Topend Sports Logo

Football Team Nicknames

Many football teams from around the world have another name by which they are more well known. These are not all official names, and some national teams have more than one nickname.

I have tried to find the most commonly used nickname, and included others if known. As you can see, many of these nicknames are derived from the color of their playing strip or country flag, or an animal associated with the country.

If you have any corrections or additions, please let me know.

See also our list of female national football team names.

List of National Teams

Team Nickname notes
Afghanistan Team Melli meaning “the National Team” (in Persian)
Albania Kuqezijte “the Red and Blacks” (in Albanian)
Algeria Les Fennecs The Desert Foxes (in French)
American Samoa Au Filli “the National Team” (in Samoan)
Andorra la Seleccio Tricolor “the Tricolor Selection” (in Catalan)
Angola Os Palancas Negras The Black Antelopes (in Portuguese)
Anguilla "the Rainbow Warriors" or "the Soccer Dolphins"  
Antigua and Barbuda the Wadadi Boyz Wadadi is a local dance
Argentina la Albiceleste “the White and Sky Blues” (in Spanish)
Armenia Azgayin Havaqakan “the National Team” in Armenia
Aruba La Selección “the Selection”
Australia the Socceroos a hybrid word from Soccer and Kangaroo (a native animal to Australia)
Austria Wunderteam meaning the Wonder Team (also das Team, die Rot-Weiss-Roten - “the Red, White and Reds” in German)
Azerbaijan Odlar Yurdu Komandasi “the Team from the Land of Fire” in Azeri
Bahamas the Rake and Scrape Boys named after a local dance
Bahrain Al Theeb Al Ahmar meaning “the Red Wolves” in Arabic
Bangladesh Jatyia Dol “the National Team” in Bengali
Barbados Bajan Pride Bajan is a popular term for citizens of Barbados.
Belarus Belyia kryly which means "White wings". Previously it was "Nacionalnaya Sbornaya" meaning “the National Team” in Belorussian.
Belgium les Diables Rouges / Rode Duivels meaning 'the Red Devils' (in French and Dutch)
Belize The Jaguars  
Benin Les Ecureuils The Squirrels (in French)
Bermuda the Gombey Warriors after a traditional dance
Bhutan the Yellow Dragons also Druk XI (“the Dragons XI” in Dzongkha)
Bolivia La Verde La Verde means 'The Green' or to some 'The Green Pasture' because of one of the colors of the national flag.
Bosnia-Herzegovina Zmajevi
("The Dragons")
"Zmajevi" means "The Dragons". It is a popular nickname of all Bosnian sport players. In foreign media, the team is sometimes referred to as the Golden Lilies. Other names that have been used include: BH Representacija - “the National Team” (in Bosnian), and Zuto-Plavi (“the Blue and Yellows” in Bosnian).
Botswana Dipitse ("The Zebras") meaning "The Zebras" in the Tswana lanuage
Brazil Canarinho, or Seleção Canarinho means 'little canary', and Seleção means The Selection/Team (in Portuguese). Other names that are sometimes used are Verde-Amarela (Green and Yellow)
Pentacampeões (Five Time Champions), and Os Tupis - The "tupis" (a brazilian indigenous group)
British Virgin Islands the Nature Boyz  
Brunei Darussalam Tebuan meaning "The Wasps" or “the Hornets” in Malay.
Bulgaria Lavovete “the Lions” in Bulgarian
