Football is full of boring team names like ‘United’, ‘Rovers’ and ‘City’. Look in the right places, however, and you’ll find some really, really good ones.
The rapid rise of fantasy football and casual five-a-side has changed what we think of as a football team name. ‘Inter Ya Gran’ is now officially the most popular club name in the world, and similar obscenities aren’t far behind.
But while anyone can make a silly pun, not everyone gets the chance to make a silly name for a football club playing in its country’s premier division.
What follows is a list of the 43 most brilliant football club names from around the world. Not all of them are major forces in world football, but every single one plays in its country’s highest league.
You’ll know a few of them. You’ll be surprised by others. You’re guaranteed to become a die-hard fan of at least one of the top five.
Initially the ‘Municipal Sports Club’, the ‘Millionaires’ got their nickname — and eventually their official title — after hiring expensive Argentine players in the late 1930s.
Los Angeles, USA
Football icons like David Beckham, Steven Gerrard and Zlatan Ibrahimović have turned the Galaxy into a global brand. Which is fitting, since the name ‘Galaxy’ was chosen to represent the ‘stars’ of Hollywood.
Founded by two brothers from Southampton, Kick4Life is both a club and a registered charity.
“Our approach is based on the belief that football clubs do not always have to be run for private profit, and that we can more effectively leverage the enormous wealth and influence of the football industry for social development by becoming a part of it,” they say.
Llansantffraid-ym-Mechain, Wales; Oswestry, England
Between 1997 and 2006, The New Saints F.C. were known as ‘Total Network Solutions’. And don’t let them forget it.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Founded in 1983 as ‘Yebuna Gebeya Sport Club’, Ethiopian Coffee S.C. was given its present name by the National Coffee Trading Corporation. In 2008 it was bought out by the Ethiopia Commodity Exchange (ECX).
Delightfully, its crest features a coffee pot!
Founded in 1911, Hearts of Oak won the CAF Champions League in 2000, but were denied the chance to appear in the Club World Cup after the 2001 edition was cancelled.
Nice one, FIFA.
Stephen Appiah, once of Parma and Juventus, began his career there.
Warm up! 🏃🏾♂️
— Phobians (@HeartsOfOakGH) February 10, 2019
Cuntum are nicknamed the ‘White Horses’.
A link to the official website was just a ‘Your Mac is infected’ pop-up.
A case of so bad it’s good?
Statutes in the German Football Association (DFB) meant Red Bull couldn’t use its own name when establishing the club in 2009.
The soft drink purveyor instead went for ‘RasenBallsport’, which means ‘Lawn Ball Sports’ but looks enough like ‘Red Bull’ to make you remember where the money’s coming from.
It's Marcel Sabitzer! 🇦🇹
With socks that low, who else? 😏 pic.twitter.com/Un1zWPAde8
— RB Leipzig English (@RBLeipzig_EN) February 12, 2019
Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
Other teams in the Sri Lanka Premier League include the Upcountry Lions, Renown and Super Sun, but Solid Sporting Club get the nod for hosting matches at the ‘Prison Ground’.
Solid were national champions in 2014-15.
S.V. Robinhood was founded in 1945 as a community club for poorer citizens. They are the reigning champions of Suriname.
Part of the very fun Indian Super League, Kerala Blasters have a good name and have been managed by former England goalkeeper David James… twice!
Former players include Wes Brown, Graham Stack and Dimitar Berbatov.
Barrack Young Controllers are the reigning Liberian Premier League champions. Their motto is ‘Never Fear No Foe’.
Slutsk recently lost top scorer Evgeni Shikavka to Larisa in Greece. They’ll cope.
The most successful team in Malawi and its reigning champions, Big Bullets play at the 65,000-capacity Kamuzu Stadium. The club says it has around six million fans.
Get the kit here.
Back to work! ⚽💪
Bullets resumed training Monday in preparation for the '19 season. 23 players reported for today's session, including two of our new boys namely Luke Chima & Gomezgani Chirwa. Seven players are in camp with the Malawi U-23.#YesMaule #MaNyasa #NyasaBigBullets pic.twitter.com/yWDhxhzolI
— Nyasa Big Bullets FC (@nyasabigbullets) February 11, 2019
This club is named after the three red diamonds that make up the Mistubishi logo. I don’t think that takes any of the sheen off.
Mamelodi, South Africa
Motto: ‘The Sky is the Limit’.
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Liberian football legend (and president) George Weah played for the Union of Invincible Eleven & Majestic Sports Association between 1986 and 1987.
Will the club eventually die in a cloud of liquid nitrogen? Who knows?
The Young Boys Bern squad has an average age of 25 years and 3 months. They are the reigning Swiss champions.
Johannesburg, South Africa
Radebe would go on to play for Leeds United, ultimately inspiring that band to adopt the name ‘Kaiser Chiefs’. Not sure if we should be thankful for that.
