The dramatic emergence on the scene of Manchester United’s Mexican sensation Javier Hernandez has been a tabloid headline writer’s dream. Lots you can do when the player in question is called ‘Little Pea’.

The young United striker – ‘Chicharito’ to one and all now – was called Little Pea because his football-playing father was known as Big Pea. Obvious, isn’t it? So why Big Pea, Little Pea? According to a learned work colleague, it’s all about the green eyes!

All of which got us thinking about other slightly strange, albeit amusing, nicknames of top foreign players down the years. Here’s the first batch of ten to be going on with...


• Said Al-Oweeran/ Saudi Arabia/ Desert Maradona

• Sonny Anderson/ Brazil/ Pistolero – Gunslinger

• Roberto Baggio/ Itally/ Il Divin Codino - The Divine Ponytail

• Dennis Bergkamp/ Holland/ Non-flying Dutchman

• Zbigniew Boniek/ Poland/ Bello di Notte – Beauty of the Night

• Emilio Butragueno/ Spain/ Buitre – The Vulture

• Ivan de la Pena/ Italy/ Pequeno Buda – Little Buddha

• Ruud Gullit/ Holland/ Tulipano Nero – Black Tulip

• Ariel Oertega/ Argentina/ Burrito – Little Donkey

• Gheorghe Hagi/ Romania/ Carpathian Maradona

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