UEFA Euro 2020: Team Nicknames

Get to know the nicknames of the EURO 2020 teams

UEFA have uncovered that each of the teams’ nicknames were picked up from among heraldry, animals and period defining sides.

In the photo is Michy Batshuayi with the Belgian football team mascot Red, thru Getty images

Scanning the encyclopedias and sourcing from the old books. EURO UEFA goes underneath to dig into the explanations behind each country’s nickname.

Group A

  • Turkey – Ay-Yildizlilar or The Crescent Stars, Bizim Çocuklar or Our Boys

Turkey’s lunar moniker are extracted from features of their flag – the white crescent and then a star sitting on a red backside. This design dates back to symbolism from the old Ottoman Empire.

#BizimÇocuklar which means #OurChildren, is a widely used social media hashtag.

  • Italy – Gli Azzurri or literally The Blues, and also La Nazionale or The National Team

It is also named as the Tricolore, based from the flag of Italy. It features strong green, a clean white, and daunting red stripes.

Then, why The Blues? Because this honors the great Royal House of Savoy, which made the nation as one in 1861.

  • Wales – Y Dreigiau or The Dragons

The nickname of Wales comes from mythology. It is an emblem which has been used throughout Welsh history, dating back to the 7th century during the tenure of Cadwaladr, who was the King of Gwynedd.

Starting in 1959, the Welsh flag has a red dragon in front of a combined white and green background.

  • Switzerland – A-Team, Nati or National Team, Rossocrociati or Red Crosses

The Swiss people have 4 official languages – German, French, Italian and Romansh. So, their football team opted for a simple design through A-Team and Nati.

Rossocrociati, which is Italian, is a reference to square shaped flag of Switzerland, conveying a white cross sitting on a red backside.

Group B

  • Denmark – Danish Dynamite, De Rød-Hvide or The Red-White

The chorus of Denmark’s Euro campaign goes We are the Red, We are the White, We are one Danish Dynamite. It’s from a 1984 song from a rapping sports journalist named Gunnar ‘Nu’ Hansen. He was already 78 years old in 1984.

Denmark’s national flag, also named as the Dannebrog. It features a pure white cross on a steady red background. It also serves as an inspiration for their fans and the Rød-Hvide tag.

  • Finland – Huuhkajat or The Eagle Owls

The inspiration of the Finnish team moniker is Bubi, the energetic Eagle Owl. There was a memorable time in 2007, at the venue which is the iconic Helsinki Olympic Stadium, when Bubi famously swooped down and perched on top of the goal frame. This interrupted the Finland match against Belgium.

  • Belgium – Les Diables Rouges, De Rode Duivels, Die Roten Teufel or The Red Devils.

It was in 1905 that the Dutch journalists conveyed that some Belgian footballers worked like devils. This was during that year’s Netherlands vs Belgium Low Countries Derby. So, this is the basis for their red shirts.

They were after a time , known as the Red Devils which is then translated into the 3 official languages of Belgium which are French, Dutch and German.

  • Russia – Sbornaya or CóopHar or National Team

When they were still the Soviet Union, they were the winners in the EURO’s inaugural edition in 1960. Straightforwardly, Russia wants to go by the name Sbornaya.

Group C

  • Netherlands – Oranje, Clockwork Orange

The royal family of the Netherlands are symbolized by the legendary House of Orange. This explains the team’s brightly colored shirts and also Oranje, their Dutch language nickname.

They won second place at the FIFA World Cup of both the years 1974 and 1978

This Netherlands side, which was led by Johan Cruyff, were called Clockwork Orange because of their Football Totality and mechanical ingenuity. But in this generation, it’s seldom heard.

  • Ukraine – Synio-Zhovti or CNHbo-koBTi or the Blue Yellows

The national colors of Ukraine are both blue and yellow. Into 2 halves, they are split horizontally. The blue half symbolizes the blue sky and the yellow half represents fields of grain.

  • Austria – Das Nationalteam or The Austrian National Team, Unsere Burschen or Our Boys

These moniker translations are obvious and Austria is making a third exciting UEFA European Championship run at EURO 2020.

  • North Macedonia – or The Lynxes.

The rare Balkan Lynx is on the Macedonian 5 Denar coin. It is a native animal and very much an endangered species.

Group D

  • England – Three Lions

The badge of England shows a set of 3 lions walking with their heads turned up front or passant guardant. They are surrounded by 10 Tudor red roses which are traditional heraldry emblems of the country.

This badge is said to be elevated into battle to motivate the soldiers of Richard the Lionhearted in the past 12th century. The Royal arms of every English monarch since then have depicted the 3 lions.

  • Croatia – Vatreni or the Blazers or the Fiery Ones, Kockasti or the Chequered Ones

It was Josip Prudeus, the Croatian writer, who first created the word Vatreni in 1996. He wrote the lyrics to Croatia’s football anthem 11 Vatrenih which means the 11 Fiery Ones.

Kockasti is a reference to the strong red and pure white chequered shirts of the Croatia team. It is also the traditional pattern which you see on their country’s coat of arms .

  • Czech Republic – Our Boys or Nasì, Národní tm or The National Team

Nároďák is the shortened version of Národní tm.

Our Boys or Nasì symbolizes their bond with their fanbase in their country .

  • Scotland – is reflected in the Tartan Army. Tartan represents a long time typically Scottish pattern. It has several color combinations and they are utilized to symbolize the various component clans of Scotland.

Group E

  • Spain – La Roja or La Furia Española, The Red One or The Spanish Fury.

Spain’s hardy, silver medal finishing team of the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium were once called La Furia Española because of their aggressive, fierce and direct persona, plus the fact that they don red shirts.

The tiki taka Spanish teams of more recent times are now simply called as La Roja.

  • Sweden – Blågult or Blue Yellow

This nickname for Sweden refers to their blue shorts and their yellow shirts and yellow socks. They are interlinked with Sweden’s national flag which features an off center yellow cross which is on a blue backside. They are national colors that go back to the time of Magnus III’s 13th century reign.

  • Poland – Biało-czerwoni or White and Red, Orly or Eagles

They are similar to Poland’s coat of arms which features a red shield with a white tailed eagle in front. Their footballers are otherwise known as the Eagles. Because of their color scheme, they are also called The White and The Red.

  • Slovakia – Sokoli or Falcons, Repre or Representatives

It was in 2015 that the Slovak Football Association were searching for a symbol to represent Slovakia’s cultural practices in the modern times.

The group decided that the falcon’s acumen , savagery ,speed and dexterity rises up from the ashes the attributes of Slovakia’s greatest players.

Group F

  • Portugal – A Seleção or The Best Selection, Selecão das Quinas or Selection of the Best Shields

Seleção das Quinas is a referral to the 5 blue shields you see on the Portuguese badge.

  • France – Les Bleus or The Blues

Les Bleus is based on their players’ blue game shirts and the left band on the Tricolore flag.

Blue is an important color in French history and heraldry, which dates back to the 12th century.

  • Germany – Nationalelf or National Eleven, The Team or Die Mannschaft, The National Team or Die Nationalmannschaft, DFB-Elf or DFB Eleven

Starting 2015, the German team was rebranded as Die Mannschaft because they have realized that Germany lacked a single label that is recognizable globally.

German striker Oliver Bierhof says that the new tag symbolizes everything about the team – quality, creativity, fair play, respect.

  • Hungary – Magyarok or Magyars, Nemzeti Tizenegy or National Eleven

The Magyars are members of native ethnic groups in Hungary. The exciting Hungarian side of the 1950s era, with their captain Ferenc Puskàs were also known to be the Magical Magyars or Marvelous Magyars.