FOOTBALL

The nicknames of football teams: why they are called that

Football teams make themselves known to fans all over the world thanks to their nicknames, a unique way to create a great unity with their tradition. Many of these nicknames, used by both the press and supporters, were born several decades ago but continue to be more relevant than ever.

Red Devils, Vecchia Signora, Los Colchoneros, and many others, sometimes these nicknames can become better known even than the real name of the team.

Let's discover together some of the most famous ways in which football teams are known in the world.

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The nicknames of football teams: why they are called that
Football teams make themselves known to fans all over the world thanks to their nicknames, a unique way to create a great unity with their tradition. Many of these nicknames, used by both the press and supporters, were born several decades ago but continue to be more relevant than ever. Red Devils, Vecchia Signora, Los Colchoneros and many more. Sometimes these nicknames can become better known even than the real name of the team. Let's discover together some of the most famous ways in which football teams are known in the world.
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Juventus -  Vecchia Signora
Juventus means "youth" in Latin. Hence the nickname "Vecchia Signora", with the Bianconeri born shortly before the turn of the century (1897). The name also means the preference for experienced players instead of young ones. In Piedmontese dialect it is also called Madama or gobea. Hence also the name "gobbi" used by opponents as an insult.
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Real Madrid -  Merengues, Blancos
Merengues means meringue, the typical white dessert made with whipped egg white. Both this nickname and "Los Blancos" clearly recall the color of the uniforms. At the beginning of the new millennium Real was also called "Los Galacticos" because of the expensive purchase campaigns of Florentino Perez.
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Arsenal - Gunners
Already the name Arsenal, or "arsenal", means weapons depot. The founding members of the club were members of the Royal Arsenal, which supplied arms to the British army. The club's crest also features a cannon inside.
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Atletico Madrid - Colchoneros
The nickname always derives from their game jerseys, red and white stripes (Los Rojoblancos is another of the club's nicknames): Colchoneros comes from the mattresses produced after the Spanish Civil War, which to make them as cheap as possible were lined with a red and white pillowcase.
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Napoli - Partenopei
The nickname Partenopei (also called Azzurri occasionally) is in honor of Partenope, the mermaid who according to Greek legend founded Naples.
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Manchester United - Red Devils
Nickname wanted by the old owner Matt Busby after the tragedy of Munich in 1958 (then they were called Busby Boys). Red Devils comes from a rugby team in Salford, which adopted this name during a tour of France in 1930.
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Villarreal - Submarino Amarillo
Obviously in honor of the famous song of the Beatles. In 1967/68 the Villarreal was the fight for promotion in Segunda Division. During a match at the Madrigal a group of supporters sang the song of Beatles adapting it as "Amarillo es el Villarreal/amarillo es/amarillo es".
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River Plate - Los Millonarios
Literally "the millionaires" since in the thirties the club operated some really expensive purchase campaigns. In the 70s the River Plate squad was one of the most expensive in the world of football.
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Boca Juniors - Xeneizes
This nickname has its origins in a Castellano-Argentine transliteration of the word in Genoese dialect "zeneize", which literally means Genoese, due to the Genoese colony present in the neighborhood La Boca.
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26/02/2024
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