The History of Football Clubs Nicknames

Thursday26 November 2020 | 6:30
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It may sound a bit bizarre, but the fans and a team nickname play an important role in its popularity and even success. Therefore, in this article, we will introduce you to the history of football clubs nicknames.

You can see and hear the official and original names of football clubs in the news and newspapers and among the daily conversations of the fans every day. But these are their nicknames that have always attracted the attention of all levels of society, even those who do not have much interest or even knowledge of football. The use of nicknames has always existed in various human conversations and associations throughout history. If we go back in history, we will see that even dynasties and kings were no exception to this rule. So, without a doubt, this human habit has expanded to football.

As a team grows in popularity and success, its nickname gradually becomes the synonym of the club's original and official name. This is where the importance of knowing the history of football clubs nicknames comes into play. The history of football club nicknames can be very simple, for example, when the sole reason for the formation of a club nickname is the color of their kits. On the other hand, the history of football clubs nicknames may be related to much more complex and even more interesting factors.

Fans and sometimes the rivals of a team choose a nickname for a team. Some of these names are so interesting that they can be called the coolest team nicknames in the history of football, for example, the nickname of Charlton Athletic, known as ‘The Addicks’. With the passage of time and the emergence of a new generation of fans, the history of football clubs nicknames may be forgotten, so in this article, we have provided you some of the famous soccer clubs nicknames history.

Football Club Nicknames and the Story Behind

Sometimes, knowing the history of football clubs nicknames can provide a better understanding of them. Basically, the nicknames of football clubs, are chosen based on several fixed criteria: Local industry, Colour(s) of the home strip, Name of club, Name of area or ground, Logo, Influence by Players or Fans.

So considering the list above, let's move on to get to know the history of football clubs nicknames.

Real Madrid - Los Merengues or the Vikings

We start our article on the history of football clubs nicknames with Real Madrid's. From the beginning, the Real Madrid kit was uniformly white, although a black line passed through it (this line was later removed from the uniform but remained in the club logo). Of course, at that time, the players' socks were blue, while now they are white. So since the establishment of the club, they are called the whites ( Los Blancos). But what does Los Merengues mean?

Merengue is a famous Spanish desert-like candy that is associated with the Spanish giants due to its pure white color. This nickname was first used by the Spanish journalist Matías Prats, who was in charge of commentating on football matches on the radio. Real Madrid is also known as the Vikings. regarding this part there are two different backgrounds, the first one attributes to the dominance that the club gained throughout Europe in the 1950s, with The Times associating Real with the Viking invasion. The second one attributes to the number of players who came to Madrid from northern Europe in the 70s like Günter Netzer, Paul Breitner, Uli Stielike, and Henning Jensen.

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Barcelona - Los Blaugranas or Los Culés

let's investigate a bit about Real Madrid's ever rival, Barcelona. Same as several football clubs, the nickname of Barcelona has driven from the color of their kit. 'Blau' meaning blue and 'Grana' meaning garnet or deep red, the colors which were chosen by Hans Gamper, the founder of the club. The other nickname is been used since the early 20th century. Over time locals started to call Barça fans 'Culers' or 'Cules,' of the club. At that time there weren't enough seats for the fans so they sit on the side of the pitch where there was a wall to spectate their Barcelona side. The wall's opposite side was faced the street so people passing by would see their backside, Culés meaning those who show their backside.

Manchester United - The Red Devils

In the third part of our article on the history of football club nicknames, we go to the English Premier League and the popular team of Manchester United. As one of the coolest team nicknames in history of football, we should mention the nicknames of the great Manchester United. There is no one in the world, who has not heard of the story of Britain's constant quarrel with France. Relations between the two countries have always been tense and uneasy. This conflict has always led to the game between these two teams. Now it is interesting to know that the nickname of Manchester United is made in France.

In the 1930s the English rugby club" Salford" had traveled to France. Their uniform was red and so they became known as "The Red Devils". Matt Busby- Man United manager-liked the tone of it. He thought using the nickname " the red devils" would be more intimidating to opponents, so he declared Manchester United should also be known as "The Red Devils" and soon the club began including the devil logo into match programs and scarves. In 1970, the club badge was redesigned, but now with a devil in the center holding a pitch-fork.

Ajax - The Sons of God

Sometimes football club nicknames and the story behind it, can be as prestigious as Ajax's. Knowing the history of the football clubs nickname, has more serious aspects rather than be just funny. Ajax or Aias is a Greek mythological hero who plays an important role and is portrayed as a towering figure and a warrior of great courage in Homer's Iliad and the Epic Cycle, a series of epic poems about the Trojan War. In 1925, the club added a portrait of Ajax on their shield and the public considered it as God and now whoever follows the club, would get the name, sons of God, therefore, the followers of Ajax FC are also called the son of God.

Tottenham Hotspur - The Spurs

In 1882, the founder of Tottenham Hotspur decided to add a symbolic sign of courage to their football club. So they chose to add the name Harry Hotspur, who was also known as Sir Henry Percy, the significant captain in the Anglo-Scottish Wars. This courageous English character was even portrayed in William Shakespeare's Henry IV.

