UEFA Europa League sides’ nicknames: L to Z – UEFA Europa League – News

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Lazio – Aquile (Eagles) or Aquilotti (Eaglets)
This nickname reflects the badge of the club who trace their origins back to 1900 and army officer cum athlete Luigi Bigarelli. When it came to choosing the emblem itself, the eagle was an immediate choice: a proud animal symbolic of the Roman legions.

RB Leipzig – RBL
Founded in 2009, the club do have a nickname associated with their owners, a certain Austrian energy drink company, but being German they also go by the acronym of their name. See also: FCB, BVB, VfB, HSV, S04.

Lokomotiv Moskva – Zheleznodorozhniki (Railway Men)
The clue is in the name. Lokomotiv were founded as the workers’ team of the Moscow Passazhirskaya railway terminal and the Ministry of Transport, and Russian Railways remain the major club sponsor all these years later. Some fans use a variant of the nickname with a clearer link to their origins: Parovozi (Steam Trains).

Ludogorets Razgrad Lokomotiv Moskva – The Eagles
The Bulgarian side were once The Wolves but took the aerial route many years ago. Nobody is quite sure why, though one circuitous theory has it that Razgrad’s Russian twin town is Orel, which translates as Eagle.

Lyon's mascot


Lyon’s mascot©Getty Images

Lyon – Les Gones (The Kids)
There is no real story here, but the nickname conveys ideas of youth and, since it’s written in the local dialect, is instantly recognisable as being from Lyon.

Marseille – Les Phocéens (The Phocaeans)
A nod to the origins of the Mediterranean city, which was established in 600BC as a Greek colony by settlers from Phocaea.

Napoli – Partenopei
From the city’s old name, Parthenope. In Greek mythology Parthenope was one of the Sirens who cast herself into the sea and drowned when her singing failed to entice Ulysses. The city was named in her honour as legend had it that her body washed up on the local island of Megaride.

Nice – Les Aiglons (The Eaglets)
The eagle has occupied the French city’s coat of arms since the 15th century, an imperial emblem relating to the power of the House of Savoy. OGC, formed in 1904, duly adopted it.

Östersund are having a fine debut season


Östersund are having a fine debut season©AFP/Getty Images

Östersund – none
Östersund are just 21 years old, created by a merger of local teams (namely Ope, IFK Östersund, Östersund/Torvalla and Frösö) keen to build a marquee club in the chilly ‘Vinterstaden’ (winter city). ÖFK is emerging as a moniker but isn’t quite established yet.

Partizan – Crno-beli (Black and Whites)
The Belgrade side tried combinations of red, blue and white before fate drew them to black and white. After a 1957 friendly with Juventus in South America, the Juve president Umberto Agnelli donated two sets of jerseys and, 60 years on, Partizan still sport the colours.

Plzeň – Viktoriáni
This one derives from the club’s full name, Viktoria Plzeň. The nickname endured even when the Czech team dropped the part celebrating the Roman Goddess of Victory for over 40 years before reverting in 1992. The next season they were promoted.

Real Sociedad – Txuri-urdin
The club from San Sebastian in the Basque Country play in blue and white, and their nickname is simply those colours in the region’s language, Euskera (Basque).

Salzburg's musical note


Salzburg’s musical note©Getty Images

Salzburg – Die Mozartstädter
Austria’s dominant force do have a more common nickname inspired by their energy drink sponsors, but they also go by Die Mozartstädter, a name applied to everyone from Salzburg in honour of the city’s most famous son: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Spartak Moskva – Narodnaya komanda (People’s team)
Spartak were never attached to a government department like their big city rivals. Instead they drew support from all social groups regardless of status or profession. It is perhaps no surprise they became the most popular club in Russia and remain so.

Sporting CP – Leões (Lions)
This one owes to the lion on the club crest, itself borrowed from the coat of arms of an influential Portuguese family. The team also goes by Green and Whites, with the founders apparently choosing green to symbolise hope for the club’s future.

Villarreal's Beatles-inspired nickname


Villarreal’s Beatles-inspired nickname©Getty Images

Villarreal – El Submarino Amarillo (The Yellow Submarine)
A bunch of supporters started the club’s association with the Beatles during a game at El Madrigal in 1968 by changing the words of the Famous Five’s hit song to “Amarillo es el Villarreal/amarillo es/amarillo es” (Villarreal are yellow, they are yellow).

Zenit – Blue-White-and-Sky-Blues (Sine-Belo-Golubye)
Wikipedia suggests Zenitchiki (Anti-aircraft Gunners), but nobody uses that. Zenitovtsy (Those who belong to Zenit) is heard, but Sine-Belo-Golubye is more popular – just. For much of the time, Zenit does the job.



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