World Cup team nicknames: List of alternative references for all 32 countries at Qatar 2022 from Atlas Lions to Samurai Blue

Each World Cup offers fans the opportunity to improve their knowledge of geography and learn a bit more about countries around the world.

As usual, 32 nations have qualified for the Qatar 2022 tournament, with five continents represented.

Each team will arrive hoping to make their country proud and achieve success in what is arguably the world’s greatest sporting event.

Each nation is often referred to by its respective nickname in Qatar, so it pays to know who’s who.

The sports news looks at each team’s nickname for the 2022 World Cup and explains how some nations got their nickname.

Nicknames of World Cup teams 2022

nation Nickname/s
Argentina La Albiceleste (The White and Sky Blue)
Australia The Socceroos
Belgium Rode Duivels (The Red Devils)
Brazil Selecao (The Team), Canarinho (Little Canary)
Cameroon Les Lions Indomptables
Canada The Reds, the Maple Leafs
Costa Rica Los Ticos (The Ticos)
Croatia Vatreni (The Blazers), Kockasti (The Checkered)
Denmark De Rød-Hvide (The Red and White)
Ecuador La Tricolor (The Tricolors)
England The three lions
France Les Bleus (The Blues)
Germany National Eleven, The Team
Ghana Black Stars
Iran Team Melli (The National Team)
Japan Samurai Blue
Mexico El Tri (The Tricolor)
Morocco The Atlas Lions
Netherlands orange
Poland Biało-czerwoni (The White and Red), Orły (The Eagles)
Portugal A Seleção (The Selection), Os Navegadores (The Sailors)
Qatar The maroon
Saudi Arabia The Green Falcons
Senegal Lions of Teranga
Serbia Оrlovi (The Eagles)
South Korea Taegeuk warriors, tigers of Asia
Spain La Roja (The Red One), La Furia Roja (The Red Fury)
Switzerland Nati (National Team), Rossocrociati (Red Crosses)
Tunisia Eagle of Carthage
United States USMNT, The Stars and Stripes
Uruguay La Celeste (The Sky Blue)
Wales Y Dreigiau (The Dragons)

MORE: Full 2022 World Cup schedule | When will the Premier League return after the World Cup?

How are national team nicknames chosen?

Nicknames often reflect a country’s colors, emblems, or national animals.

The “Tricolors” is a nickname shared by some teams and is chosen because these nations have three colors in their national flag.

Animals are often a common theme when it comes to nicknames, with lions, tigers, hawks, eagles and canaries all set to be mentioned at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Japan’s moniker Samurai Blue is particularly unique as blue does not appear on the flag, but it is a color the team has sported since the 1930s. Samurai, on the other hand, is a common nickname for Japanese men’s sports teams and a nod to their history.

Another interesting nickname is that of Morocco, known as the Atlas lions. This moniker refers to the Atlas lion, also known as the Barbary lion, an extinct subspecies of lion previously found in Morocco and other parts of North Africa.

Copa del Mundo Qatar

Why is England called the three lions?

One of the most famous football nicknames belongs to England, also known as the Three Lions.

This nickname is a direct reference to the team’s three lions badge and the official logo of the Football Association.

England have worn the badge since their first game in 1872, while the FA put the three lions on their logo when it was founded in 1863.

Lions have been a common emblem on battlefields in England throughout history, with the three lion images first used as royal arms by Richard I in 1198.


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