Classic Club Names

Ten classic football club names that we love...

No.1 Rapid Vienna Austria

Rapid Vienna crest

Rapid Vienna to give them their official name, "Die Grün-Weißen" (the Green-Whites) have been around since 1899. They're not just on of the great names of Austrian football culture but of Europe too.

The name was apparently inspired by a German club, Berliner FC Rapide 1893. Rapid Vienna are well known for their fans' "Rapidviertelstunde" - rhythmic clapping for the last 15 mins to inspire the team.

No.2 Grasshopper Club Zurich Switzerland

Grasshopper Club Zurich

Formed in 1886 by an English student named Tom Griffith, with a kit inspired by English club Blackburn Rovers, no-one seems to know the exact origin of the name but the most popular idea is that it was inspired by the team's energetic playing-style in their early days.

Not just a great club name but also a fine pedigree in their domestic league, Swiss football league winners 27 times, still significantly more than any other club.

No.3 Corinthians Brazil


Named after the English amateur club from the late 1800s. But Brazilian.

The club was formed in São Paulo in 1910 by five railway workers after they'd watched a match featuring the touring London-based club Corinthian F.C.

No.4 Sheffield Wednesday England

Sheffield Wednesday crest

One of English football's grand old clubs. Originally named The Wednesday Football Club, they were formed in 1867 as an offshoot of the Wednesday Cricket Club. The name was derived from the day off work that the founding members had, and therefore the only day they could all play.

Sheffield Wednesday is one of the most unusual football club names in English football, but also one of the best.

No.5 Borussia Mönchengladbach Germany

Borussia Mönchengladbach crest

This brilliant name simply reeks of classic 70's football, a time when "die Fohlen" (the Foals) were at their best.

Formed in the German city of Mönchengladbach in 1900, the "Borussia" part comes from the Latinized form of Prussia, the historic name of the area's old kingdom.

No.6 Colo Colo Chile

Colo Colo crest

Chile's no.1 club are named after a legendary tribal chief, as per the character on their classic football badge..

The club was formed in 1920 by a group of players who'd split from another Santiago club, Deportes Magallanes. They chose the Colo Colo name as he was a symbol of heroic courage and bravery, having fought and never surrendered to the Spaniards as they tried to conquer Chile.

No.7 Boca Juniors Argentina

Boca Juniors crest

Fans of this great Argentinian club are certainly spoilt. Not only have they had some classic football kits, some brilliant badges, play at one of the world's most iconic stadiums, and have watched some of the game's greatest players, they also have one of the best sounding club names around.

So many of the Argentinian club names sound cool. And this is certainly one of them. Formed by a group of Italian immigrant boys in 1905, the name comes from the 'La Boca' neighbourhood (or barrio) of Buenos Aires. The club's iconic stadium, La Bombonera, is still based in La Boca.

No.8 Saint-Étienne France

Saint-Étienne crest

Ok, so admittedly it's simply the name of the French city, but it just sounds so good, instantly giving off memories of their great sides of the 1970's and 80's featuring the likes of Platini, Rep and Rocheteau.

And we're not the only ones to love the name, Bob Stanley, Pete Wiggs and Sarah Cracknell named their indie band Saint Etienne after them.

No.9 Sparta Prague Czech Republic

Sparta Prague crest

Formed in 1893 by three brothers, they're Czech but took their name from the legendary warrior society of the ancient Greek city. Rotterdam and Blyth do similar, but we think Sparta Prague has the edge.

No.10 Red Star Belgrade Serbia

Red Star Belgrade

Actually called Crvena Zvezda in their homeland, but to English-speaking kids growing up around the 1980s, they were called Red Star Belgrade, and the name alone just made them sound brilliant.

They're actually one of the more recent club names on our list, formed in 1945 during World War II, after all of the pre-war Serbian clubs had been abolished. The founding members wanted "Star" in the new club name and picked "Red Star" ahead of "People's Star" and "Blue Star". A wise choice in our book.

No.11 Deportivo Morón Argentina

Deportivo Morón crest

Formed in 1947 as "Club Sportivo Morón", the club changed its name to "Club Deportivo Morón" in 1952. We were slightly disappointed to learn that the name is actually taken from the name of the city where the club is based, Morón, rather than after some idiotic first owner.

No.12 Kaizer Chiefs South Africa

Kaizer Chiefs crest

Formed in 1970 after South African forward Kaizer 'Chincha Guluva' Motaung returned to the country from the United States, where he'd been playing for the Atlanta Chiefs in the NASL. He combined his own first name with second part of Atlanta Chiefs to create the new club name, Kaizer Chiefs.

No.13 Neuchâtel Xamax Switzerland

Neuchâtel Xamax crest

Neuchâtel Xamax were formed in 1970 following a merger between FC Cantonal and FC Xamax. FC Xamax had actually been named after one of Switzerland's greatest forwards, "Xam" Max Abegglen, who was born in Neuchâtel.

No.14 O'Higgins Chile

O'Higgins crest

Chilean club from the city of Rancagua, the were named in honour of Chile's founding father, Bernardo O'Higgins, an independence leader of Irish/Spanish ancestry who freed the country from Spanish rule in the Chilean War of Independence.

No.15 Vasco da Gama Brazil

Vasco da Gama crest

Formed by Portuguese immigrants in the Rio de Janeiro neighbourhood called Vasco da Gama, which had taken its name from the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama.

No.16 Újpest Dozsa Hungary

Újpest Dozsa crest

The name doesn't exist anymore, as the club is simply called Újpest FC, but this was the post World War II name for for the club. The communist-era government chose Újpest as the official club of the police and so renamed it as Ujpest Dózsa, similar to how in other eatern-bloc countries"Dynamo" would be used for the police team names.

No.17 Carl Zeiss Jena Germany

Carl Zeiss Jena crest

Another iconic East European football club name. The club was formed in 1903 by workers at the Carl Zeiss AG optics factory in the city of Jena.

No.18 Go Ahead Eagles Netherlands

Go Ahead Eagles crest

The club was originally formed in the Dutch city of Deventer in 1902 under the name Be Quick but was changed to Go Ahead in 1905. The Eagle suffix wasn't added until the 1970s, it was actually at the suggestion of their Welsh coach at the time, Barry Hughes, who thought it would be a good addition as the eagle was on the city's coat of arms.

No.19 Deportivo Wanka Peru

Deportivo Wanka crest

When it comes to smutty football club names, this Peruvian club is the daddy. Formed in 1969, it takes its name from the Wankas people who traditionally lived in the area around the city of Huancayo.

Thanks to its name, Deportivo Wanka has become something of a cult club in the United Kingdom, with shirt sales to the home nations outstripping much bigger clubs from South America.

No.20 Hearts Scotland

Hearts crest

The club was formed in 1874 as a footballing offshoot from an Edinburgh dancing club called The Heart of Midlothian Quadrille Assembly. The Heart of Midlothian name to which both refer to, was a famous building in the city that was demolished in 1817, but who's entrance is still marked by a heart-shape formation of stones.