16 genuinely useful pronunciation tips from Uefa for the Champions League knockout stage
Have you been pronouncing these correctly?
Wondering whether or not you’ve been mispronouncing your favourite footballer’s name all this time? Well with Uefa.com’s handy guide, all will become clear.
With the Champions League knockout stage upon us, Uefa.com has picked out some of the more difficult names to pronounce from the 16 sides still left in the competition.
From Messi to Mignolet, Hazard to Higuain, here’s one name from each team to perfect.
Lionel Messi – Lee-oh-nell
Lionel as in Lyon, not the king of the jungle.
Taulant Xhaka – Tow (to rhyme with cow)-lant Jacka
Granit Xhaka’s brother Taulant, “Tow (to rhyme with cow)-lant Jacka”, according to Uefa.
Robert Lewandowski – Le-van-dov-ski
As Uefa points out, the Polish “w” is pronounced like an English “v”.
Oguzhan Ozyakup – Oh-zyan Erz-ya-koop
The former Arsenal youth player’s name might trip a few people up.
Eden Hazard – Ay-den
That’s Eden as in maiden, rather than the Garden of Eden.
Gonzalo Higuain – Ee-gway-een
This guy made it all the way to the final last season, so you might want to familiarise yourself with his name.
Simon Mignolet – See-mon Min-yo-lay
Simon Mignolet might be kept from the starting XI by Loris Karius, but if he does play you’ll know the “g” is silent.
Gabriel Jesus – Jay-zooss
Will this put an end to the Jesus puns?
David De Gea – De Hayer
Much like Mignolet, United’s keeper drops the “g” in his name.
Adrien Rabiot – Ad-ree-an Rab-yo
“The French language’s many vowels continue to confound English speakers,” says Uefa.com. No excuses for getting Adrien Rabiot’s name wrong, though.
Iker Casillas – Ee-care Ca-see-yass
Of legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas, Uefa.com says: “Years of effort have almost eradicated the English tendency to pronounce Iker Casillas’s first name as if he worked as an optician (eye care).”
Toni Kroos – Crows
Only nine letters in Toni Kroos’ name, but so many ways to get it wrong.
Radja Nainggolan – Nine-go-lon
The 29-year-old has failed to score in this year’s Champions League competition. Will he give commentators a chance to say his name correctly in the knockout stage?
Daniel Carrico – Car-hiss-oh
The “c” at the end of Daniel Carrico’s surname is pronounced as a double “s”. It actually has a tail underneath known as a cedilla.
Yaroslav Rakitskiy – Rack-its-key
This pronunciation actually makes a lot of sense.
Toby Alderweireld – Al-der-way-reld
Al-der-way-reld’s a stage, and all the men and women merely footballers.
To see Uefa.com’s full pronunciation guide, click here.