The first post of a series of articles about Spanish teams nicknames. Some of them are well known, some others aren’t.
The players of Real Madrid are called ‘the whites’. The explanation is pretty simple, is due to the color of their shirt. They are also called ‘merengues’ for the same reason. The ‘merengue’ is a desert o a candy that is made by eggs and sugar and, oh!, suprise!, it’s also white.
The players and fans of this club have two nicknames. One is because of their shirts colors: blue and red (‘Azulgrana’ or ‘blaugrana’ in Catalan). The other name is more historical. The old Barcelona stadium had not enough capacity so many of the fans sit on the top border of the stadium. From the street people could see their bottoms, so they started to call them ‘cules’ or making a literal translation ‘bottomers’.
Atlético de Madrid
They are called ‘colchoneros’ (matressers, from matress). This name comes from the red and white stripes of the uniform, that were similar to the matress at that time.
The lions. There’s an interesting mythological story and it’s related to the name of the stadium San Mamés. San Mamés was a man that escaped from the antireligious people that wanted to torture him and his family. He ran away to the forest where he met three lions. Years later, Romans captured him and carried to the Coliseum in Rome to got him to fight to death. But when he was going to fight -or be devoured- with lions, they got don on their knees and forgave him the life.
They are called ‘Pericos’ – ‘Parakeet’. In Sarrià staduim, the former Espanyol home, was surrounded by a lot of trees, in which lived a lot of this kind of birds, so people started to call them like this.