What, you thought that the national teams playing in the world cup were just called “Brazil” or “Germany”? Nope—they’ve got nicknames just as weird as the “Raptors” or “Red Sox.”
The national color of the Netherlands is orange, and carefully mapped out, precise play has helped the Dutch team get to the World Cup semifinals five times. The nickname: Clockwork Orange. Another witty nickname: the Flying Dutchmen, which boasts of the team’s speed and, uh, Dutchness.
The country’s flag includes some bright yellow, so the team’s jerseys are a similar canary yellow. The nickname “Canarinho” is Portuguese for “little canary.”
The team that plays soccer in the land of the kangaroos is known as the “Socceroos.”
Why’s it called the Ivory Coast? For its ivory trade. Where does ivory come from? Elephant poaching. Hence the team’s kind of dark nickname, “Les Elephants.”
Named after one of its two most famous exports, the Colombian national team is called “Los Cafeteros,” which means “the coffee growers.” (The women’s national team name is even better: “Las Chicas Superpoderosas,” or “The Powerpuff Girls.”
The “Black Stars” get their name from the Ghanian flag, which has a black star on it.
“The Tartan Terriers.”
“Lions” is a reoccurring nickname for players and teams in Europe, but the Cameroonian national team, or “Les Lions Indomptables,” (“The Indomitable Lions)” has the real right to it. The Bénoué-Gumti lion reserve sits in northern Cameroon.
German people have long endured the stereotype that they are very serious and rigid. The nickname of the German national soccer team: “Die Nationalmannschaft,” or “The National Team.”
The team from Guatemala is creatively known as “The Guatemalans.”