Widely regarded as one of the world's most talented and skilful players, Robben’s feats for Holland, PSV, Chelsea and Real Madrid have sometimes been overshadowed by his regular spells on the sidelines. The winger’s injury proneness has seen his earn the nickname ‘The Man of Glass’ due to his ability to break rather easily.
9) Nicolas Anelka – The Incredible Sulk
Anelka has been around for so long, it is almost impossible to think that he is still only 30. During his 12 or so years starring for various European teams such as Arsenal, Real Madrid and Chelsea, you can probably count on one hand the number of times the Frenchman has smiled. His uneasy relationships with coaches and team-mates has seen him tagged ‘Le Incredible Sulk’.
Anelka - the boy who ruined every school photo
8) Davie Dodds – The Elephant Man
Dodds was a star striker for the Dundee United team who won the Scottish League in 1983, and a year later were desperately close to making the European Cup Final as they lost 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-final to Roma. Despite these heroics, Dodds is best remembered for his uncanny resemblance to ‘The Elephant Man’
7) Peter Beardsley – Quasimodo
Another forward whose looks did not match up to his impressive football skills. Beardsley had a fine career for Newcastle, Liverpool, Everton, and of course England, who he won 59 caps for. The Geordie was often teased in the press about his appearance, and his generally hunchbacked exterior earned him the nickname ‘Quasimodo’ after the fictional character in the novel and film Notre Dame de Paris.
Beardsley was snubbed by Esmeralda
6) Pele – The Jinx
Also known as ‘The King’, in recent years Pele has become as famous for his legendary playing career as for his truly disastrous football predictions. For a few examples, read our Top 10 Wrong Pele Predictions from last week. All these incorrect forecasts have led to Pele light-heartedly being portrayed as a curse – 'The Jinx'.
Pele predicted a worldwide economic boom in 2009
5) Naohiro Takahara – The Sushi Bomber
Arguably the funniest nickname on the Asian continent, Takahara has been one of Japan’s best players this decade, scoring 23 goals in 57 games for his country, and also playing for German sides Hamburg and Eintracht Frankfurt. While in Germany, the forward was dubbed ‘The Sushi Bomber’.
4) Antonio Cassano – Peter Pan
Arguably the most gifted player of his generation in Italy, the 27-year-old has won just 15 caps for his country and seems destined for an unfulfilled career. Cassano’s wild, and sometimes insane, personality is often explained as the reason why the fantasista has never really had the chance on the biggest stage. His childish character means he really is the real-life Peter Pan - the boy who never grew up.
Cassano's toughest opponent was Captain Hook
3) Yaşar Duran – The Bucket
Turkey may have made the semi-finals of both World Cup 2002 and Euro 2008, but 25 years ago they were considered as one of the whipping boys of Europe. Often on the receiving end of heavy scorelines, national goalkeeper Yasar Duran was labelled ‘The Bucket’ following Turkey’s biggest ever defeat in November 1984 – an 8-0 thrashing at the hands of England in Istanbul.
2) Tony Adams – The Donkey
Adams is undoubtedly one of Arsenal’s greatest ever defenders after winning trophies galore with the Gunners during a one-club 19-year career. The centre back did have his critics, though, and after scoring an own goal against Manchester United before being torn apart by Holland’s Marco Van Basten at Euro 88, Adams was nicknamed by sections of the British press as ‘The Donkey’ due to his sometimes inelegant style.
Adams finished last in the 1998 Grand National
1) Adriano Galliani – Uncle Fester
It could only be the Milan transfer guru at No.1. Galliani is undoubtedly one of the most colourful characters in world football, and certainly the one who talks the most. In Italy he is known as ‘Zio Fester’ (Uncle Fester) due to his hilarious resemblance to the member of the Addams Family. Fester had a peculiar ability to conduct electricity, and based on the picture below it seems Galliani can also.
Galliani even talks during his sleep
Please note the picture captions are satirical
What are your favourite funny nicknames? Any not listed above that you like? Goal.com wants to know what YOU think
Carlo Garganese, Goal.com