Top Ten of Italian football nicknames

For the 1987-88 season in Italy, Panini Publishing made a particular sticker for each team in their traditionnal sticker album. The last sticker of each team was a funny caricature of the mascot or of the nickname of the club. It's time now to see the Top Ten of this best caricatures :

10-Juventus F.C.
Everybody knows this nickname for Juventus team : La Vecchia Signora (The Old Lady) but another one is the Zebras. Because of famous black and white stripes kit of Juventus. So the following sticker in a mix of both nicknames with a Old zebra lady :

09-Inter Milan
An other nickname of the Nerazzurri (The Black and Blues) is Il Biscione (The Big Grass Snake). The biscione is a symbol of Milan City. The Biscione, also known as the Vipera ("viper") is a heraldic charge showing in Argent an Azure serpent in the act of consuming a human; usually a child and sometimes described as a Moor. It was the emblem of the House of Visconti from the 11th century, becoming associated with Milan as the Visconti gained control over the city in 1277. The word biscione is an augmentative of Italian biscia "non-venomous snake; grass snake" (corrupted from bistia, ultimately from Latin bestia). As the symbol of Milan, the biscione is also used by the football club Inter Milan as we see but also by famous cars manufacturers Alfa Romeo

08-S.S.C. Napoli
One of the nicknames of Napoli is I ciucciarelli which means "the little donkeys" in the local dialect, they were given this name after a particularly poor performance during the 1926–27 season. It was originally meant to be derogatory, as the Neapolitan symbol is a rampant black horse, the club however adopted the donkey as a mascot called 'O Ciuccio, displaying it with pride.

07-Hellas Verona
The Hellas Verona Football Club have several Nicknames : Gialloblu (Yellow-Blues), gli Scaligeri (The Scaligers), i butei ("the boys" in Veronese dialect) but the most famous in the eighties (the best period in club history) was the Mastini (Mastiffs). The Mastiffs) is a reference to Mastino I della Scala of the Della Scala princes that ruled the city during the 13th and 14th centuries. The Scala family coat of arms is depicted on the team's jersey and on its trademark logo as a stylized image of two large, powerful mastiffs facing opposite directions.

06-A.C. Milan
An other nickname of the Rossoneri (The Red and Blacks) is il Diavolo (The Devil). This 2nd nickname derived from the club's colours is the Devil.

05-A.C. Pisa 1909
This one is to easy to find the reason. Pisa's nickname is the Torri (The Towers) in reference to worldwide famous Leaning Tower.

04-A.S. Avellino 1912
Avellino are nicknamed the "Lupi", which means Wolves, and their club crest displays a wolfs head

03-U.C. Sampdoria
Sampdoria nickname is i Blucerchiati (The Blue-ringed) but you can see a Sailorman on the badge of the club (the strange shadow figure on it is in fact a bearded sailorman profile). Genoa city is one of Europe's largest cities on the Mediterranean Sea and the largest seaport in Italy so Panini's artist choose to draw this Sailorman for his funny caricature (special thanks to Satch Entino) :

02-AS Roma
A popular nickname for the club is i lupi (The Wolves), the animal has always featured on the club's badge in different forms throughout their history. Currently the emblem of the team is the one which was used when the club was first founded. It portrays the female wolf with the two infant brothers Romulus and Remus, illustrating the myth of the founding of Rome, superimposed on a bipartite golden yellow over maroon red shield. In the myth from which the club take their nickname and logo, the twins (sons of Mars and Rhea Silvia) are thrown into the River Tiber by their uncle Amulius, a she-wolf saved the twins and looked after them. Eventually the two twins took revenge on Amulius, before falling out themselves; Romulus killed Remus and as thus was made king of a new city named in his honour, Rome.

01-Torino F.C.
Torino's nickname is Il Toro (The Bull) in reference to Turin city's history. The Taurini were an ancient Celto-Ligurian Alpine people, who occupied the upper valley of the river Po, in the centre of modern Piedmont. The tribe of the Taurini is the origin of the city of Torino: Celtic in origin, they joined the ligurian tribes peacefully. The city symbol and coat of arms is the rampant bull – Torino literally means "young bull". 

3 commentaires:

  1. The sailorman is not a so complex choice, it's on the Sampdoria's badge (the strange shadow figure on it is in fact a bearded sailorman profile)

  2. Thanks Satch for this excellent comment ;-) I will change the post right now


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