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Nickname Origin of Barcelona and Real Madrid Fans

Nickname Origin of Barcelona and Real Madrid Fans

Spanish football fans have grown up referring to Barcelona fans as “culés” and Real Madrid fans as “Vikings”. They are expressions that are completely standardized, although the origins of these two nicknames have rarely been analyzed, even reaching outside of Spanish borders.
In the case of Barcelona, the birth of this nickname is quite clear. You have to go back to the time when the Blaugrana played their matches at home in Les Corts (between 1922 and 1957). The expectation was such every time Barça played that the stadium did not have enough space to accommodate all the fans. For this reason, it was common for many fans to sit on the walls that surrounded the field of play. From the outside, what the pedestrians saw were the buttocks of the fans, which is why they began to be known as “culers”, that is, those who teach the “cul” (ass). The pronunciation is culés, a name that ended up enduring in time until today.
In the case of the Vikings, there are two theories. The first dates back to the 1960s and it is said that there was an article in The Times in which it said that “Real Madrid walks through Europe like the Vikings used to walk, devastating everything in their path.”
The other theory advances a little more in time, also coinciding with the time when this nickname began to become popular. In the 1970s, Madrid signed several footballers from northern Europe (Netzer, Breitner, Stielike or Jensen). They all had a Nordic look reminiscent of the Vikings and it is said that it was there that the Madridistas became known that way.


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