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All Serie A nicknames explained
All Italian soccer teams have ‘nicknames’, from which they are known among supporters and often referred to in the press. Most of these surnames come from the color of their badges.
AC Milan – Rossoneri (Rosso – Red, Neri – Black)
Internazionale – Nerazzurri (Neri – Black, Azzurri – Blue)
AS Roma – Gialorossi – (Gialo – Yellow, Rosso – Red)
Fiorentina – Viola (Purple)
Cagliari – Rossoblu (Rosso – Red, Blu – Blue in Sardegna dialect)
Lazio – Biancocelesti (Bianco – White, Celesti – Light blue)
Sassuolo – Neroverdi (Nero – Black, Verdi – Green)
There are other curious nicknames though. Juventus, although also known as bianconeri (white and black), are also known as Le Zebre (due to their colors looking like the stripes of a zebra) and ‘La Vecchia Signora’ (the Old Lady).
This last one is a joke because Juventus means youth in Latin and thus, opponents started poking fun at them because, in fact, the Juventus team is known for using experienced, over 30 players. The name is precisely an irony with the Latin etymology and the veteran status of Juve.
Their city rivals, Torino F.C., also have a specific nickname, which comes from the etymology of the city itself. Torino city symbol is a bull (Toro, in italian) and the club adopted it as a symbol for their badge, being known as ‘Il Toro’.
They are also known as ‘Granata’, which means ‘Garnet’, or bright red since it is the color of the club.
Did you know…
Serie A was not disputed between 1915 and 1919 and 1944 and 1945, due to the World Wars. When the WWI broke out, Genoa was declared champion and the runners up at the time, Lazio still contests that title for them.
Also, in 1949, Torino F.C. had a plane disaster that killed their whole team, after an international game against Benfica. The team was declared champion by the FIGC (Italian Federation of Football) and the league was interrupted.
…due to the Calciopoli, a scandal of match-fixing that involved lots of Italian clubs, Juventus was the team most severely punished. They were relegated to Serie B in 2006/07 and they lost the Scudetto titles of 2004 and 2005 (this one transferred to Inter).
Plus, they did not dispute Champions League that season and had to start Serie B with 17 points less. Still, they accepted the punishment and got promoted in the following season.
Torino also had a title taken outside the field, due to a irregulary in 1926/27 in a game against… Juventus.