38° Good Morning
38° Good Morning

Nicknames are abundant and colorful at World Cup

What's in a name? For the teams in the World Cup, colors, animals, terms of endearment, even a mythical winged horse too fast for anyone to ride. Yes, the nicknames are as varied a lot as the teams they belong to, and here are six of the best:

Bafana Bafana - How South Africans affectionately refer to their national team. It means "The Boys."

Indomitable Lions - With a name as fierce as this, Cameroon could have opponents running scared even before it sets foot on the field.

Socceroos - Australia has one of the most offbeat nicknames in the tournament. Most fun to say, too.

La Albirroja - Sounds like the name of a fine wine as it swirls around on your tongue, doesn't it? Nope. It's Paraguay's moniker.

Azzurri - Italian for cool. OK, not exactly. Italy's sports teams have traditionally worn blue. "Azzurro" is Italian for light blue in a nod to the House of Savoy, which unified Italy in the mid-1800s. But it also sounds chic and stylish, and nobody fits that description better than the Italians.

Chollima - North Korea's nickname comes from the aforementioned mythical winged horse, which could supposedly cover 250 miles in a day. The country's reconstruction and industrialization after the Korean War was known as the Chollima movement, and there's a statue of the creature in the capital of Pyongyang. - AP

TODAY'S GAMESFirst roundAt Johannesburg, Soccer City

South Africa vs. Mexico, 10 a.m., ESPN

At Cape Town

Uruguay vs. France, 2:30 p.m., ESPN


We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports