From:Lee Min Kok, Digital Sub-editor, ST, posted on 16 June at 4:08 PM
16 June at 4:08 PM

2014 World Cup Funnies: Most tongue-twisting players' names & videos on how to pronounce them

1. Reza Ghoochannejad (Iran) - pronounced Gooch-an-ee-chad

Woe betide commentators who have to utter his name (referees wouldn't want to book him either), but it's not just his name that opposing defences will have to remember. The pacy Charlton Athletic man, 26, is actually a pretty good striker, having scored 10 goals in 14 internationals for Iran.

Charlton fans have christened him Dave, while he goes by the moniker "Gucci" in his home country.


2. Sergei Ignashevich (Russia)

Granted, Russian coach Fabio Capello probably has his tongue twisted with half the names in his squad, but this 34-year-old veteran defender's is probably one of the harder ones.

Listen to the YouTube video below to learn the correct (and hilariously sing-song) way to pronounce his name.


3. Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece)

So mind-bogglingly hard to pronounce is his six-syllable surname that the defender is simply known as Sokratis. The YouTube video should provide some enlightenment, but we'd much rather follow the majority on this.


4. Toby Alderweireld (Belgium)

Toby is actually short for Tobias Albertine Maurits - the Atletico Madrid centreback's full name would be a nightmare even for his own parents to attempt.

A versatile figure in the Belgium team who can also play on the right side of defence. 


5. Azubuike Egwuekwe (Nigeria)

An imposing defender in the Taribo West mould, Egwuekwe's name is also bewilderingly difficult to decipher. With scant information on the Internet scant as to how to pronounce it, we're looking forward to the different versions World Cup commentators can come up with.


Or if you prefer, contribute to ST Communities' World Cup Funnies series by recording your own pronunciation of Egwuekwe's name on SoundCloud or YouTube.

Then, click on the blue "Contribute A Post To Be Published" bar above this story, drop your SoundCloud or YouTube link in and submit your contribution to be published on this site.

For match highlights, reports, analyses and features, visit our World Cup microsite at


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