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Coral’s all-time top 10 European football club nicknames

| 27.10.2015

Matt Haynes | October 27, 2015

Fans often identify football clubs by their nicknames. Just like how first-time horse racing goers pick horses based on their names or colours, this is just as true with football and even other sports.

As a result, this got us thinking at Coral. How many more football clubs are there with nicknames fans might not be aware of, so from the obscure to the absolute unusual, we have compiled our list of top 10 from football clubs around mainland Europe.


Italy Soccer Europa League Final
Starting with a slightly easier one, a club which has featured prominently over the last couple of years, residing on the south coast of Spain, overlooking the Mediterranean, is Sevilla football club; winners of the Europa League for the last two seasons.

At 9/4 with Coral to qualify from Group D in the Champions League, Sevilla get their nickname from the fact that the town is a major manufacturing hub for bathtubs.

FC Hollywood

No, Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt don’t lead the line for this side. Actually, this club adopted this nickname originally for the wrong reasons.

It was during the 1990s and their players were appearing in their country’s tabloids for the wrong reasons just like celebrities often did.

The club is of course, Bayern Munich, who over the last decade have justified this nickname for the right reasons, playing a brand of football worthy of a Hollywood box office rating, winning numerous Bundesliga titles, DFB Pokals and the Champions League.

Campioana Unei Mari Iubiri

We simply had to include this. That of Romanian side Universitatea Craiova, who in the 1982/83 season became their nation’s first ever football club to reach the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup, defeating some of that era’s best clubs such as Fiorentina, Bordeaux and FC Kaiserslautern.

This generation of players, which included the likes of Ilie Balaci, Rodion Camataru, Costica Ştefanescu, Zoltan Crişan and Ion Geolgau adopted this nickname, translating to ‘The Champion of a Great Love’. How apt.

Serbia Soccer UEFA Europa League
Norwegian for “The Boys/Lads”, Tromso’s nickname promotes a sense of togetherness, team spirit and community and, fittingly is literally true. The closest they have come to winning the Tippelagen (Norway’s premier football league) recently was the 2010/11 campaign when they finished as runners-up.

Mussi Volanti

Italy Soccer Serie A
More of an affectionate nickname, this makes our list for the comical image that it conjures up. Translating from Venetian to “The Flying Donkeys”, this is an alternative moniker given to Italian side Chievo.

While during the 1990s the side were struggling to win matches, the first campaign of the new Millennium, the club put together a winning run, though rival supporters of Hellas Verona mocked that donkeys would fly before Chievo made it to Serie A.

At the end of the season, the club were promoted, proceeding to adopt this initially intended derogatory nickname as a badge of honour.

Die Schanzer

Perhaps pertinent, Ingolstadt at the gateway to Bavaria, whose club FC Ingolstadt 04 is known as “The Fortress Guards”, there is scope for the players to turn the stadium literally into a fortress, which promotes the fact that visiting teams find it hard to emerge with three points.

El Submarino Amarillo

Spain Soccer Europa League
Literally translating to “The Yellow Submarine”, this is of course Villarreal who are almost synonymous with the colour yellow.

Another lesser known reason for the nickname, is because of the fact they are known as a smaller profile club, who traditionally have operated stealthily under the radar like a submarine, challenging Spain’s bigger clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.

La Dea

A name which often has complimentary connotations, Italian side Atalanta may well be worthy of worship from football fans in general upon reading this. Their nickname translates to “The Goddess”, though they last won silverware in the 2010/11 season when they were crowned Serie B Champions.

HaKofim HaYerukim

No, we haven’t made this one up! It is that of Israeli side Maccabi Haifa FC and it means “The Green Apes”. We’re serious; absolutely no monkey business here!


Another that makes sense and fits in with its country’s traditions. Meaning “Legend”, football club Olympiakos adopt this nickname due to going unbeaten against all Greek teams between March 14th 1926 to March 3rd 1929, thus achieving legendary status in Greek football.


Check out our other football trivia pieces!



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.