Burkina Faso les Etalons the Stallions” in French
Burundi les Hirondelles – Intamba Mu Rugamba “the Swallows” in French and Kirundi
Cambodia Krom Chumreswcheit “the National Team” in Khmer
Cameroon Lions indomitables meaning Indomitable Lions (in French)
Canada the Canucks Canucks is a slang term for Canadians. They are also called Les Rouges, meaning 'The Reds', Maple Leafs and Les Voyageurs
Cape Verde Tubaroes Azuis “the Blue Sharks” (in Portuguese). Also Crioulos (“the Creoles” in Portuguese)
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands Team maybe "The Turtles"
Central African Republic les Faons d’Ubangui “the Fwans of Ubangui”, a tributary of the Congo river, in French
Chad les Sao after the Sao civilization that once inhabited part of Chad
Chile La Roja The Reds (in Spanish)
China Team China – Zhong Guo Dui, also Team Dragon – Long Zhi Dui
Chinese Taipei Zhong Hua Dui “China Team” in Chinese
Colombia Los Cafeteros meaning The Coffee Growers in Spanish. Also “the Tricolors”
Comoros les Coelecantes “the Coelecanths” in French, a prehistoric fish once believed to be extinct but which has reappeared off the coast of Comoros
Congo les Diables Rouges “the Red Devils” in French
Congo DR Les Léopards / The Leopards Between 1960 and 1965, they were called the Lions. From 1965 till 1997 they were the Leoopards, before reverting back to the Simbas (“the Lions” in Swahili) from 1997 till 2006. However this Swahili name was unpopular to non-Swahili speakers, so they again became the Leopards.
Cook Islands Soka Kuki Airani “the National Team” in Maori, the Green and Whites
Costa Rica Los Ticos Spanish slang for natives of Costa Rica. Also la Tricolor (“the Tricolors” in Spanish), la Roja (“the Reds”), la Sele (“the Selection”
Cote d’Ivoire Les Éléphants The Elephants (in French), due to their part in the 19th century Ivory trade
Croatia Vatreni meaning Fiery boys. Also sometimes Kockasti (The Chequereds)
Cuba la Tricolor meaning “the Tricolors” (in Spanish). Also los Leones del Caribe (“the Lions of the Caribbean”)
Curaçao ?  
Cyprus I Galanolefki “the White and Blues” in Greek
Czechia Lokomotiva The Locomotive. Also Cesti Lvi ( "the Czech Lions” in Czech), Narodny Tym (“the National Team” in Czech)
Denmark Danish Dynamite  
Djibouti les Riverains de la Mer Rouge the Young Red Sea in French
Dominica Dominica Team maybe  "los Pericos"
Dominican Republic los Quisqueyanos a slang term for Dominicans in Spanish
Ecuador la Tri, or la Tricolor the Tricolor (in Spanish)
Egypt the Pharaohs  
El Salvador Los Guanacos or La Selecta “Guanaco” is Spanish slang for citizens of El Salvador
England the Three Lions  
Equatorial Guinea la Nzalang Nacional “the National Lighting” (in Fang). Also Veve Nacional (“the National Sparkle” in Fang).
Eritrea Red Sea Camels  the team is also sometimes referred to as the Red Sea Boys
Estonia Sinisargid “the Blues” in Estonian
Eswatini Sihlangu Semnikati “the Shield of His Majesty” in Swazi
Ethiopia Walyas a species of wild goat
Faroe Islands Landslidid “the National Team” in Faroese
Fiji Bula Boys Bula is a fijian greeting. Also sometimes "Timi ni viti", meaning “the National Team” in Fijian
Finland Huuhkajat

