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Best footballers nicknames Revealed

Football is famous for its nicknames. Cristiano Ronaldo is CR7, Adriano is L’Imperatore, Ronaldo de Assis Moreira will forever be Ronaldinho. And even later, we have some more creative names, such as Givanildo Vieira de Souza, simply called Hulk. Some nicknames may be self-appointed by players, or bestowed upon them by their teammates, managers, or supporters. Many footballers may dislike them. And the issue with nicknames is that whether you like them or not, they stick. So let’s explore those best footballers nicknames with bestsoccertips!

Best Nicknames for Football Players

1. Matt Doherty – Doherto Carlos

The Wolves defender captured the hearts of Fantasy Premier League managers nationwide last season, with some stellar performances for the newly-promoted side. His surging runs and attacking prowess from the full-back position have earned him a proud nickname.

Best footballers nicknames: Matt Doherty - Doherto Carlos
Best footballers nicknames: Matt Doherty – Doherto Carlos

Doherto Carlos. Following in the footsteps of Real Madrid and Brazil defender Roberto Carlos, famed for his attacking prowess rather than his defensive stability. Doherty admitted in an interview that he used to practice free kicks in the style his namesake became famous for, and now he enters his second Premier League season carrying the same title.

  • Bravo Doherto.
  • Fitz Hall – One Size Fitz All.

One Size Fitz All. The former Watford and Crystal Palace defender didn’t earn his nickname through impressive defensive skills; however, when it comes to nicknames, that’s certainly a standout one.

2. Roberto Baggio – The Divine Ponytail

The Italians seem to give their stars creative and dignified nicknames compared to Wayne ‘Wazza’ Rooney or Harry ‘Slabhead’ Maguire. Baggio was the jewel in their crown during their 1994 World Cup campaign when Gli Azzurri lost to Brazil on penalties in the final.

Best football player nicknames: Roberto Baggio - The Divine Ponytail
Best footballers nicknames: Roberto Baggio – The Divine Ponytail

Baggio epitomized both playing style and looks, with his flowing ponytail and dancing around entangled defenders. The Italian player will be remembered as one of the greatest footballers in history, and his divine ponytail will go down in history fluttering behind him.

3. Duncan Ferguson – Duncan Disorderly

Duncan Ferguson, a fearsome football legend, is not only renowned for his prowess on the field but also for his controversial and shocking actions. Born in Scotland, Ferguson dominated the Premier League’s defensive lines for 12 years, making opposing defenders tremble every time they faced him.

Best nicknames for football players: Duncan Ferguson - Duncan Disorderly
Best nicknames for football players: Duncan Ferguson – Duncan Disorderly

Throughout his playing career, Ferguson made an impression not only with his goal-scoring ability but also with his confrontational and aggressive actions. One of the most famous incidents was when he headbutted an opponent in a match in Scotland, leading to legal repercussions and a prison sentence. Ferguson’s rough behavior and legal infractions both on and off the field earned him the nickname ‘Duncan Disorderly’.

4. Antonio Cassano – Peter Pan

Antonio Cassano, with his unique blend of talent and personal issues, has become a controversial figure in the football world. His career is not only celebrated for his outstanding footballing skills but also marred by scandals and conflicts off the pitch.

Best soccer nicknames: Antonio Cassano - Peter Pan
Best soccer nicknames: Antonio Cassano – Peter Pan

However, amidst the turmoil, Cassano maintained a passion and youthful spirit like that of a child, hence earning the moniker “Peter Pan”. Despite frequently attempting comebacks after difficult periods and never accepting retirement, he faced numerous failures and disappointments. Cassano’s turbulent personal life and fiery temperament created an image of a character reflecting the complexity and multidimensionality of Italian football, where he was not just a shining star among thousands of players but also a story full of emotions and lessons.

5. Nicolas Anelka – The Sulker

Nicolas Anelka, one of the top talented strikers of his generation, has had a tumultuous and challenging career. The multitude of clubs Anelka played for (up to 12 different professional clubs) is clear evidence of his incessant migration and instability in his career.

At Arsenal, Anelka endured a difficult period, as his relationship with the fans became strained. His lack of effort and commitment to the club disappointed many supporters. The nickname “Le Sulk” (The Sulker) was bestowed upon Anelka, reflecting the frequent sullen and discontented demeanor he exhibited.

Best nicknames in football: Nicolas Anelka - The Sulker
Best nicknames in football: Nicolas Anelka – The Sulker

When Anelka requested to leave Arsenal for a move to Real Madrid, many thought it could be a positive turning point in his career. However, success at Real Madrid didn’t materialize, and Anelka continued to struggle to find stability. The nickname “Le Sulk” remained an emblem of the complexity and challenges that Anelka had to face in his career.

