World Cup country nicknames—what they are and how they got them

Yahoo Sports

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is here. 32 squads, 1 goal, and plenty of country nicknames. Some nicknames represent the history of their nation, while others are a bit more creative. Let's take a look at each World Cup country and their national team's nicknames.
- Xoel Cardenas, Yahoo! Sports

Brazil's national soccer team poses for pictures prior to a friendly soccer match against Panama at the Serra Dourada stadium in Goiania, Brazil, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Back row, from left: Dante, Fred, David Luiz, goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Luiz Gustavo; first row from left: Oscar, Daniel Alves, Neymar, Ramires, Marcelo, and Hulk. Brazil is preparing for the World Cup soccer tournament that starts on 12 June. Brazil won the match 4-0. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
Spain heads FIFA rankings, Brazil rises to No. 3
Brazil's national soccer team poses for pictures prior to a friendly soccer match against Panama at the Serra Dourada stadium in Goiania, Brazil, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. Back row, from left: Dante, Fred, David Luiz, goalkeeper Julio Cesar, Luiz Gustavo; first row from left: Oscar, Daniel Alves, Neymar, Ramires, Marcelo, and Hulk. Brazil is preparing for the World Cup soccer tournament that starts on 12 June. Brazil won the match 4-0. (AP Photo/Andre Penner)
ZAGREB, CROATIA - NOVEMBER 19: Stipe Pletikosa, Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren (L-R) of Croatia celebrate after the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier play-off second leg match between Croatia and Iceland at Maksimir Stadium on November 19, 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
Croatia v Iceland - FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier: Play-off Second Leg
ZAGREB, CROATIA - NOVEMBER 19: Stipe Pletikosa, Luka Modric and Dejan Lovren (L-R) of Croatia celebrate after the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier play-off second leg match between Croatia and Iceland at Maksimir Stadium on November 19, 2013 in Zagreb, Croatia. (Photo by Alex Grimm/Getty Images)
MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - JUNE 01: Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon waits for a corner during the International Friendly match between Germany and Cameroon at Borussia Park Stadium on June 1, 2014 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY - JUNE 01: Samuel Eto'o of Cameroon waits for a corner during the International Friendly match between Germany and Cameroon at Borussia Park Stadium on June 1, 2014 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Adam Pretty/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Mexico's Giovani dos Santos (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Ecuador in the second half of a friendly soccer match Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Mexico won 3-1. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Montes scores before injury as Mexico tops Ecuador
Mexico's Giovani dos Santos (10) celebrates after scoring a goal against Ecuador in the second half of a friendly soccer match Saturday, May 31, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. Mexico won 3-1. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Netherlands player Jeremain Lens, right, celebrates scoring against Wales with teammate Arjen Robben during the international friendly soccer match at ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Ermindo Armino)
Robben, Lens score as Netherlands beats Wales 2-0
Netherlands player Jeremain Lens, right, celebrates scoring against Wales with teammate Arjen Robben during the international friendly soccer match at ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands, Wednesday June 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Ermindo Armino)
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2013, file photo, Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates after a 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ecuador in Barranquilla, Colombia. Rodriguez is expected to take over the leadership of the Colombian Squad as it is still not sure if Radamel Falcao will play in the World cup due to injury. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
Ecuador offers lots of attacking options at WCup
FILE - In this Sept. 6, 2013, file photo, Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates after a 2014 World Cup qualifying match against Ecuador in Barranquilla, Colombia. Rodriguez is expected to take over the leadership of the Colombian Squad as it is still not sure if Radamel Falcao will play in the World cup due to injury. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan, File)
SAITAMA, JAPAN - JUNE 04: Shinji Kagawa of Japan dribbles the ball during the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Japan and Australia at Saitama Stadium on June 4, 2013 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)
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SAITAMA, JAPAN - JUNE 04: Shinji Kagawa of Japan dribbles the ball during the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Japan and Australia at Saitama Stadium on June 4, 2013 in Saitama, Japan. (Photo by Kaz Photography/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 file photo, Uruguay's Luis Suarez walks off the pitch at the end of a 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer game against Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has undergone keyhole surgery on his knee and is expected to recover in time for the World Cup. The mother of the 27-year-old Liverpool striker says he had surgery Thursday to repair damage to his meniscus. Sandra Diaz tells The Associated Press that the surgery was successful and that he is expected to recover in 2-3 weeks. Uruguay plays its first match at the World Cup against Costa Rica on June 14. The team will then face England on June 19 and Italy on June 24. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, file)
Uruguay star striker Luis Suarez has knee surgery
FILE - In this Friday, Oct. 11, 2013 file photo, Uruguay's Luis Suarez walks off the pitch at the end of a 2014 World Cup qualifying soccer game against Ecuador in Quito, Ecuador. Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has undergone keyhole surgery on his knee and is expected to recover in time for the World Cup. The mother of the 27-year-old Liverpool striker says he had surgery Thursday to repair damage to his meniscus. Sandra Diaz tells The Associated Press that the surgery was successful and that he is expected to recover in 2-3 weeks. Uruguay plays its first match at the World Cup against Costa Rica on June 14. The team will then face England on June 19 and Italy on June 24. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, file)
<p class="MsoNormal"><span class="nowrap"><strong><span>Costa Rica: <em>Los Ticos </em></span></strong></span></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span class="nowrap"><span>The term &ldquo;tico(s)&rdquo; is a colloquial term for &ldquo;costarricense(s), the Spanish term for the people of Costa Rica. (</span></span>Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)</p>
World Cup