Huuhkajat means "The Eagle-Owls" in Finnish. Also commonly used is the term Sinivalkoiset, meaning “the White and Blues” in Finnish.

France les Bleus meaning 'the blues' in French
Gabon Les Panthères meaning "the Panthers” in French
Gambia the Scorpions  
Georgia Jvarosnebi meaning “the Crisaders” in Georgian. Also Erovnuli Nakrevi (“the National Team” in Georgian)
Germany Die Nationalmannschaft, or Die Nationalelf meaning 'The National Team', 'The National Eleven' (in German). Outside of Germany, simply 'Die Mannschaft' (The Team) is commonly used.
Ghana the Black Stars a reference to the sole black star on Ghana's flag
Greece I Galanolefki translates as “the Sky Blue and White team” in Greek. They are also sometimes referred to as Ethniki Ellados (“the Greek Team” in Greek) and ''To Peiratikó'' (“Pirates” in Greek) though the pirates is not an official nickname, it just came about after they won Euro 2004.
Grenada the Spice Boyz  
Guam Matao "Matao" refers to the people in the upper class of the ancient Guam society. Previously the team was known as "the Men in Blue and White".
Guatemala el Equipo Chapin “Chapin” is Spanish slang for a citizen of Guatemala. also la Azul y Blanco (“the Blue and Whites” in Spanish) and la Bicolor (“the Bicolors”)
Guinea Syli Nationale the National Elephants. Syli is a word in Sousou, a Guinean language, which means Elephant.
Guinea-Bissau os Djurtus Creole for a species of fox
Guyana The Golden Jaguars, the Guy Stars  
Haiti les Bicolores les Bicolores means “the Bicolors” in French. There are also several other names that they are known by, including:
Les Grenadiers
Le Rouge et Bleu
La Sélection Nationale
l’Onze national (“the National Eleven” in French)
Toup Pou Yo
Honduras Los Catrachos Catracho is Spanish slang for a citizen of Honduras, therefore meaning 'the Hondurans'. Also la Bicolor (“the Bicolors” in Spanish)
Hong Kong Hong Kong Team  
Hungary Valogatott “the National Team” in Hungarian). Also the Magical Magyars (particularly in relation to the Hungary team of the 1950s)
Iceland Strakamir Okkar “Our Boys” in Icelandic
India Blue Tigers The Indian National team are also sometimes referred to as the "Bhangra Boys" (Bhangra is a dance originating from the Punjab region)
Indonesia Merah Putih meaning “the Red and Whites”. Another nickname for the Indonesian Football Team is "Garuda" (see comments below)
Iran Team Melli meaning the National Team (in Persian). Also Shirants Perse / Shiran-e Pars (“the Persian Lions” in Persian).
Iraq Osod Al Rafideen “the Lions of the Two Rivers” in Arabic, also the Babylon Lions
Israel Nivheret Hatchelet “the Sky Blue Team” in Hebrew
Italy Azzurri Azzurri is the plural of Azurro (Blue), terefore Azurri means "The Blues". The team is also sometimes referred to as la Nazionale (“the National Team”).
Jamaica Reggae Boyz  
Japan Samurai Blues also Nihon Daihyo (“Japanese Representatives” in Japanese)
Jordan Al Nashama “the Brave” in Arabic
Kazakhstan Kazakhstanskie barsy “the Snow Leopards” in Russian
Kenya the Harambee Stars “Harambee” means “We will work together” in Swahili and is also the country’s motto.
North Korea (Korea DPR) Chollima A Korean mythical horse, translates as "thousand-mile horse" and is portrayed as a mythical winged horse.
South Korea (Korea Republic) Asian Tigers or Taeguk Warriors also the Red Devils. The Taeguk symbol of two hands clasping is in the middle of the Korean flag.
Kuwait Al Azraq “the Blues” in Arabic
Kyrgyzstan Krasnaya Sbornaya “the Red Team” in Russian
Laos Thim Xad “the National Team” in Laos
Latvia Izlase “the National Team” in Latvian
Lebanon Al Aarz “the Team of Cedars” in Arabic
Lesotho the Likuena “the Crocodile” in Sesotho
Liberia the Lone Star  
Libya Al Akhdar “the Greens” in Arabic
Liechtenstein Nati short for “Nationalmannschaft”, meaning “National Team” in German
Lithuania Rinktine “the National Team” in Lithuanian
Luxembourg D’Leiwen “the Lions” in Luxembourgish
Macau a Equipa Verde “the Green Team” in Portuguese
Macedonia (Republic of North) Црвени Рисови /
Crveni Risovi
“The Red Lynx”. Also known as Црвено-Жолти / Crveno-Žolti, meaning Red-Yellow.
Madagascar Bareas a species of zebu, which appears of the country’s coat of arms
Malawi the Flames the word “Malawi” itself means “flames” in Chichewa
Malaysia Harimau Malaysia

“Malaysian Tigers”

