In this post, we explain the football expression ‘Red Devils, which is a football devils

  • Find out more about this phrase by reading the transcript below.
  • You can also find many more examples of soccer vocabulary by going to our football cliches page here and our huge football glossary here.

Football Language: Red Devils

In football nearly all teams have a nickname which is an informal name to describe the team – maybe the history, the club’s colours or something to do with where the team is from. So, for example, Real Madrid are known as Los Blancos – the Whites – as they wear an all-white kit, while Barcelona are known as the Blaugrana which again refers to their colours. In England many of the big clubs are also known after their colours – The Blues for Chelsea and the Reds for Liverpool. Arsenal are known as the Gunners because of their history – they were originally a team from an armament factory – they made guns. Manchester United are known as the Red Devils and if you take a close look at their badge you will see a Red Devil in the middle. It seems that the club’s former manager, Matt Busby, liked the nickname of the local rugby team – Salford Red Devils – and decided to use it for his own club. Now the Red Devils, despite also being the nickname of both the Belgian and South Korean national sides, is synonymous with Manchester United.

Example: Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata urges Red Devils to win FA Cup final for Sir Alex Ferguson (May 7th 2018, Mirror Online).

Other nicknames

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Learn English Through FootballWelcome to the website that helps students interested in football improve their English language skills. Football fans can practise with lots of free language resources, including football-language podcasts and our huge football-language glossary.

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