6. Andoni Goikoetxea – The Butcher of Bilbao

Andoni Goikoetxea was as tough as they come in football. This rugged defender spent much of his playing career at Athletic Bilbao and earned a terrifying nickname after one of the most infamous tackles in football history.

Best soccer player nicknames: Andoni Goikoetxea - The Butcher of Bilbao
Best footballers nicknames: Andoni Goikoetxea – The Butcher of Bilbao

The vicious assault occurred in a match against Barcelona in the national league when he executed a tackle from behind on football icon Diego Maradona, causing the Argentine player to suffer a broken ankle. To add insult to injury, he incited a mass brawl in the 1984 Spanish Cup final against Blaugrana and received an 18-match ban for kicking Maradona in the chest. Don’t mess with The Butcher.

7. Borja Iglesias – The Panda

Real Betis’ new forward, Borja Iglesias, is dubbed “The Panda,” not for his ability to pierce through defenders but for a different reason. Borja is a big fan of hip-hop music, and he discovered Desiigner’s song “Panda,” which he adores. His former club Celta Vigo was known as the ‘Panda Team,’ and some players even decided to tattoo pandas on themselves.

Best footballers nicknames: Borja Iglesias - The Panda
Best footballers nicknames: Borja Iglesias – The Panda

Iglesias epitomizes the essence of team camaraderie, seamlessly integrating himself into the collective spirit of his squad, and his adoption of the moniker ‘The Panda’ has become a defining aspect of his footballing journey. With every goal he scores, he orchestrates a spectacle that resonates throughout the stadium, captivating fans with the sheer joy and passion he brings to the game.

8. Chris Smalling – Mike

Although Louis Van Gaal couldn’t illuminate Old Trafford with his own attractive football style, he brought some great moments off the pitch. His press conferences were always a must-watch, whether he burst into song, called out journalists, or shouted ‘Louis van Gaal’s army!’ time and time again, there was always something GIF-worthy waiting to happen.

Best football player nicknames: Chris Smalling - Mike
Best football player nicknames: Chris Smalling – Mike

During a preseason tour, Van Gaal accidentally called Chris Smalling ‘Mike,’ and it didn’t take long for Twitter and the rest of the world to catch up. While small incidents may occur every day in the real world, they rarely get forgotten in the football bubble. Sorry, Chris, but you’ll be Mike Smalling for the rest of your life.

9. Burgos German – The Ape

Burgos, another football player, may not have caused legal issues like Ferguson, but he has his own fame with the nickname ‘Mono,’ meaning ‘Ape,’ due to his resemblance to a monkey. German-born Argentine Burgos has attracted attention from fans and media not only for his talent on the field but also for his unique and impressive appearance. With this appearance, Burgos has become a unique figure in football, remembered not only for his excellent goalkeeping skills but also for his style and personality.

Best nicknames for football players: Burgos German - The Ape
Best footballers nicknames: Burgos German – The Ape

The current assistant manager of Atletico Madrid is a tough character in classic football, and during his time in Spain, he was banned for 11 matches after assaulting an opponent on the field. Simeone’s right-hand man is as tough as the Atleti boss himself, now forming one of the most challenging management relationships in world football.

10. Vincenzo Montella – The Little Airplane

Brand celebrations in football today are essential, with each player having their own style to stand out after every goal. From Ronaldo’s passionate celebrations to Bale’s loving heart gestures, and even to amusing gestures like Shefki Kuqi’s painful somersault, every action contributes to the diversity and attractiveness of football.

Best soccer nicknames: Vincenzo Montella - The Little Airplane
Best soccer nicknames: Vincenzo Montella – The Little Airplane

Vincenzo Montella, a diminutive Italian winger, created a unique celebration from the start of his career. Stretching out his arms and running around like an airplane, Montella may not bring the coolness factor but still grabs attention and scores points with fans. L’Aeroplanino, or “The Little Airplane,” as he’s often known, not only showcases his own style but also displays excellent playing ability. In Roma’s 2001 title-winning campaign, Montella frequently “flew high” with crucial goals, contributing significantly to the team’s success.


In conclusion, the world of football is not just about skill and athleticism but also about the colorful and sometimes quirky personalities that make the sport so captivating. From fierce defenders to skillful forwards, each player brings their own unique flair, both on and off the pitch, earning them memorable and distinctive nicknames that will echo through the annals of football history.

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