Maldives Red Snappers The Red snapper is type of fish abundant in the waters around the Maldives. The team has also been known as Guamee Team - “the National Team” in Dhivehi.
Mali Les Aigles The Eagles (in French)
Malta Knights of St John  
Mauritania les Mourabitounes after an ancient dynasty that ruled Mauritania
Mauritius Club M Also "les Dodos" after the dodo bird
Mexico el Tri / el Tricolor / Tricolores also less commonly uses the alternative nickname of "Los Aztecas".
Moldova Selectionata “the Selection” in Moldovan
Mongolia Blue Wolves
( Хөх чононууд )
Blue Wolf is a symbol of Turkic and Mongolian people.
Named after the Mongolian Blue Wolf legend. The team has also been known in the past as "Shegshee", which means “the National Team” in Mongolian.
Montenegro Hrabri sokoli “The Brave Falcons” in Serbian
Montserrat the Emerald Boys  
Morocco les Lions de l’Atlas, Atlas Lions “the Lions of Atlas” (in French), named after the Atlas Mountains
Mozambique the Mambas the most poisonous snake in Africa
Myanmar White Angels also Latywesinahthin, “the National Team” in Myanmar
Namibia the Brave Warriors  
Nepal Gorkhalis Gorkhalis means the inhabitants of Gorkha. Nepal was frequently called the Gorkhali Kingdom. Sometimes they are also called "Rastriya Toli", meaning “the National Team” in Nepalese.
Netherlands / Holland Het Nederlands Elftal / Oranje Any Dutch National team in any sport, especially the Olympics, is Oranje, meaning 'orange' in Dutch. The Men's Football Team is called "Het Nederlands Elftal" or "Nederlands Voetbalelftal". "Elf" is eleven in Dutch and "elftal" could be translated as "the eleven" or "the selected eleven".
Netherlands Antilles e Selekshon “the Selection” in Papiamento
New Caledonia les Cagous French for the kagu bird that is native to New Caledonia. Also known as les Rouges et Gris (“the Red and Greys” in French).
New Zealand the All Whites The name All Whites is word play on the historical National Rugby Union team nickname the All Blacks. Most of the NZ national sports teams use the colour, black, silver or white in combination with a native emblem or item related to the represented sport. Silver Ferns = Netball. Black Sox = Softball, Blackcaps = Cricket.
Nicaragua la Azul y Blanco meaning “the Blues and Whites”. Also known as el Equipo Pinolero (“Pinolero” is a slang for a citizen of Nicaragua)
Niger the Mena a species of antelope
Nigeria the Super Eagles a reference to the Eagle in the country's Coat of Arms. The name was changed from Green Eagles to the Super Eagles.
Northern Mariana Islands Blue Ayuyus In the local Chamorro dialect, the "y" is pronounced like a "z." So it is pronounced ah-zu-zus. An ayuyu is a large land crab that is prized as a delicacy. Both the men and women's teams use this nickname.
Northern Ireland the Green and White Army  
Norway Landslaget “the National Team” in Norwegian
Oman Al Ahmar “the Reds” in Arabic
Pakistan the Green and White Team  
Palestine Al Muntakhab Meaning “the National Team” in Arabic. The team is also known by a few other names: "Lions of Canaan", "the Fedayoon" and "the Knights"
Panama Marea Roja “the Red Tide”. Also known as el Equipo Canalero (“the Canal Team”)
Papua New Guinea PNG Team – Nesenol Tim “the National Team” in Tok Pisin
Paraguay Guaraníes also La Albirroja (White and red in Spanish)
Peru la Blanquirroja “the White and Reds” in Spanish
Philippines Azkals Azkals is a stylized form of askal which is shortened from 'asong kalye', which literally means 'street dog' in Philipino (not 'stray dog').  Street dogs in the Philippines are wily, robust, and scrappy survivors. The team is also known as the "Tri-Stars" (From the three stars on their flag).
Poland Bialo-Czerwoni White-Reds (in Polish). Also Polskie Orly (“the Polish Eagles” in Polish)
Portugal Selecção das Quinas in Portuguese the word "QUINAS" is a 5 sided Polyhedron, representing the "Forts" (Castles) Conquered from the Moors, in the "Foundation" of Portugal in 1143.
Puerto Rico El Huracán Azul Spanish for "The Blue Hurricane"
Qatar Al Ennabi “the Crimsons” in Arabic
Republic of Ireland the Boys in Green  
Romania Tricolorii Three Colored Ones (in Romanian)
Russia Sbornaya The nickname Sbornaya for Russia is foreign. In Russian it's not a nickname but just a noun (originally an adjective) meaning 'national team' or 'selected team', i.e. the word is applied to any national/selected team in any sport.
Rwanda Amavubi “the Wasps” in Kinyarwanda
Samoa Manumea after a native bird
San Marino la Serenissima “the Most Serene” in Italian
Sao Tome e Principe os Verde-Amarelos “the Green and Yellows” in Portuguese
Saudi Arabia Al Sogour Al Akhdar “the Green Hawks/Falcons” (in Arabic). Also Ouilad Al Sahraa (“the Sons of the Desert” in Arabic)
Scotland The Tartan Terriers "The Tartan Beasts" is also used in some parts of the country. The "Tartan Army" is also used, particularly in reference of Scotland’s fans.
Senegal Les Lions de la Teranga The Lions of Teranga / the Lions of Hospitality (in French). “Teranga” originates from the Wolof language.
Serbia Plavi the blue, or Orlovi (“the eagles” in Serbian)
