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Football Clubs and their nicknames; Why are they called that

Football teams are easily recognizable to fans worldwide by their nicknames, which serve to create a strong connection to their history and tradition. These nicknames, used by both the media and fans, often originated many years ago and remain popular today. Examples include Red Devils, Vecchia Signora, Los Colchoneros, and many more. At times, these nicknames may even become more well-known than the actual team’s name. In this article, we will explore some of the most famous nicknames used in the world of football.

Juventus –  Vecchia Signora

Juventus, also known as Vecchia Signora, is a renowned Italian football club that was founded in 1897. The name Juventus comes from the Latin word for “youth” and the nickname Vecchia Signora means “old lady”. The club is known for its preference for experienced players over young ones, and the name also reflects the long history of the club. In Piedmontese dialect, Juventus is also referred to as Madama or gobea. Opponents of the club sometimes use the insult “gobbi”.

Real Madrid – Merengues, Blancos

Real Madrid, known as Merengues and Blancos, is a legendary Spanish football club. The name Merengues is a reference to the typical white dessert made with whipped egg white. The nickname Blancos is a nod to the color of the club’s uniform. In recent years, Real Madrid has also been called “Los Galacticos” due to the expensive player purchases made by Florentino Perez.

Arsenal – Gunners

Arsenal, also known as the Gunners, is an English football club with a rich history. The name Arsenal is derived from the term “arsenal” which refers to a weapons depot. The club was founded by members of the Royal Arsenal, which supplied arms to the British army, and the club’s crest features a cannon.

Atletico Madrid – Colchoneros

Atletico Madrid, nicknamed Colchoneros, is a Spanish football club with a unique story behind its name. The nickname Colchoneros comes from the club’s red and white striped jerseys, which resemble the mattresses produced in Spain after the Spanish Civil War. The mattresses were made as cheaply as possible, lined with a red and white pillowcase. The club is also known as Los Rojoblancos.

Napoli – Partenopei

The nickname “Partenopei” is a tribute to Partenope, the mermaid who is said to have founded the city of Naples in Greek mythology. It is sometimes referred to as “Azzurri” as well.


Manchester United – Red Devils

“Red Devils” is the nickname for Manchester United and was adopted by the team’s former owner Matt Busby after the tragic Munich air disaster in 1958. The name was inspired by a rugby team from Salford that toured France in 1930 and was known as the “Red Devils”.

Villarreal – Submarino Amarillo

Villarreal’s nickname “Submarino Amarillo” is a nod to the famous Beatles song. During the 1967/68 season, as Villarreal battled for promotion to Segunda Division, a group of fans adapted the lyrics of the song to sing “Amarillo es el Villarreal/amarillo es/amarillo es”.

River Plate – Los Millonarios

River Plate’s nickname “Los Millonarios” means “the millionaires” and stems from the club’s expensive player purchases during the 1930s. During the 1970s, River Plate’s squad was one of the most expensive in the world of football.

Boca Juniors – Xeneizes

The nickname “Xeneizes” for Boca Juniors has its roots in a Castellano-Argentine transliteration of the word “zeneize” in Genoese dialect, meaning Genoese. This is because of the Genoese colony present in the neighborhood La Boca where the club is based.




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