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Ten footballers whose names cause trouble in spelling tests

| 08.09.2013

Samuel Eto’o

The humble apostrophe, so beloved of grocers and key cutters, turns up here in the middle of the surname of Chelsea’s new striker. Why? It’s a syllable separator, to let commentators know they must emphasise the second of the three syllables in Samuel’s surname.

Kevin-Prince Boateng

Double-barrelled surnames may be rare in the game – Peter Rhoades-Brown and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are two of a very small group – but Schalke’s new box-to-box guy gives it both barrels with his first name.

Mesut Özil

Presenting the name printing operative at Arsenal’s “The Arsenal” merch store with a first ever chance to press the umlaut button on his shirt press. If such a button exists.

Stephane Guivarc’h

Probably the finest apostrophe ever to grace the professional game, the man who appeared four times for Newcastle with limited results carries a surname that means “Swift Stallion” in Breton. Some Magpies fans may disagree.

Steve McClaren

No puzzling dots and dashes to interpret here, just a consistently misspelt last name. It’s “McClaren” – son of Claren, not son of Laren.

Niko Kranjčar

Sounds as though the j should come after the c, but that little hat on the c means it’s pronounced “ch” as in “Chelsea”. And the j is silent. Fiendish.

Jussi Jääskeläinen

No one beats West Ham’s Finnish shot-stopper when it comes to the umlaut. Even Arsenal’s new wonderboy can only gaze in amazement at the back of Jussi’s shirt.

Aki Riihilahti

Another Finn, Crystal Palace’s defensive midfielder fan favourite seemed to have a surplus of unnecessary letters in his surname. For good measure, he also sported a magnificent middle name: Pasinpoika.

Wojciech Szczesny

Poland is the home of the tricky name, where some people are way into adulthood before they consistently spell their names correctly.

Peter Ndlovu

Former Coventry and Mamelodi Sundowns winger Peter Ndlovu’s name is one of the great enigmas of football – why the u? Ndlovu is also the wrong name for the mazy speedster. It means elephant in Zulu.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.