How to pronounce the players' names correctly

English speakers tend to mangle foreign names; cracks more rocks of ignorance and makes the toughest group stage players' names seem simple.

Robert Le-van-dov-ski
Robert Le-van-dov-ski ©Getty Images's ongoing mission to ensure that the world's football fans get the players' names right continues as the group stage commences; take a deep breath and try these.

Franck Boeckx – Books
Alexandru Chipciu – Kip-chee-oo
Olivier Deschacht – Dus-hakht
Uroš Spajić – Oo-rosh Spy-itch
Łukasz Teodorczyk – Woo-cash

APOEL's Cypriot players' names are transliterated from the Greek alphabet so should be doable for patient English speakers.

Sergej Grubac – Grew-bats

An-twan Gree-ez-man
An-twan Gree-ez-man©AFP/Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann's surname has an extra syllable in it which most English speakers tend to miss.

Nicolás Gaitán – Guy-tan
Antoine Griezmann – An-twan Gree-ez-man
Koke – Ko-kay
Saúl Ñíguez – Sow-ool Nyee-gess
Šime Vrsaljko – Shee-may Ver-sal-ko

Barcelona's universal popularity has ironed out most pronunciation errors, but Lucas Digne is a tricky one and don't forget that Ivan Rakitić's 'ć' is a 'ch' for English speakers.

Lucas Digne – Loo-cah Dee-nyuh
Gerard Deulofeu – Day-oo-lo-fay-oo
Ivan Rakitić – Ra-key-titch

A Czech 'c' without an accent is more like 'ts'.

Tomáš Vaclík – Tom-arsh Vats-leak
Geoffroy Serey Dié – Serray Dee-ay

Manuel Neuer's surname can be a problem for English-speakers, who tend to panic when they see more than two vowels in a row. For Robert Lewandowski, remember that the Polish 'w' is more like an English 'v'.

Joshua Kimmich – Kim-ikh
Robert Lewandowski – Le-van-dov-ski
Manuel Neuer – Man-well Noy-er

The common Portuguese names João (Jew-wow) and Rui (Khroo-ee) require some practice.

Franco Cervi – Chair-vee
Ljubomir Fejsa – Fay-sa
Andrea Živković – Zhiv-ko-vitch

The accents on Turkish players' names can be daunting, but in practical terms, the pronunciation is not too difficult. Fans and commentators in Turkey generally use players' first names rather than the second names, which can make things easier. As for the club's name, it is Besh-eek-tash.

Caner Erkin – Janner
Gökhan Gönül – Gern-ool
Oğuzhan Özyakup – Oh-zyan Erz-ya-koop
Duško Tošić – Doosh-ko Tosh-itch
Orkun Çinar – Shnar

Scottish names should be easy enough for English speakers; foreign signings present the only (minor) difficulties.

Jozo Šimunović – Shim-oon-ov-itch
Tom Rogic – Rog-itch

N'Golo Conte
N'Golo Conte©AFP/Getty Images

Most fans in the United Kingdom have these correct, but it is worth remembering that, for French speakers, N'Golo Kanté's surname sounds the same as Antonio Conte's does to English ears.

Thibaut Courtois – Tib-oh Cort-wah
César Azpilicueta – Ath-pili-coo-et-ah
N'Golo Kanté – Conte
Michy Batshuayi – Batch-way

Igor Akinfeev – Akin-fey-ev
Pontus Wernbloom – Vairn-bloom

Łukasz Piszczek's name can also be rendered much less scary to English speakers by a phonetic translation, while pronouncing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's name the French way saves you a syllable – no small achievement in austere times. American-born Christian Pulišić does not pronounce his name the Croatian way.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Oh-bam-yong
Łukasz Piszczek – Woo-cash Peesh-check
Christian Pulišić – Police-sick
Nuri Şahin – Noo-ree Shah-hin
Roman Weidenfeller – Vye-den-feller

The 'ee' does not always sound the same as it does in English; Kenneth Vermeer pronounces his name the English way, but Sven van Beek doesn't.

Bilal Başacikoğlu – Bosh-itch-kor-loo
Sven van Beek – Von Bake

Giorgio Kee-ell-ee-nee
Giorgio Kee-ell-ee-nee©Getty Images

The Italian 'ch' is more like a 'k' for English speakers, whereas the Croatian 'ć' is an English 'ch'. Gonzalo Higuaín's name has three vowels in a row – a red light for English speakers – but can be anglicised elegantly enough. Croatia is just across the Adriatic from Italy, so imagine Marco Pjaca's name as an Italian 'piazza' and you will be pretty much there.