Costa Rica: Los Ticos

The term “tico(s)” is a colloquial term for “costarricense(s), the Spanish term for the people of Costa Rica. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

England&#39;s Wayne Rooney shouts instructions to a teammate during the international friendly soccer match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium in London, Friday, May 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Wayne Rooney to start WCup warm-up match
England's Wayne Rooney shouts instructions to a teammate during the international friendly soccer match between England and Peru at Wembley Stadium in London, Friday, May 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Italy soccer team squad, back row from left; Mario Balotelli, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Leonardo Bonucci, Gianluigi Buffon, front row from left; Mattia De Sciglio, Ignazio Abate, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Marco Verratti, and Antonio Candreva, pose ahead of a friendly World Cup preparation soccer match between Italy and Luxembourg in Perugia, Italy, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Italy opens its Brazilian World Cup campaign against England in Group D on June 14 then faces Costa Rica on June 20 and Uruguay on June 24. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
Italy draws 1-1 with Luxembourg in WCup warm-up
Italy soccer team squad, back row from left; Mario Balotelli, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele De Rossi, Leonardo Bonucci, Gianluigi Buffon, front row from left; Mattia De Sciglio, Ignazio Abate, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Marco Verratti, and Antonio Candreva, pose ahead of a friendly World Cup preparation soccer match between Italy and Luxembourg in Perugia, Italy, Wednesday, June 4, 2014. Italy opens its Brazilian World Cup campaign against England in Group D on June 14 then faces Costa Rica on June 20 and Uruguay on June 24. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
<p class="MsoNormal"><span class="nowrap"><strong><span>Switzlerland: <em>Rossocrociati </em></span></strong></span><i><span><span>&nbsp;</span>(&ldquo;Red Cross&rdquo; in Italian) </span></i></p><p class="MsoNormal"><i><span>Traditionally, the Swiss team is known simply as &ldquo;the national team,&rdquo; however, there are three languages you can use to say this: &ldquo;Schweizer Nati</span></i><em><span>,&rdquo; &ldquo;</span><i><span>La Nati&rdquo;</span></i><em><span> or &ldquo;</span><i><span>Squadra Nazionale</span></i><em><span>,&rdquo; </span><span>as German, French, and Italian are three of the four official languages of the country. Another nickname for the Swiss is &ldquo;Rossocrociati,&rdquo; meaning Red Cross</span>. (Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)</em></em></em></p>
World Cup

Switzlerland: Rossocrociati  (“Red Cross” in Italian)

Traditionally, the Swiss team is known simply as “the national team,” however, there are three languages you can use to say this: “Schweizer Nati,” “La Nati” or “Squadra Nazionale,” as German, French, and Italian are three of the four official languages of the country. Another nickname for the Swiss is “Rossocrociati,” meaning Red Cross. (Philipp Schmidli/Getty Images)

<p class="MsoNormal"><strong><span>Honduras: <i>La H</i> (The &ldquo;H&rdquo;)</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Simple: Honduras starts with an &ldquo;H.&rdquo; Honduras is also known as &ldquo;La Bicolor&rdquo; (The Bi-color) in reference to the country&rsquo;s flag colors of blue and white. (</span>Scott Halleran/Getty Images)</p>
World Cup