Seychelles the Pirates  
Sierra Leone the Leones Stars  
Singapore the Lions  
Slovakia Repre In Slovakia the team is typically referred to as the Repre (Representation) or Národný tím (National team). However, in foreign media, they are often incorrectly described as Bojovní Jondovci (The Fighting Jondas).
Slovenia Fantje Fantje translates as 'the boys'. However, the team's wikipedia page says that Slovenia does not have a nickname. They are sometimes incorrectly called The (Green) Dragons, a symbol of the Slovenian capital Ljubljana. There are also some references that the Slovenian team nickname is Reprezentanca, meaning “the Representatives” in Slovenian.
Solomon Islands the Bonitos Bonito is a species of fish similar to tuna
Somalia the Ocean Stars  
South Africa Bafana Bafana "the boys, the boys" in isiZulu.The name was coined by journalist Sibusiso Mseleku in 1992
Spain La Furia Roja meaning 'The Red Fury'. Also la Seleccion (“the Selection” in Spanish).
Sri Lanka Brave Reds also sometimes known as Papandu Kandyama, which means “the National Team” in Sinhalese.
St Kitts and Nevis The Sugar Boyz  
St Lucia The Piton  
St Vincent and the Grenadines the Vincy Heat  
Sudan Sokoor Al-Jediane Desert Hawks. Also the Nile Crocodiles
Suriname Natio Natio stands for the abbreviation of national, and national refers to national team. Other names that are used are A-Selektie, which means “the A Selection” in Dutch, and Suriboys.
Sweden Blågult the Blue and Yellows (in Swedish). Also Kronos (“the Crowns” in Swedish).
Switzerland Schweizer Nati, or just Nati meaning 'The Nats' – short for Nationals
Syria Al Ahmar the Reds” in Arabic
Tahiti Toa Aito in Tahitian means "The Iron Warriors". In French, it is Les guerriers de fer. It was previously believed to be "L'Equipe du Fenua", the Island team - “fenua” means “island” in Tahitian.
Tajikistan Dastai Muntakhabi “the National Team” in Tajik
Tanzania the Taifa Stars “Taifa” is Swahili for country. Also known as the Kilimanjaro Stars
Thailand 'War Elephants' also known as Team Chart Tai, “the National Team” in Thai
Timor-Leste O Sol Nascente Meaning 'The Rising Sun' in Portugeuese. Also known as The Little Samba Nation and El Lafaek.
Togo les Eperviers the hawks or Sparrowhawks (in French)
Tonga Timi Fakafomua “the National Team” in Tongan
Trinidad & Tobago The Soca Warriors named after a local musical genre
Tunisia Les Aigles de Carthage The Eagles of Carthage (in French)
Türkiye / Turkey Ay Yıldızlılar (or Ay Yildiz meaning Crescent Stars
Turkmenistan Akhal-Teke meaning the Dark Horses
Turks and Caicos Islands TCI Team maybe also "the Ripsaw Boys"
Uganda the Cranes the bird which appears on their crest
Ukraine Zbirna or Sbirna national team (in Ukrainian)
United Arab Emirates Al Sukoor “the Eagles” in Arabic
Uruguay Charrúas The Charrúas are the  indigenous people of present-day Uruguay. Another nickname sometimes used is La Celeste Olímpica (The Olympic Sky Blue)
US Virgin Islands The Dashing Eagle The Dashing Eagle is the American symbol of power and grace, transformed to embody the unique optimism, flair, and self-determination of the islands.
USA The Stars and Stripes Other names that are used are Team USA and The Yanks. There does not appear to be an official name.
Uzbekistan White Wolves (Oq boสปrilar/Oา  ะฑั pะธะปap) also sometimes known as Terma Jamoasi, meaning “the National Team” in Uzbek.
Vanuatu the Men in Black and Gold  
Venezuela la Vinotinto meaning “the Burgundies” in Spanish - because of the burgundy color of their shirts. They are also know by the names Los Llaneros (The Plainsmen) and La Remolacha Mecanica (The Clockwork Beet).
Vietnam Doi Tuyen Quoc Gia “the National Team” in Vietnamese. Other names used are: Những chiến binh đỏ (The Red Warriors) and Ngôi sao vàng (The Golden Star).
Wales the Dragons  
Yemen Al Yemen al Saeed “Happy Yemen” in Arabic
Zaire Leopards  
Zambia Chipolopolo The Copper Bullets (in Bemba). The word comes from the copper mines in Kitwe. The team was formerly known as the KK 11, after the founding president Kenneth Kaunda, but changed the nickname in 1993.
Zanzibar Zanzibari Heroes  
Zimbabwe The Warriors  

Related Pages

send us a comment Any comments, suggestions, or corrections? Please let us know.

Old Comments

Commenting is closed on this page, though you can read some previous comments below which may answer some of your questions.

More Football

Football (some call it soccer) is the world's most popular sport. There are many major football tournaments, the pinnacle is the FIFA World Cup. See a calendar of what is coming up. There have been many legends of the game, particularly winners of the Ballon d'Or. For players, there are articles about Football Fitness and Fitness Testing.

Sport Extra

Check out the 800+ sports in the Encyclopedia of Every Sport. Well not every sport, as there is a list of unusual sports, extinct sports and newly created sports. How to get on these lists? See What is a sport? We also have sports winners lists, and about major sports events and a summary of every year.

 → How to Cite