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How to pronounce the UEFA Nations League players' names correctly

An English-speakers guide to pronouncing the trickiest Belgian, French, Italian and Spanish names at the finals.

On-twan Gree-ez-man
On-twan Gree-ez-man Getty Images

English-speaking nations have no dog in the fight at the UEFA Nations League finals in Italy, which means the pressure is also off in terms of getting to grips with foreign players' names.

Plenty of the players at the finals are well known to followers of the Premier League, but since pronunciations in British media can be imperfect, UEFA.com's team of local experts have helped to compile this guide to getting the names absolutely spot on. Be brave and get stuck in.


Tee-bo Cor-twa
Tee-bo Cor-twaPhotonews via Getty Images

Some names are pronounced the Flemish way, and some the French way.

Toby Alderweireld – Al-der-way-reld
Michy Batshuayi – Bat-shoe-a-yi
Timothy Castagne – Cast-an-yuh
Koen Casteels – Koon Cass-tails
Thibaut Courtois – Tee-bo Cor-twa
Charles De Ketelaere – De-Kate-lah-ruh
Thomas Meunier – Muh-nee-ay
Thomas Vermaelen – Ver-mah-len


The vowels often confound English speakers. So do the consonants.

Jool Kun-day
Jool Kun-dayGetty Images

Benoît Costil – Ben-wa Coss-teel
Lucas Digne – Loo-cah Dee-nyuh
Léo Dubois – Doob-wah
Antoine Griezmann – On-twan Gree-ez-man
Matteo Guendouzi – Gen-doo-zee
Jules Koundé – Jool Kun-day
Anthony Martial – Mar-see-al
Mike Maignan – Mane-yoh
Adrien Rabiot – Rab-yo
Aurélien Tchouaméni – Chwa-may-knee
Jordan Veretout – Verray-too


The commonly-made mistake is to pronounce a 'ch' like an English 'ch' – it is more like a 'k'. Lorenzo Insigne is a tough one to get right – linguists may note that his 'gn' works like a Spanish 'ñ'.

Fran-chess-ko A-chair-bee
Fran-chess-ko A-chair-beeDeFodi Images via Getty Images

Francesco Acerbi – Fran-chess-ko A-chair-bee
Federico Bernardeschi – Ber-nar-desk-ee
Giorgio Chiellini – Jor-joe Key-eh-lean-ee
Federico Chiesa – Kee-ay-sah
Lorenzo Insigne – In-sin-yuh
Rafael Tolói – Tolloy


Say-zar Ath-pili-coo-et-a
Say-zar Ath-pili-coo-et-aGetty Images

Calling it correctly is tough for the uninitiated, but the following pronunciations may get you a bit closer. César Azpilicueta's Chelsea team-mates famously nicknamed him 'Dave' to avoid the difficulty of saying his surname.

César Azpilicueta – Say-zar Ath-pili-coo-et-a
Sergio Busquets – Boo-skets
David de Gea – De-hay-ah
Marcos Llorente – Yorentay
Sergio Reguilón – Reggy-lon

Check out the Nations League squads