Some footballers are only known by their nicknames as they beautify their team jerseys. They are often referred to by their club and in the media by their nicknames.
But these players all have real names which are largely unfamiliar to most football fans.
While some nicknames are abbreviations of their full names, others are a shortened or lengthened version of one of their names. But for some, their nickname is in no way related to their real names.
This article takes a look at five famous footballers whose nicknames are more popular than their real names. The author further went on to explain how these footballers got their nicknames
Javier Hernández Balcazar, commonly known as Chicharito which means little pea in Spanish, got the name because his father, Javier Hernández Gutiérrez, was nicknamed Chícharo (pea).
Hernandez's father Javier, who played for Mexico at the 1986 World Cup, was given the nickname Chicharito (meaning 'pea' in Spanish) on account of his green eyes.
Chicharito currently plays for English Premier league outfit WestHam
Ricardo Izecson Dos Santos Leite, better known as Kaka, is one of the best football players ever. Thanks to his younger brother Digao, Ricardo got the nickname Kaka.
Digao used to call him "Caca" due to his inability to pronounce "Ricardo" when they were young; it eventually evolved into Kaka.
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While the word has no specific Portuguese translation, it does mean something unsavoury in his past home, Italy. In a lot of languages in Italy, Kaka actually means poop.
The name did not stop him from thriving in his football career and he in fact is the last person outside Ronaldo and Messi to have received the Ballon d’Or award
Ronaldo de Assis Moreira is a two-time Fifa World footballer of the year winner, Ronaldinho began playing organized youth soccer at the age of 7, and it was as a youth soccer player that he first received the nickname ‘Ronaldinho’, the diminutive from of his birth name, Ronaldo.
He was called that when he was little because he was really small, and he played with players who were older than him.
Robson de Souza is popularly known as Robinho, which means little Robson. Robinho got the name in his early footballing years in Brazil because of his diminutive stature.
Robinho was touted as the next Pele in Brazil hence his name was so popular across the world, whether he rose to his true potential is a story for another day, but Robinho went on to play for Brazilian giants Santos and also some of Europe’s finest club sides like Real Madrid and AC Milan. His move to Manchester City in 2007 broke the British transfer record for a player, the deal was worth over £32 million. He currently plies his trade with Brazilian team Clube Atlético Mineiro.
Francisco Román Alarcón Suárez is popularly known as Isco, which simply means little magician. Isco currently plays for Real Madrid and he is one of the finest talents in the world of football.
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