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Matchday 10


JUE 30.09.2021 | NEWS

Merengues and Cules, a brief history of ElClasico nicknames | LaLiga

These monikers have been synonymous with Real Madrid and FC Barcelona throughout their history in LaLiga. Do you know their origins? Read on!


JUE 30.09.2021

Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are two of the most legendary clubs in LaLiga Santander. Both teams have met 182 times in the competition in what has to be one of the most important matches in the world of football: 'ElClasico'. Footballers considered global legends of this sport have had the opportunity to play in this special game involving these two footballing titans.

These historic clubs have picked up several nicknames over time. Although ‘merengues’ and ‘cules’ are their most celebrated and well-known pseudonyms, below we’ll tell you about some of the other names also associated with the clubs.  One of the terms by which FC Barcelona is known is 'Blaugrana', which comes from the colours of its shirt. 'Blau' means blue in Catalan, and 'Grana' refers to claret. Barcelona are referred to colloquially as ‘Los Cules’, a nickname that we’ll have to go back several decades to understand. As for Real Madrid, they are known as ‘Los Meringues’ and also ‘Los Vikingos.’

Why are Barcelona fans known as ‘Cules’?

In order to explain this pseudonym we’ll have to travel back in time to the 1920s. In those days, FC Barcelona played their matches at their former stadium, Les Corts, located on Calle de la Industria. The ground didn’t have enough room to fit in the club’s huge following of fans, so it was common to see spectators sitting on the stadium’s perimeter wall. As a result, pedestrians walking down the street on matchdays would see the rears of these fans perched on the wall, and thus the nickname of 'Cules' was coined which has persisted to the present day.


Why are Real Madrid fans known as Los Merengues and Los Vikingos?

Real Madrid have been given several names over its 119-year history as a football club. One of the most characteristic monikers by which fans refer to the team is ‘Los Merengues’. The origin of this pseudonym ties in closely to the colour of the famous dessert, which has the very same white colour as the shirt worn by Real Madrid players when playing at the Santiago Bernabeu. It was the journalist Matias Prats Cañete who popularised it, referring to Real Madrid in this manner during his radio commentaries.

The club is also known as 'Los Vikingos'. There are different accounts as to where this name sprung up from. The first of which alludes to several articles published by the British newspaper The Times, in which Real Madrid's dominance in European football at the start of the 1960s was compared to the Viking invasions. Others theorise that its origin is a reference to the number of footballers of Nordic and German origin that Real Madrid had on its books in the 1970s.


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