What’s so special in a name? Identity, meaning, and many more. Some names are merely random, popularly used, and often adopted.
However, there are several others that are unique and less know but with deep meanings. Cultural identity, religion, natural happenings, and more can be the reference to a name.
In the end, it is the individuals who bear a name that carries it. In football, many young footballers enter the professional stream with relatively unknown identities and names.
Still, their success, records, unfulfilled potentials, and sometimes milestone events register such names and make them special.
It may not necessarily be the individual; it could be the meaning of the name, the uniqueness, and sometimes the way the name sounds, but any which way, let’s look at the top football players with the best names.
1. Xherdan Shaqiri
Well, the Swiss midfielder has one of the best-sounding names in football despite having a lot of consonants. Not many names that are dominated by consonants give you the ease of pronunciation and the sharp and pleasant way it sounds.
Shaqiri was born in Zhegër, Gjilan, SFR Yugoslavia, to Kosovar-Albanian parents, and that explains the reason behind the construction of the name.
Although he might be one of the shortest football players in the world, he is one of the footballers with the best names.
2. Thorgan Hazard
Eden Hazard may be the more popular of the siblings, but Thorgan Hazard sounds more pleasant to the hearing.
The last name, Hazard, may be negative in meaning, but how cool can you be when your first name is picked and motivated by a comic book character?
3. Julian Draxler
German midfielder Julian Draxler will definitely give commentators goosebumps and orgasmic feeling. Sincerely, pronouncing a name can’t be more unique and finesse-generating.
4. Kylian Mbappé
Mbappé may come from an African language or background, but it definitely was a genius move to give him the Kylian.
It’s the prompt and preciseness that comes with the pronunciation and spelling, which may be mixed up once in a while, no thanks to the fact that Kylian is a French variation of the Irish name Cillian.
The generational talent’s name has become popular especially after his exploits at the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
5. Axel Witsel
Draxler gave a warrior and Norse feeling, but it’s not the only one. Axel Witsel definitely can lay such claims, too.
Axel in itself is linked to mean peace, and that’s ironic to the fact that a part of the name, Axe-l, could be destructive. For Witsel, we believe he complements Axel well, or maybe we just love football too much.
6. Zlatan Ibrahimović
Zlatan Ibrahimović could be mistaken for an Islamic name, but we will get to that. Let’s start with the name and the individual who bore it with absolute self-confidence.
Zlatan means Golden in Serbian, and it has good stress to start with the Z; Ibrahimović is a Bosnian surname derived from the masculine given name Ibrahim (meaning “son of Ibrahim”).
Is it a coincidence that the Swede was an absolute personality with an ego to match the name, or was he living up to his name?
7. Karim Benzema
We all won’t lie that the fact that there is a car brand that matches Benzema’s name makes it beautiful.
We will get to that, but first name, Karim in Arabic, means Generous, and in truth, the French man wasn’t stingy with the goals.
So what about Benzema? Is there any link with the car brand? No, but you might be wondering its meaning, and it means a King or Hero. Yet again, another man who backs up his name, with being of the best strikers in the world.
8. Didier Drogba
French name Didier means desire, and we won’t lie. It combines well with Drogba, a constant name on the lips of Premier League commentators back then, and it never gave them a problem.
In fact, it almost authoritatively meant goal. The African football legend is part of the Bété people in Côte d’Ivoire, so his name is rooted in his culture.
9. Marouane Fellaini
Spelling this one is a problematic activity, especially Marouane, which means to be solid; Fellaini maybe not so much as it is linked with intelligence.
The Belgian midfielder didn’t look that solid in stature and never relied on strength as a player, but he was a decent performer.
10. Wolfgang Wolf
This has to be one of the least popular names on the list, but even at that, it’s obviously German. The man, 65, is a former player and coach.
His name, though, Is linked to the animal Wolf, while Wolfgang means to travel in the ways of the wolves. But our preference for selection is the metallic way the combo sounds, Wolfgang Wolf.
11. Johannes Vennegoor of Hesselink
Vennegoor of Hesselink is one of the most unusual-sounding names in football.
The background story shows a bit of royalty history that dates back to the 17th century when a marriage between the Vennegoor and Hesselink farming families of Enschede happened.
Due to the prestige of both surnames, they kept both. The ‘Of’ in his name means ‘or’ in Dutch. Interestingly, the striker kept it all on the back of his jersey.
12. Shinji Kagawa
We are not gonna lie that Japanese names sound great with the consonants and vowels placed in the right places.
Shinji means true ruler, and Kagawa means a fragrant river in Japanese; seriously, we don’t want to think deeply about it.
13. Jamal Musiala
Jamal means beauty in Arabic, and the 20-year-old German is a beauty, in person and in style of play. The young soccer star has a beautiful-sounding name and is also one the top soccer players under 25.
14. Alexis MacAllister
The fact that this name doesn’t look like anything Argentinian but is born by an Argentine player bursts the brain.
Alexis may be universally used, but what about the Scottish-sounding McAllister?
15. Aleksandar Mitrović
Aleksandar Mitrović is inspired by “Demetrios” and translates as “a follower of Demeter,” the first goddess of fertility. Anyways, the combination with Aleksandar is a delight to the tongue.
16. Jean-Pierre Papin
This name sounds like something you blurt out in times of excitement, and it has a rhyme to it, like a tongue twister. His name was always fascinating to commentators and fans.
Brazilian-suffixed names are always a hit; Jairzinho is on point and one of the coolest. His full name was Jair Ventura Filho, however, Jairzinho really stood out as one of the best names in football.
Did the great philosopher, at some point, play football? We don’t for sure. However, a Brazilian soccer legend whose full name is Sócrates Brasileiro Sampaio de Souza Vieira e Oliveira, was simply known as Sócrates. He was also a medical doctor.
19. Gheorghe Hagi
Gheorghe Hagi sounds firm with short stress, the kind of names commentators would love.
A name so fitting for the kind of man this player, exciting to the lips, succulent to the ear, and unbelievably entertaining on the pitch. Undoubtedly one of the greatest dribblers in football history, Ronaldinho made his mark in the game and is beloved by fans.