Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid contest one of the fiercest rivalries in LaLiga Santander. The city enemies have faced off 168 times in Madrid derby league encounters. A long list of players have first-hand experience of the immense passion that permeates every last corner of the Spanish capital before, during and after the 90 minutes of on-field action.
Fans of the two legendary clubs have referred to their beloved teams in various different ways throughout their history as LaLiga sides. Although the best-known nicknames would surely have to be Merengues and Colchoneros, we take a look at other nicknames that are part of the clubs' identities.
Why are Real Madrid known as the Vikingos?
As you might expect of a centenarian club, Real Madrid have been known by a whole host of different nicknames throughout their time in LaLiga Santander. One of the names used to refer to the Chamartin-based outfit is the Vikingos. This nickname has created a fair bit of controversy as there is no established theory as to its origins. One version suggests that it owes to the fact that the match reports in UK newspaper The Times drew parallels between the Madridistas' European dominance in the early '60s and the Viking invasion. Another widely accepted theory relates to the strong cohort of Nordic players in the club's ranks during the '70s that resulted in Real Madrid becoming known as the Vikingos.
Why are Atletico known as the Indios?
Atletico Madrid have also received a number of nicknames over the course of their decorated history. However, the Indios is the one that has really stood the test of time. Although there are many explanations as to the reasoning behind this moniker, the most plausible relates to the large number of South American imports who checked in at the club during the '70s. A number of years later, the club's mascot was named Indi in reference to the nickname and many of the club's fans take to the terraces wearing feathered headgear and sporting characteristic face paint.
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