Federico Bernardeschi – Bernard-ess-kee
Gianluigi Buffon – Boo-fon
Giorgio Chiellini – Kee-ell-ee-nee
Gonzalo Higuaín – Ee-gway-een
Mario Mandžukić – Man-joo-kitch
Claudio Marchisio – Mar-kee-sio
Miralem Pjanić – Pee-ah-nitch
Wojciech Szczęsny – Voy-check Schen-snee

The Swedish 'berg' is not the same as the English-speaking one; the iceberg the English Titanic ran into was an 'iceberry' for Swedes like Emil Forsberg.

Emil Forsberg – Forsh-berry
Péter Gulácsi – Pay-tair Goo-lah-chee
Dayot Upamecano – Oo-pah-mecano

Marko Grujić – Groo-yitch
Simon Mignolet – See-mon Min-yo-lay
Georginio Wijnaldum – Why-nal-dum

Kevin De Bruh-nah
Kevin De Bruh-nah©Getty Images

İlkay Gündoğan's many accents can alarm, but it is easier than it looks; Kevin De Bruyne's name is still routinely mispronounced to rhyme with the word 'coin' in English.

Kevin De Bruyne – De Bruh-nah
İlkay Gündoğan – Ilk-eye Gun-doe-wan

Davide De Gea – De Hayer
Victor Lindelöf – Linda-love

The accents in the languages of the former Yugoslavia were long ignored by English speakers, but they are easy when you know how; 'š' and 'č' are effectively an English 'sh' and 'ch', while a 'ž' is a soft 'j' sound. A 'c' without an accent is more like 'ts'.

Aljaž Cotman – Al-yash
Martin Milec – Milets
Marko Šuler – Shoo-lair
Dare Vršić – Ver-shitch

We have all been pronouncing João Moutinho's name wrong for years.

João Moutinho – Joo-ow Mow-cheen-oo
Danijel Subašić – Sooba-shitch
Seydou Sy – Say-do See

Lorenzo In-scene-yer
Lorenzo In-scene-yer©AFP/Getty Images

Elseid Hysaj packs a lot of syllables into his 11-character name, while Vlad Chiricheş's surname is full of 'false friends' for English speakers – the Romanian 'ch' is not the same as an English one. Marek Hamšík, meanwhile, is not sick of ham, as English speakers might hope.

Vlad Chiricheş – Kiri-kesh
Emanuele Giaccherini – Ja-care-ee-nee
Marek Hamšík – Ham-sheek
Elseid Hysaj – El-say-eed Hoo-sigh
Lorenzo Insigne – In-scene-yer

The local players' names are transliterated directly from Greek so should be easy for English speakers.

Saša Zdjelar – Sasha Zdyellar

The French language's many vowels continue to frighten English speakers. Take heart: it is easier than it looks. Yuri Berchiche is from the Basque Country rather than Spain, meaning a very different pronunciation from what French speakers might expect.

Yuri Berchiche – Bare-chee-chay
Layvin Kurzawa – Kur-zha-va
Marquinhos – Mar-keen-yoss
Thomas Meunier – Meur-nee-ay

Ee-care Ca-see-yass
Ee-care Ca-see-yass©Getty Images

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).

Iker Casillas – Ee-care Ca-see-yass
Jorge Teixeira – Tay-shay-ra

Pronouncing the team's name may prove more problematic than most of the players' – it is something like Kara-bakh. English speakers may prefer to treat the 'R' in Jakub Rzeźniczak's name as silent.

Ibrahim Šehić – Shay-itch
Jakub Rzeźniczak – Ya-coob (R)Jezz-nee-chack

Toni Crows
Toni Crows©AFP/Getty Images

The 'oo' in Toni Kroos's surname does not sound like English speakers would like it to.

Dani Carvajal – Car-va-hal
Mateo Kovačić – Ko-va-chitch
Toni Kroos – Crows
Luka Modrić – Mod-rich

Andrea Ciofi – Choffee
Edin Džeko – Jecko
Radja Nainggolan – Nine-go-lon

Daniel Carriço's name sounds a good deal softer in his native Portuguese than you would expect.

Daniel Carriço – Car-hiss-oh
Simon Kjær – Care

Darijo Srna – Sur-nah

Serdar Tasci – Tash-chuh
Lorenzo Melgarejo – Mel-ga-ray-kho
Quincy Promes – Pro-mess

The common Portuguese names João (Jew-wow) and Rui (Khroo-ee) require some practice.

Marcos Acuña – A-coo-nyah
Daniel Podence – Poh-den-ss

The spelling is not the usual one in English, but 'Dier' is pronounced the same as the more common name 'Dyer' – and not 'dee-ay' as some would be tempted to try.

Toby Alderweireld – Al-der-vay-reld
Eric Dier – Die-er