Ronaldo is a rat, Van Persie is a pig, Terry is a monkey and Barton is a dog

Before FourFourTwo's lawyers adopt the brace position, we should point out that this is according to the Chinese calendar, not us. So there...

Yes, today is Chinese New Year - and this is now Year of the Goat. To celebrate, FFT decided to discover the animal 'signs' of some of football's biggest names.

Confusingly, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain isn't an Ox (he's a rooster), Razvan Rat isn't a rat (another rooster), Shaun Goater isn't a goat (he's a dog), and Radamel Falcao isn't a donkey (because there is no donkey sign).

We jest, of course. The Colombian - also known as El Tigre - has got in right. The Manchester United striker, born in February 1986, is apparently a tiger. So it's not all bad.

Here are some more findings from FFT's extensive research...

Goat

"Have a calm nature and an intellectual approach; they seek aesthetic beauty and are artistic, well-mannered and compassionate, yet detached and resigned to their condition."

Andrea Pirlo - 19/05/79
Jack Wilshere - 01/01/92

Horses

"Productive, enthusiastic, independent, engaging, dynamic, honourable, loyal and protective, but can also be rash, rebellious, quarrelsome, anxious, disagreeable or stubborn."

Rio Ferdinand - 07/11/78
Eden Hazard - 07/01/91

Snakes

"Possess endurance and application, with slow accumulation of energy, meticulous at planning but tending to hold fixed opinions."

Gareth Bale - 16/07/89
Thomas Muller - 13/09/89

Diego Costa would probably see off St George...

Diego Costa would probably see off St George...

Dragons

"Intense and powerful individuals capable of great good, who make great leaders but are rather unpredictable."

Diego Costa - 07/10/88
Alexis Sanchez - 19/12/88

Rabbits

"Have a calm nature and an intellectual approach; they seek aesthetic beauty and are artistic, well-mannered and compassionate, yet detached and resigned to their condition."

Arturo Vidal - 22/05/87
Lionel Messi - 24/06/87

Tigers

"Productive, enthusiastic, independent, engaging, dynamic, honourable, loyal and protective, but can also be rash, rebellious, quarrelsome, anxious, disagreeable or stubborn."

Radamel Falcao - 10/02/86
Luis Suarez - 24/01/87

Milner and Rooney: Going at it like oxen.

Milner and Rooney: Going at it like oxen...

Oxen

"Possess endurance and application, with slow accumulation of energy, meticulous at planning but tending to hold fixed opinions."

Wayne Rooney - 24/10/85
James Milner - 04/01/86

Rats

"Intense and powerful individuals capable of great good, who make great leaders but are rather unpredictable."

Cristiano Ronaldo - 05/05/85
Carlos Tevez - 05/02/85

Pigs

"Have a calm nature and an intellectual approach; they seek aesthetic beauty and are artistic, well-mannered and compassionate, yet detached and resigned to their condition."

Robin van Persie - 06/08/83
Adnan Januzaj - 05/02/95

Joey Barton: Midfield terrier...?

Joey Barton: Midfield terrier...?

Dogs

"Productive, enthusiastic, independent, engaging, dynamic, honourable, loyal and protective, but can also be rash, rebellious, quarrelsome, anxious, disagreeable or stubborn."

Joey Barton - 02/09/82
Raheem Sterling - 08/12/94

Roosters

"Possess endurance and application, with slow accumulation of energy, meticulous at planning but tending to hold fixed opinions."

Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 03/10/81
Harry Kane - 28/07/93

Monkeys

"Intense and powerful individuals capable of great good, who make great leaders but are rather unpredictable."

John Terry - 07/12/80
Thibaut Courtois - 11/03/92

But if you thought the fun ended there, you were dead wrong.

With the handy guide below, you - YES YOU - can find out your favourite footballer's animal.

18/02/1977 - 06/02/1978: Snake
07/02/1978 - 27/01/1979: Horse
28/01/1979 - 15/02/1980: Goat
16/02/1980 - 04/02/1981: Monkey
05/02/1981 - 24/01/1982: Rooster
25/01/1982 - 12/02/1983: Dog
13/02/1983 - 01/02/1984: Pig
02/02/1984 - 19/02/1985: Rat
20/02/1985 - 08/02/1986: Ox
09/02/1986 - 28/01/1987: Tiger
29/01/1987 - 16/02/1988: Rabbit
17/02/1988 - 05/02/1989: Dragon
06/02/1989 - 26/01/1990: Snake
27/01/1990 - 14/02/1991: Horse
15/02/1991 - 03/02/1992: Goat
04/02/1992 - 22/01/1993: Monkey
23/01/1993 - 09/02/1994: Rooster
10/02/1994 - 30/01/1995: Dog
31/01/1995 - 18/02/1996: Pig
19/02/1996 - 06/02/1997: Rat
07/02/1997 - 27/01/1998: Ox

Happy New Year to all FFT's Chinese (and animal loving) readers!