By 90Min
October 10, 2018

Football stars come and go in this modern age but it's important to ensure they are never forgotten.

However, it seems things occasionally get out of hand when deciding how to commemorate some of our heroes, either past or present, as the unveiling of a roundabout named after West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini shows.

Here, we take a look at eight of the weirdest and most bizarrely wonderful tributes and dedications to those from the world of football...

Manuel Pellegrini Roundabout

Nothing says 'thanks for the memories' quite like your own traffic calming system does it?

The West Ham boss got his very own roundabout in the city of Malaga this week, as acknowledgement of his achievements with the club.

The former Premier League winner led Malaga to the Champions League quarter-finals back in 2012, with a team featuring the likes of Isco, Joaquin and Roque Santa Cruz. Six years on, the club are in Spain's second tier but have ensured they will never forget the glory days with this new addition to their road network.

Gilberto the Anteater

Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto Silva is somewhat of a legend in north London, with the Brazilian playing a key part in the 'Invincibles' in his first season in English football.

His six-year tenure with the club has led to a somewhat bizarre tribute however, with an anteater at the London Zoo named after Gilberto. Okay, so it's not official club recognition, but it is an actual thing - with the Brazilian apparently remarking that the animal is "my slightly hairy older brother!"

Very weird but oh so wonderful.

Jackie Milburn the Locomotive

If you were asked to name the two biggest legends in Newcastle United's history, you'd most likely be told the names Jackie Milburn and Alan Shearer - and for good reason.

The pair account for over 400 Newcastle goals between them, with Milburn holding the Magpies goalscoring record for 49 years before Shearer broke it. The former's legendary status on Tyneside has led to multiple statues being created in his honour - but it's perhaps the naming of a steam locomotive train which catches the eye.

Although it was taken out of a service, it's since been recommissioned - bringing alive his name once more in the north east.

Park Ji-Sung Highway

Manchester United Legends v FC Barcelona Legends

Former Manchester United midfielder Park Ji-Sung earned himself quite the reputation as a big-game player during his time at Old Trafford - often stepping up to the plate when his team needed him most.

The South Korean was always relied upon in the toughest of circumstances -  which is perhaps why a busy stretch of road back in his homeland was named in his honour, given the particularly intense traffic flow. Or it could just be a bit weird.

Yep, we'll go with weird.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez & Neymar the Pumas


These three were quite the combo when they were together at Barcelona - tearing apart defence after defence in La Liga and on the European stage.

It's perhaps less of a surprise then that given their appetite for devouring the opposition, Messi, Suarez and Neymar had three baby pumas named after them at a zoo in Russia. 

No doubt they have grown up a little now and are quite fearsome little so and so's.

Fitting really, although still a little strange.

That Cristiano Ronaldo Statue

Octavio Passos/GettyImages

Hmmm, probably time we acknowledged the age-old tradition of statues. 

We've seen some beauties over the years, but are their really any better than the one of Cristiano Ronaldo at the Madeira airport in Portugal? Probably not. As works of art go, this one is pretty high up on the 'works of art' scale.

Good job his performances on the pitch are better than the craftsmanship on display here.

Alessandro Del Piero Beach

This next one is somewhat unconventional, but it's probably quite well suited to the style of play Alessandro Del Piero displayed on the pitch during his lengthy career with Juventus and Italy.

The flamboyant forward was knock for his flair, ability on the ball and ability to produce crowd pleasing moments - which perhaps had a hand in the decision to rename a stretch of seafront in Jesolo, Venice after Del Piero.

He did after all draw the crowds in to watch him - providing rays of sunshine on the pitch that no other was able to produce. Okay, enough of the beach related quips - got it.

Jose Mourinho Avenue

We gonna rock down to Mourinho avenue...?

Jose's not particularly happy these days, is he? Well perhaps he was cheered up a little when he was told that a street was to be named after him back in his native Portugal.

The location of 'Avenida Jose Mourinho' is pretty idyllic - set next to the sea, it offers pedestrians the chance to stretch their legs and relax, whilst sampling a nice refreshing sea breeze.

Possibly not quite the atmosphere you'd associate with Mourinho - whose angsty personality has come to the fore in recent weeks. Thing is though, he knows we all love it. Jose you little tease.

Welcome to Planet Cruyff

COR MULDER/GettyImages

The conclusion to this list brings us to one of the most revolutionary footballers ever seen - Ajax and Netherlands star Johan Cruyff.

The Dutchman wowed television audiences when he introduced the 'Cruyff Turn' to the world during the 1974 World Cup, and he became synonymous with the ideology of beautiful football. Cruyff became a national treasure as a result of his success within the game, so it's no surprise to learn that almost everything under the sun is named after him.

From a university and college to an institute and even a planet, Cruyff's name is attached to many, many things - though the naming of a planet (ok, it's actually a big asteroid) after him will take some beating it must be said.

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