Tuesday, July 11, 2006

World Cup All-Name Team

One of the most intriguing aspects of the World Cup are all the unique names that the players have. Many of them go by only one name which only enhances their "cool factor", and some of them are related to historical figures. I've decided to put together a WC team using players with names that I found particularly unique, humorous or meaningful.

I only used 11 players(1GK, 4DEF, 4MID, 2FOR), so there are a number of interesting names that didn't make the list. Also, the players were selected from the teams that made it to the Round of 16, regardless of whether they played a lot of minutes or not. Let's face it, if your team didn't make it further than the U.S., then who really cares how unique or cool your players are?

Goalkeeper, Jose Corona(MEX) Think about the marketing opportunities available with a goalie who has "Corona" on his back. Free beer for everyone!

Defenders, Ulises De La Cruz(ECU), Per Mertesacker(GER), Massimo Oddo(ITA), Cafu(BRA) Here we get our first single name selection. At first I thought that going by only one name should make for an automatic selection. Then I realized that Brazil would take over half of the team. So, in the defender spot, we get Cafu. It's very unique, and there are plenty of acronyms to be made using the "FU". Ulises makes the list because he shares his name with a character of Roman mythology(yeah, the spelling is a bit off). The old school Ulysses fought in the Trojan War which isn't much different than getting slidetackled in the family jewels. Massimo Oddo gets the nod because Massimo sounds pretty badass, and when combined with Oddo it just rolls off of the tongue. Per Mertesacker is also on the list because I'm sure life wasn't easy as a kid. Imagine all of the "sack" jokes poor old Per was subject to. Hell, imagine all of the "Per" jokes he endured. At the very least the taunting should provide some motivation, even if it does result in a red card in the first minute.

Midfielders, Zinedine Zidane(FRA), Kaka(BRA), Ronaldinho(BRA), Torsten Frings(GER) Forget the headbutt, Zidane has a badass name. Seriously, he sounds like a villain from an old Bond flick. He would definitely give Connery all that he could handle. Kaka shows up because inside all of us men there's a little boy waiting to get out(and not in the Michael Jackson type of way). Kaka's name reminds us of the different ways we can refer to "number 2". Ronaldinho sparks images of a soccer playing dinosaur with bright red hair, and going by just one name does make you cooler. How awesome would it be to see the real Ronaldinho with bright red hair? Torsten is sort of a darkhorse. His name is very unique, but it doesn't refer to body functions or body parts. However, it is pretty close Frink which is a humorous character from one of the best shows of all time. Now if they could get him to put on a labcoat for every match that would be funny.

Forwards, Ruud Van Nistelrooj(NED), Jesus Arellano(MEX) Finally, we have the forwards. First up is Ruud(pronounced "Rude"). Right off the bat you know there's no messing around with this guy. If you taunt him during the match, and he ends up stomping on your balls, you have no one to blame but yourself. After all he was forthcoming with information about his personality. For the last forward spot we get Jesus. I can only imagine the type of celebrations he could come up with after scoring. Perhaps an immaculate conception one where a female fan in the stands hides a soccer ball under her shirt and pulls it out after he scores? And maybe instead of calling it a "hat trick" when he scores three goals, they call it "summoning the three wisemen".

All in all, I think that this is a pretty good inaugural World Cup All-Name team. Obviously, with the limited spaces some players are going to be left off. Feel free to submit any participants that you believe should be on the squad from the teams that made it to the Round of 16.

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