was just a toddler. For some reason, that was the point when his parents decided to change his middle name from Daliba to Daddys Boy.
That's about as much information as we've got, and that is why we need him to achieve sufficient success to be put in front of the press to properly explain his strange moniker.
The article Eric Skora, Christ Bongo, John Nutter and 11 other brilliantly named footballers appeared first on Planetsport.com.