A country whose folklore is so rich and replete with hobgoblins, pixies, gnomes, druids, and writers like Shakespeare, Arthur Conan Doyle, JRR Tolkien, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and now JP Rowling has not kept up with a commensurate streak of imagination when it comes to naming their clubs.
I mean how many clubs can be called United, City, County, and Athletic. The more mildly interesting named Wanderers have two representatives in the Premiership. Even if we go into colloquialisms which provide a richer vein of fan imagination we get Reds, Blues, Clarets, or some bird species. Corruptions provide a bigger range like Latics and Toon. We can even commend the Mackems, Pompey, and the Toffees for their uniqueness. As an Arsenal pedant, the name Gunners sounds relatively juicy.
But can this compare to the Kashima Antlers, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, or the Shimizu S Pulse (you can plug this one on for a happy ending) of the J-League. Closer to the English league, Kilmarnock meets Motherwell. You need no nicknames as Scottish towns are more imaginatively named. Love you, Bolton.
The Liga has its share of Real, Atletico, and Sporting but they score out with names like Los Colchoneros or Boquerones. Yes, the quality of football is better too.
Sevilla and Sporting Gijon are both Rojiblancos but the former are also called Los Nervionenses referring to Nervion where the club is located. Chelsea and Birmingham are both Blues but the London club were also called the Pensioners in the past which of course in Roman Abramovich's time makes as much sense as a hole in the head. The temporary confusion when both meet is quickly sorted out looking at the scoreline.
Italy loves its colours too but no two teams are called Violas or Giallorossi. They also venerate the Large Glass Snakes, the Flying Donkeys and the Old Fool. Which the protagonist in John Bunyan's book missed out on his way to Celestial City.
In the MLS, Beckham mistook the Galaxy for the Galacticos but after singing "We are the World" with Donovan (the player) he still wants to become one of Berlusconi's Boyz which we also call AC Milan. Despite the vigorous product placement (Alecko Eskandarian drinking Red Bull), the MLS markets calamitous one like the San Jose Earthquakes. There is nothing like a natural disaster associated with an area to drive up depressed club attendances.
Then again there is always the Bundesliga. Now that is a real schalke.