Each club’s nickname is quite self-explanatory and often pays homage to the club’s trademark, heritage and history.
Nicknames or nicknames have evolved organically, historically and in most cases with coins, but whatever their rationale, a club’s nickname can provide insight into where and how the team was named.
Every football club’s nickname is embedded in the team’s tradition, and often this tradition has a long-standing relationship with some team nicknames and some not.
The nickname of the club not only gave a sense of identity to football enthusiasts, but also motivated the main character, which are the players.
As a soccer fan, you may be familiar with some of the nicknames associated with your favorite football clubs, but as such, here we will discuss nicknames, their meanings, and the heritage behind them.
This article was first published on January 22, 2021, updated May 24, 2023
10 football club nicknames
La Plata Students – (Los Pincharratas/The Rat Stabbers)
As a fan of Estudiantes from outside Argentina, I used to wonder why one of the most famous teams in the Argentine Primera Division is nicknamed “Rat killers“?
The Estudiantes club, in English simply means “Student”, gained fame in England thanks to a comedy character named Frank Sidebottom whose fondness for wearing a club shirt as it has the same colors as his beloved Altrincham.
The club’s nickname stems from its origins but was cemented by a famous player in the 1920s. Estudiantes was founded in 1905 and at that time most of the founders were university students in the club’s home town. upon payment.
The club’s moniker was coined by university medical laboratories where experiments were conducted on captive rats.
According to the report, several decades later, one of Estudiantes’ early notable players, Filip Montedonica he usually spent the day catching rats in the La Plata market, where he would often chase and stab some rats he caught with a knife and hang them from a wooden pole.
As such, the rat killer nickname has stuck since then and they have continued to be referred to by that moniker until now.
Al Ahly – (El Shayateen El Home/Red Devils)
With an impact on both the CAF competition and the ever-exciting Egyptian league, the Egyptian Red Devils are one of the most famous, successful and perhaps best-supported football clubs in Africa. Club of the Century” by CAF in 2000.
Al Ahly was nicknamed “Red Devilsmainly because of its red jersey, as the club was founded in 1907 as a sports club for Egyptian high school students.
At that time, Egypt was occupied by British forces, including Englishman Michel Ince, who was the first president of the club and who came up with the nickname.
However, the Red Devils have almost four other nicknames, but the Red Devils are what many of their fans know to be, and when it comes to playing good football, “El Shayateenis known for his swashbuckling style and always ready to spill blood.
Although, on the other hand, they are also very aggressive, especially in their derbies.
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Real Madrid – (Los Merengues / The Whites)
The absence of the Spanish giant from this list would be nothing less than discrimination.
From the first day of the club’s founding, Real Madrid’s kit was white with a black line across the shirt. The line was then removed from the shirt but left all white, which truly reflects the club’s nickname.
Although there is another nickname for the Spanish giant which is Los Merengues, a desert-like candy that is associated with the Spanish giant due to its white color.
The pseudonym was invented by a Spanish journalist Matias Pratswho was in charge of soccer commentary on the radio at the time, was the first to use the pseudonym Los Merengues, which simply means “Los” The, while “Merengues” means Sweet.
Los Blancos are also known as “Vikings“, not all football enthusiasts know or call them that, they are often called Los Blancos or Merengues.
According to the report, in the 1950s Madrid dominated all of Europe, as such The Times associated the Spanish giant with the Viking invasion.
Another report claims that the nickname Vikings was given to Madrid due to their dominance and the quality of the star players who joined them when they ruled European football.
SSC. Naples – (Parthenopaean/Old Town)
Any football fan who saw Maradona wearing a Napoli shirt would have tremendous respect for the club, even though they are not one of the dominant teams in Serie A.
Napoli is a team from the southern part of Italy and is a club that is extremely proud of its heritage, from which it earned its strange nickname.
Pseudonym Neapolitansis a Greek term meaning “Old Town”, the club owes its nickname to the ancient Greek legend of O Odysseus, who, according to history, tied himself to the mast of his ship and ordered the crew to plug their ears so that they would not be lured by sirens to the treacherous rocks near Sorrento, which were called Partenope.
Old Town simply refers to the port of Naples, which is a short distance from the legendary San Paolo club stadium, now renamed in honor of Diego Armando Maradona, who died last year.
Barcelona – (Blaugrana/Los Cules)
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Catalan giant was known as Crutchesthose who show their ass. The nickname originated when the club’s fans struggle to sit down to watch their beloved team play while they sit on one side of the pitch where there was a wall to watch their team.