On this day: Howard Wilkinson signed Lucas Radebe from Kaiser Chiefs & Phil Masinga from Mamelodi Sundowns in 1994. pic.twitter.com/FHwp9tIbz5
— LUFCDATA (@LUFCDATA) September 5, 2013
Founded in 1972, Triangle United are nicknamed the ‘Sugar Sugar Boys’.
Tottenham are named after Sir Henry Percy, better known as Sir Harry Hotspur, an English nobleman whose descendants owned land in the area.
I’d honestly never thought about it before.
Despite its name, Motor Action has a bull on its crest.
George Hill, Anguilla
This club’s crest, on the other hand, features a red pepper.
Grasshopper are managed by Murat Yakin, whose assistant is his little brother, Hakan Yakin.
According to FIFA, the origins of the name are “shrouded in mystery and have sadly evaporated into the mists of time”. So that’s that.
St John’s, Antigua
Founded in 1990, Antigua’s Grenades F.C. are currently second in the country’s Premier Division.
Yes, of course there is a grenade on the crest.
La Paz, Bolivia
Originally known as ‘The Strong Football Club’, the founders ultimately decided in 1908 that ‘The Strongest’ was better. Best, even.
Co-founder Victor Manuel Franco knew how to say it in English, and they eventually went with it.
Miscellaneous Sporting Club was founded in 1962 by Seretse Khama, the first president of the Republic of Botswana. Their kit is red and white.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
Probably not the highest standard of football, in all honesty.
Three-time winners of the Grenada Premier Division, Hard Rock finished runners up in the 2016 of the Waggy T Super Knockout Championship.
May Pen, Jamaica
Great name. Great kit.
Humble Lions finished eighth in the 2017-18 Red Stripe Premier League and are also eighth at the time of writing.
With a capacity of 1,000, the Effortville Community Centre is the smallest stadium in the Jamaican top flight.
Three-time champions WBC play in front of 3,500 fans at the Essed Stadion.
Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps take their name from English team Lincoln City F.C., whose nickname is ‘The Imps’.
The crest is good because it looks like the Manchester United logo went off the rails, lost its job and its confidence and was photographed, sheepishly, just trying to hold it all together for the sake of its kids.
Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia
According to the club’s official website, the name ‘Blooming’ was chosen by a local English teacher because it was synonymous with ‘resurgence’ and ‘flourishing’.
I feel like that doesn’t really answer all the questions I have, but sure.
According to its official website, Shimizu S-Pulse has a club philosophy based on three principles: Common Dream, Common Excitement and Common Pride.
On the name:
S-Pulse was named following a combination of the capital letter ‘S’ for ‘SOCCER, SHIMIZU, SHIZUOKA’ and the English word ‘PULSE’ to describe the excitement of football-loving citizens and their team spirit.
Garapan, Northern Mariana Islands
Very lunchtime five-a-side. They used to be called ‘Fiesta Inter Saipan’, but this is much better.
A top-flight women’s team from the Philippines, OutKast F.C. is made up of alumni from Far Eastern University.
And what’s cooler than being cool? Finishing seventh in the 2018 PFF Women’s League.
La Paz, Bolivia
Bolivia’s División de Fútbol Profesional makes a strong case for having, overall, the best-named teams in world football. One of the big hitters is Always Ready, founded in 1933 and playing in a kit similar to that of River Plate.
Pembroke Parish, Bermuda
The Hornets won their last league title in 2016 and reached the first round of the CONCACAF Champions’ Cup in 1991.
Their kit — sadly not worn with flowers or a bowler hat — is a sort of bronze colour.
Sticking with Bermuda a moment, and a special mention must go to Flanagan’s Onions F.C., who were unfortunately relegated from the top flight last season and thus do not qualify for this list.
Newton, Sierra Leone
Football in Sierra Leone has been on hold for several years hold due to political turmoil within the national football association, and Anti Drugs Strikers are starting to show withdrawal symptoms.
Unsurprisingly, this club is named after its sponsor, a fast food chain. But money buys success, and the club became national champions in 2015.
Chicken Inn’s advertising slogan is ‘Luv dat Chicken’. The club’s nickname is ‘Gamecocks’.
As promised @CHICKENINNFC1 delivered a small token this afternoon.
— #CelebBlogger (@kudatakundwa) February 11, 2019
Cape Coast, Ghana
Founded in 1939, the Ebusua Dwarfs reached the first round of the 2014 CAF Confederation Cup.
They have a really cool stadium and an even cooler name.
To be honest, they’d have been #1 if they’d gone with ‘Mysterious’ or ‘Dwarfs’. That they’ve used both is just bloody lovely.
— CAPE360 (@cape360gh) November 5, 2018