Time for the stupidest post of every World Cup: the list of great names. Stupid, because the list always looks like it was chosen by a 12-year-old boy. Stupid, because its assumptions are U.S.-centric. But I do it, anyway.
The criteria for making the list? Well, I like names that don’t seem to fit the country. I don’t really know this, of course … that criteria is based on my ignorance about the world. I also like names that seem funny to my ears … this is the stupidest of all, really, people don’t choose their name based on what sounds right to someone from the USA (I know that “Steven Rubio” sounds silly to someone out there).
Argentina: Willy Caballero.
Australia: Milos Degenek, Tim Cahill, Massimo Luongo, Tomi Juric, Jamie Maclaren, Aziz Behich, Dimitri Petratos.
Brazil: Gabriel Jesus, Fred.
Costa Rica: Ian Smith, Joel Campbell, Rodney Wallace, Patrick Pemberton.
Egypt: Mohamed Salah, Mohamed Abdel-Shafy, Mohamed Eineny, Mohamed El-Shenawy.
England: Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
France: Hugo Lloris, Kylian Mbappé, Steven Nzonzi, Steve Mandanda.
Germany: Sami Khedira, Mario Gómez.
Iceland: Halldórsson, Sævarsson, Friðjónsson, Guðmundsson, Ingason, Sigurðsson, Guðmundsson, Bjarnason, Sigurðarson, Sigurðsson, Finnbogason, Rúnarsson, Árnason, Eyjólfsson, Skúlason, Gunnarsson, Magnússon, Gislason, Hallfreðsson, Traustason, Böðvarsson, Skúlason, and Frederik Schram.
Iran: Reza Ghoochannejhad.
Mexico: El Kaiser, Memo, Chicharito, Principito, Chucky.
Panama: Harold Cummings, Erick Davis.
Peru: Andy Polo.
Russia: Mário Fernandes.
Senegal: Moussa Sow, Alfred N'Diaye, Alfred Gomis.
Spain: Nacho, Saúl, Koke, Rodrigo, Thiago, Isco.
Switzerland: Michael Lang, Granit Xhaka, Xherdan Shaqiri.
Uruguay: José Giménez, Jonathan Urretaviscaya.