With the walls on opposite sides facing the street, people passing by could see the backs of the fans seated to watch their team, earning the nickname Los Cules.
Fortunately, when they moved to their current Camp Nou stadium in 1957, the nickname was dropped and they adopted Blaugrana meaning “Blau” blue, while “Grana” is navy blue or deep red, the color representing the club’s shirt and the Catalan flag chosen by Hans Brake founder of the Calatan club.
Olympique Lyonnaise – (Les Gones/The Kids)
As a football fan who has seen Lyon dominate Ligue 1 for six to seven seasons, you should know the name Bonneau.
He was head of youth recruitment at Lyon from 2003 to 2017, where he was partly responsible for launching the careers of a large group of talent at the club at the time, including players like Benzema, Umtiti and Ben Arfa to name a few. .
With the nickname of the French team being Kids, investing in young talent simply hinted at where the nickname came from.
Les Gones translated into English means The Kids who are related to the children of the city of Lyon.
The city of Lyon has a university considered a very prestigious school in France since young footballers come from the university and play for the club.
Since then, the nickname Les Gones has stuck firmly to the club and, in fact, Lyon still boasts one of the best talent factories in France, producing talented players.
Ajax Amsterdam – (De Godenzonen/Sons of God)
When it comes to nicknames, some European football teams seem content to derive their nickname from the color of the shirt, but this was a different story for the Dutch giant.
The club’s name is a tribute to Ajax the Greathero of the Trojan War in Greek mythology.
The 1925 club added to the dial a portrait of a hero who played an important role in the Trojan War, recognized by the public as a god.
During this time, anyone who is a follower or follower of Ajax the Great was given the appellation “Sons of God”, which has now become the nickname of the Eredivisie giant.
Since the fans have inherited the club’s nickname, it’s no wonder they’re referred to as such Sons of Godnot a nickname derived from the color of the team’s jersey.
FC Porto – (Dragoes/Dragons)
The club’s nickname is a large part of football culture around the world and is evident in the nickname of one of the best teams in Portugal.
Porto, one of Portugal’s top clubs, is owned by the Dragoes, meaning the Dragons pay homage to the mythical creature believed to be the protector of the city of Porto.
What is synonymous with the Dragon, i.e. a burning fire, protects the city of Porto from the invasion of enemies.
Looking at the flag and badge of the Portuguese giant, you can see the fire of the dragon on it.
Although the Portuguese side also has another nickname which is Blue and White. You can also address them by either of the two nicknames, however, the Dragon is mostly synonymous with Porto due to the mythic heritage associated with the nickname.
River Plate – (Los Millionarios/Millionaires)
Nickname River Plate “Millionairessimply indicates that the Argentine side is one of the most financially successful teams in its league when it was founded. When were they going to sign the striker Bernabe Ferreira Atletico Tigre club offered to pay in gold.
After signing with Ferreyra, they continued to maintain an expensive style of transfers, having just moved to a brand new stadium in a more lucrative neighborhood of Buenos Aires. In this sense, seeing the new development in the team, fans of the team decided to give the club the nickname “Millionaires”.
In terms of banter in football, Boca Junior was a rival club to River Plate, they are often referred to as “The Chickens”. The nickname dates back to 1966, during a match where a rival club placed chickens on the pitch to mock River Plate after the Copa Libertadores lost to Penarol in the final.
Manchester United – (Red Devils)
Some of the nicknames of Premier League teams are self-explanatory as they are often a homage to the club’s kit colors or the mascot on the club’s crest.
While other nicknames for teams from predominantly Latin-speaking countries have more affectionate and unique etymologies, such as Roma’s nickname “La Lupa” meaning “she-wolf”.
Wondering how and where they got their nickname from? In an era of constant conflict between England and France, English rugby club Salford traveled to France for a match.
Getting to France when the team wore the red shirt, they were nicknamed the Red Devils.
Matt Busby, United’s manager at the time, liked the tone of the nickname, so he thought of using it for Manchester United, believing it would be more intimidating to football opponents.
He then declared that United should also be known as the “Red Devils”, and in subsequent matches they began to include the devil’s logo in their matchday programs and scarves, since then the Old Trafford side refers to the Red Devils as Busby wished.
- FC Cologne – (Die Geisbocke/Koziołek)
- Arsenal – (scorers)
- Juventus – (Older Lady)
- Chelsea – (The Blues)
- Atletico Madrid – (Los Colchoneros/The Mattress Makers)
- AS Roma – (La Lupa/Wolf)
- Bayern Munich – (Die Roten/The Red)
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