It is normal in club football for teams to bear the names of towns, cities, or areas they are based. For example, FC Barcelona, AS Roma, Real Madrid, and Manchester City are all named after places. A few clubs, however, don’t follow this trend. There are many popular football clubs that aren’t places or named after places. These clubs can be found all over the world, and today, you will find out some of them.

1. Atalanta

Atalanta Football Clubs That Are Not Named After Places 
(Photo by Francesco Scaccianoce/LiveMedia/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

In recent years, Atalanta have risen to become of the best football clubs in Europe. The Italian football club is based in Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy, and not named after any City. Atalanta was established on 17 October 1907 by students of the Liceo Classico Paolo Sarpi and was named after the female athlete of the same name from Greek mythology.

2. Kaizer Chiefs

This South African club was founded in 1970 by Kaizer Motaung, a former player in the now-defunct North American Soccer League. The club was named after its founder, who combined his first name ‘Kaizer’ with ‘Chiefs,’ which was part of his former club’s name Atlanta Chiefs. Despite being based in the South African city of Johannesburg, Amakhosi’s club name bears no connection whatsoever to the city they are based in. Kaizer Chiefs is one of the most supported clubs on the continent and have won many domestic league titles.

3. Club The Strongest 

This uniquely named Bolivian club is one of the best teams in the Division Profesional. Even though they are based in the city of La Paz, their club name has no connection to the city or any area for that matter. Tigre got its name from a battle fought during the Chaco War of the early to mid-1930s called Batalla de Canada Strongest.

4. Olympiacos

The Greek club is the most successful football team in the country, having won the league 46 times and the cup 28 times. Erythrolefki was founded on the 10 of March 1925. They are based in the Greek port city called Piraeus. The club’s name was inspired by the ancient Greek Olympic Games and the spirit behind it. This is also reflected in the emblem of the club depicting an athlete wearing an Olympic laurel.

5. Arsenal FC

Arsenal Football Clubs That Are Not Named After Places 

Arsenal is one of the most famous football clubs in North London. It is based in Islington, London, England, and are the third-most successful club in English football. Arsenal are not named after any City and are one of the popular football clubs that changed their names. Scotsman David Danskin founded the club in 1886, and it was called Dial Square Football Club. They immediately changed the name from Royal Arsenal to Woolwich Arsenal, and finally just Arsenal as they are known today.

6. Celtic 

The Scottish giants’ name pays homage to the culture of the Celts, the common ancestor of the Scottish and Irish people. Even though the Hoops are based in the city of Glasgow, the club name bears no remote relation to the location. Celtic are 51-time domestic league champions.

7. Juventus

The Italian club is one of the most easily recognized teams in the world. The club was founded 124 years ago in the city of Turin. It’s one of the few clubs in Italy whose name bears no relation to the city the club resides in. The name of the club is derived from the Latin word iuventus, meaning youth, which is quite ironic considering that their nickname is the Old Lady. 

8. Club Atlético River Plate

River Plate are arguably the most popular football club in South America. The club is based in the Núñez neighborhood of Buenos Aires but are not named after the famous Argentinian capital. Rather, it is named after the English name for the city’s estuary, Río de la Plata. 

Other Notable Football Clubs That Are Not Named After Places:

  • Port Vale Football Club
  • SuperSport United F.C.
  • Zamalek Sporting Club
  • Mountain of Fire and Miracles Football Club (MFM FC)
  • Rangers Football Club
  • Heart of Midlothian Football Club
  • Hibernian Football Club
  • Enyimba FC
  • St Johnstone Football Club
  • ACF Fiorentina
  • Levante Unión Deportiva
  • Club Atlético Osasuna
  • Real Sociedad de Fútbol
  • Real Betis Balompié
  • Hércules de Alicante Club de Fútbol
  • FC Schalke 04.

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