Honduras: La H (The “H”)

Simple: Honduras starts with an “H.” Honduras is also known as “La Bicolor” (The Bi-color) in reference to the country’s flag colors of blue and white. (Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Edin Dzeko (11) vies for the ball against Mexico defender Carlos Salcido (3) during the first half of an international friendly soccer match at Soldier Field in Chicago, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
Bosnia edges Mexico 1-0 in warm-up match
Bosnia-Herzegovina forward Edin Dzeko (11) vies for the ball against Mexico defender Carlos Salcido (3) during the first half of an international friendly soccer match at Soldier Field in Chicago, Tuesday, June 3, 2014. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
<p class="MsoNormal"><span class="nowrap"><strong><span>Iran: Team Melli (</span></strong></span><strong><span>The National Team)</span></strong></p><p class="MsoNormal"><span>Pretty straightforward, wouldn&rsquo;t you say? </span>(Francois Nel/Getty Images)</p>
World Cup

Iran: Team Melli (The National Team)

Pretty straightforward, wouldn’t you say? (Francois Nel/Getty Images)

FILE - In this June 7, 2013, file photo, Portugal&#39;s Cristiano Ronaldo gets the ball past Russia&#39;s Alexei Kozlov, on the ground, during their 2014 World Cup qualifying group F soccer match, at the Luz stadium in Lisbon. (AP Photo/Armando Franca, File)
Adidas and Nike jostle for edge at the World Cup
FILE - In this June 7, 2013, file photo, Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo gets the ball past Russia's Alexei Kozlov, on the ground, during their 2014 World Cup qualifying group F soccer match, at the Luz stadium in Lisbon. (AP Photo/Armando Franca, File)
FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2013 file photo, Ghana soccer team poses prior to the start the World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt. Background from left: Kwadwo Asamoah, Michael Essien, Rashid Sumaila, Fatau Dauda, Andr Ayew and Jerry Akaminko. Foreground from left: Asamoah Gyan, Harrison Afful, Daniel Opare, Majeed Waris and Sulley Muntari. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa, File)
FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2013 file photo, Ghana soccer team poses prior to the start the World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt. Background from left: Kwadwo Asamoah, Michael Essien, Rashid Sumaila, Fatau Dauda, Andr Ayew and Jerry Akaminko. Foreground from left: Asamoah Gyan, Harrison Afful, Daniel Opare, Majeed Waris and Sulley Muntari
FILE- In this Nov. 19, 2013 file photo, Ghana soccer team poses prior to the start the World Cup qualifying soccer match between Egypt and Ghana at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo, Egypt. Background from left: Kwadwo Asamoah, Michael Essien, Rashid Sumaila, Fatau Dauda, Andr Ayew and Jerry Akaminko. Foreground from left: Asamoah Gyan, Harrison Afful, Daniel Opare, Majeed Waris and Sulley Muntari. (AP Photo/Ahmed Gomaa, File)
Russian national soccer team players celebrate a goal during a friendly soccer match against Morocco in Moscow, Russia, Friday, June 6, 2014. Russia won 2-0. This is the last friendly match before Russia team leave for Brazil to compete in the World Cup. (AP Photo/&#92;Name&#92;)
Injured Russia captain Roman Shirokov to miss WCup
Russian national soccer team players celebrate a goal during a friendly soccer match against Morocco in Moscow, Russia, Friday, June 6, 2014. Russia won 2-0. This is the last friendly match before Russia team leave for Brazil to compete in the World Cup. (AP Photo/\Name\)
Algeria defender Essaid Belkalem, right, celebrates the first goal in front of Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, during an international friendly test match ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, between the national soccer teams of Algeria and Armenia at the Stade de Tourbillon in Sion, Switzerland, Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Laurent Gillieron)
Algeria defender Essaid Belkalem, right, celebrates the first goal in front of Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, during an international friendly test match ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, between the national soccer teams of Algeria and Armenia at the Stade de Tourbillon in Sion, Switzerland, Saturday, May 31, 2014
Algeria defender Essaid Belkalem, right, celebrates the first goal in front of Armenian midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, during an international friendly test match ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil, between the national soccer teams of Algeria and Armenia at the Stade de Tourbillon in Sion, Switzerland, Saturday, May 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Keystone,Laurent Gillieron)

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