In the article “Nicknames of soccer clubs in Russia” you will learn the nicknames of the most popular RPL soccer clubs and why fans nicknamed them so.
Soccer is the most popular sport in the world (≈4 billion fans). Russia is no exception in this regard, according to statistics for 2016, the Russian Premier League has ≈10 million followers. The RPL figure varies from year to year, it all depends on the success of the performance on the European, world stage. For example, in 2005 the number of fans was 3 million more because CSKA won the UEFA Cup.
Naturally, the army of fans could not pass by the fact that they came up with hurtful nicknames for their rivals. Fans mostly try to call their team by identifying characteristics: emblem, geographic location (city), the main sponsor of the club.
In our article we will try to understand the reasons why a soccer club has a nickname, what it is associated with. And let’s start, perhaps, with the most important team, namely the Russian national soccer team.
Russian national soccer team
The Russian national team’s nickname “Our Guys” appeared in 2020. The official source of the name is the Russian Football Union. The union believes that the brand will help the national team to unite players and fans.
In Europe, our team is called quite simply “Sbornaya”. Europeans heard this name from our fans and began to call it so. In the Western mentality the national team is called “National team”.
Nicknames of soccer clubs in Russia:
- Zenit – “bums,” “sacks,” “zenitniks,” “nits”. The nickname “sacks” came from the fact that all the players, the club staff, and the fans themselves wore branded “Zenit – champion!” bags, issued in honor of the first title they won. The nickname “bums” came from the fact that fans who traveled to matches in other regions spent nights in public places. As for the offensive label “nits,” the foreign fans, who think our champion’s game looks rotten, did their best.
- Dynamo – “trash,” “cops,” “dynamos”. The nicknames of FC Dynamo are quite simple, they have been attached since its formation. The club was created to enable the security and law enforcement officers to play sports. And soccer colors represent the thoughts of Soviet security officers “with a cool head, a hot heart and clean hands”.
- CSKA – “army men,” “horses,” “skiers”. “Army men” is clear to everyone, because of the deciphering of the name and the club’s affiliation with the army. But “skiers” and “horses” are a historical association, because back in 1911, the FC was based in the skiing society, and training and games were held on the field, where there used to be a manege. At the moment, the “horse” is the symbol of the club.
- Sochi – “Bars”, “pigeons”. FC “Sochi” acquired its nicknames from its own symbols. On the main emblem there is a leopard, and the second symbol is a dove, which was on the old coat of arms.
- Krasnodar – “bulls”, “magnets”, “castrates”. On the main emblem of the club is a bull, but once the administration of the club reported that it is not a bull, but an ox (castrated male cattle). That’s how the nickname “castrates” stuck. “Magnets” stuck due to associations with the club owner Sergei Galitsky, who previously owned the famous chain of stores.
- Lokomotive – “loko”, “locomotives”, “railroaders”, “girls”, “fifth wheel”, “pilots”, “conductors”. The soccer club can be proud of the fact that it is the champion of nicknames. Most of them are formed with the association of the main sponsor – “Russian Railways”. But they got their offensive nicknames because of the envy of the fans, as the club has a large army of fans of the fair sex. There is an opinion that the “locomotives” was formed not because of the sponsor, but due to the fact that the club begins all their matches sluggishly. “Fifth Wheel” is the fifth FC formed in the capital.
- Krylia Sovetov – “wings”, “feathers”, “rats”, “Volzhans”, “Samaritans”. “Rats” is from the abbreviation of the name (Kry So). All of the remaining nicknames came from both the name of the club and the city they represent in the RPL.
- Akhmat – “Groznyites”, “Czechs”. “Groznyites” is the city of Grozny, “Czechs” is short for Chechens.
- Rostov – “zoo”, “selmashi”, “combine harvesters”, “wasps”. “Selmashi” and “combine harvesters” come from the combine-building plant “Rostselmash”, which was the main sponsor, and the club used to bear that name. “Wasps” – represents the colors of the soccer uniform, but the offensive nickname “zoo” the club got because of its squad, in which a large number of foreigners played.
- Spartak – “foodie”, “meat”, “spartaci”. The main sponsor at the time of the club’s creation was a cooperative of butchers called “Pischevik”. The club had the exact same name. The remaining label is from the new name.
- Nizhny Novgorod – “omongrad”, “northerners”, “autozavodtsy”. “Severnyane” – the stadium where the club performs and is based is called “Severny”. “Avtozavodtsy” – the city of Nizhny Novgorod is home to the famous automobile plant GAZ. But the offensive label “omongrad” was given to the FC because of the harsh reaction of law enforcers to the actions of fans in the stands.
- Rubin – “Tatars,” “Rubinites,” “Kazanites,” “Rubies”. For those who understand the geography of our country, it is not difficult to understand the origin of the nicknames. Rubin is from Kazan, where the Tatars live.
- Khimki – “Himari”. “Himari” is slang for the name of the club.
- Ufa – “Ufimtsy”. I call the local residents of Ufa “Ufim”.
- Ural – “bumblebees”, “Uralians”. FC Ural has club colors of orange and black. And the combination of these colors is reminiscent of the famous insect bumblebee.
- Arsenal (Tula) – “canoniers”, “gingerbread men”, “samovars”, “cannibals”. “Canoniers” is an inheritance from the club of the same name from England. All the others are products that the city produces.
Our article “Nicknames of soccer clubs in Russia” lists the clubs that play in the RPL. Somewhere the nicknames are offensive, but, as they say, “you can’t take words out of the song”.
Such soccer clubs as: “Ufa”, “Khimki”, “Nizhny Novgorod”, “Krasnodar”, “Sochi”, are also commonly referred to as “townspeople”, as the clubs have the same name as the city in which they are based. Well, lastly, all RPL clubs are also commonly referred to by their uniform colors.