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Everton - the Toffees

Sometimes, the story behind the history of football clubs nicknames is as simple as a Toffee. Once in Everton village around the time the club was established, a local Toffee shop got so popular among the fans that they have given the nickname " Toffees" to their beloved club.

Juventus - La Vecchia Signora

In the sixth part of our article on the history of football club nicknames, let's move to Serie A. Juventus is among those team who has several nicknames but one of them gets more used than the others. La Vecchia Signora in the Italian Language means The Old Lady.

Juventus derives from the Latin word iuventūs, meaning “youth” and Juventus was the ancient Roman goddess of youth and rejuvenation, as well as the goddess of young men who’d just come of age. The founders of Juve were some young boys who had chosen the name Juventus which seems just right. And they call it Old Lady just based on the affection of supporters toward the club.

AS Roma - The Wolf

The famous soccer clubs nicknames history have always something new to surprise us. The Capitoline Wolf is a bronze sculpture representing a scene from the legend of the founding of Rome. According to Roman mythology, the city's twin founders saved by a she-wolf by letting them suckle. Romulus and Remushenwhen were infants and abandoned on the banks of the Tiber River as the wolf found them. This sculpture was used on both the emblem and the poster for the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome. The Roman football club A.S. Roma also uses it in its emblem and they are known as The Wolf.

CD Leganés- Los Pepineros

In this part of our article on the history of football clubs nicknames, we want to introduce you to one of the funniest nicknames ever. This unique nickname dates back to the time when Leganés was an agricultural village with growing farms, from which the residents made their living and also provided the capital with their products.

During that period, Vegetables were much required and among them, the most popular of all was the cucumber (Pepino). Consequently, people who lived in the area were recognized as “pepineros” and although now they are far fewer farms in this Madrid town the nickname has remained until till present. CD Leganés got this nickname, which still shows with great dignity in Liga Adelante.

Levante - Los Granotas

In the history of football clubs nicknames, some soccer clubs had chosen their nicknames after the animals. Levante UD is one of the LaLiga team that chose their nickname after an animal. The Valencian football club is famous as the 'granota' team, which means frog in the local language. In the year 1939 and after the Spanish civil war, Levante FC and Gimnástico FC decided to join troops for the welfare of both sides. One of these two clubs- Levante FC- had a large number of available players but they didn't have a playing field, the second one- Gimnástico FC - barely had any footballers within their ranks but had the best stadium – Estadio de Vallejo.

From this incorporation, the current Levante UD was established, and also this unique nickname. This playing field of Gimnástico was located next to the old river bed, home to a large number of frogs; so this is the reason why it didn't take very long for the new Levante to use this nickname. Now, the frog has become a symbol of the club. As well as being one of the corporate logos of the club, the green color of this animal; has also been used for the second and third outfits of the team.

River Plate - The Millionaires or the Chickens

One of the coolest nicknames in the history of football clubs nicknames belongs to the popular Argentine professional sports club. The nickname Millionaires were given to the club for two reasons. As the club was established in the 1930s, they wanted to sign a contract with Bernabé Ferreyra- the striker of Club Atlético Tigre and as the fee of the contract the club offered him to pay with Gold. Consequently, they proceeded to keep the theme of expensive contracts. Having transferred to a new stadium in a more wealthy area of Buenos Aires, made their fans and the public adopt the nickname.- Millionaire.

Their second nickname "The Chickens" is more generally used by their rival clubs, particularly Boca Juniors. The coinage of nickname dates to 1966, when during a match, the rival club put chickens on the field as a way to imitate the team after River Plate's defeat in the Copa Libertadores final against Peñarol.

Arsenal - The Gunners

The history of Arsenal nicknames is driven by the club's origins. This north London side was originally established by Scottish workers from a weapons factory in the same town- the Royal Arsenal armament factory in Woolwich. therefore while creating the Arsenal logo, the gun or cannon in the middle resembled the manufacturing of those weapons.

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Hartlepool United-Monkey hangers

Hartlepool united with no doubt is the owner of the funniest nicknames ever. Based on the local stories and tales, the term begins with an incident in which a monkey was hanged in Hartlepool, England. During the Napoleonic Wars, a French ship of the type chasse marée was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Hartlepool. The only survivor from the ship was a monkey, dressed in a French army uniform to amuse the crew. Once the monkey was found on the beach, the local people decided to kill the monkey.

The people of Hartlepool had never seen a monkey before - nor had they ever met a Frenchman. As the way the monkey made sounds, they thought that he was a French spy. So they hang the poor animal and so they are called the Monkey Hangers.

In the article above, we briefly review the history of football clubs nicknames. A team's nickname, apart from its funny aspect, always has a separate definition and philosophy. No name is chosen for no reason, and even these names may affect the mental image of other rivals of a club. What other club nicknames have you ever heard of? Let us know.

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source: SportMob
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