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World Cup Names: Soccer superstar baby names

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The World Cup means many things to many people–mostly rooting for their country’s team–but to name nerds it also means a chance to sample a smorgasbord of international names. They’re all here–Slavic names, Norse names, Hispanic names, African, Asian and Anglo names…

Here’s a selection of some that we found particularly intriguing and possibly exportable, together with the team they play for  (understanding that it doesn’t necessarily represent their own ethnnicity).  In some soccer cultures–especially Portugal and Brazil–there’s a tradition of using only one name (one Brazilian superstar moniker I’m NOT including is Kaka, even if the accent is on the second syllable), and some of the choices below are the nicknames the players are known by.

ABOU Diaby (France)

ACHILLE Emana (Cameroon)

ALOU Diarra (France)

ARJEN Robben (Netherlands)

AURELIEN Chedjou (Cameroon)

BECARY Sagna (France)

BOJAN Jokec (Slovenia)

BROU Angoua (Ivory Coast)

BROWN Ideye (Nigeria)

CACAU (Germany)

CLEMENTE Rodriguez (Argentina)

CRISTIANO Ronaldo (Portugal)

DANILO Turcios (Honduras)

DANKO Lazovic (Serbia)

DECO (Portugal)

DEJAN Stankovic (Serbia)

DEMY De Zeeuw (Netherlands)

DICKSON Etuhu (Nigeria)

DJIBRIL Cisse (France)

DRAGAN Mrdja (Serbia)

EDINSON Cavani (Uruguay)

EIJI Kawashima (Japan)

FILIP Holosko (Slovakia)

FLORENT Malouda (France)

GAETAN Bong (CAmeroon)

GENNARO Gattuso (Italy)

GOJKO Kakar (Serbia)

HENDRY Thomas (Honduras)

HERCULEZ Gomez (US)

JESPER Christiansen, Gronkjaer (Denmark)

JONNIN Magallon (Mexico)

JOZY Altidore (US)

JURAJ Kucka (Slovakia)

JUSTO Villar (Paraguay)

KARIM Matmour/Ziani (Algeria)

KEIJI Tamada (Japan)

KOLO Toure (Ivory Coast)

LIONEL Messi (Argentina)

LOUKAS Vyntra (Greece)

MacBETH Sibaya (South Africa)

MADJID Bougherra (Algeria)

MARCELL Jansen (Germany)

MARKO MARIN (Germany)

MAURO Camoranesi (Italy)

MAXI Rodriguez (Argentina)

MISO Brecko (Slovenia)

NEVEN Subotic (Serbia)

RAFAEL Marquez (Mexico)

RAFIK Halliche, Saifi (Algeria)

RETO Ziegler (Switzerland)

ROQUE Santa Cruz (Paraguay)

SAMI Khedira (Germany)

SIMAO (Portugal)

SOCRATES Papathinaikos (Greece)

SOREN Larsen (Denmark)

STELIOS Malezas (Greece)

STIJN Schaars (Netherlands)

SULLEY Muntari (Ghana)

SURPRISE Moriri (South Africa)

TAYE Taiwu (Nigeria)

TEKO Modise (South Africa)

THIAGO Silva (Brazil)

THIERRY Henry (France)

TRANQUILLO Barnetta (Switzerland)

VALON Behrami (Switzerland)

WALDO Ponce (Chile)

XABIER Alonso (Spain)

XAVI (Spain)

YAZID Mansouri (Algeria)

YUJI Nakazawa (Japan)

YUKI Abe (Japan)

ZORAN Tosic (Serbia)

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