Why do they call Spain the red one What do

Why do they call Spain the red one? What do their colors mean?

(CNN Spanish) — The Spanish soccer team has been known for not long as “La Roja”, a nickname that has earned it a controversy with Chilean fans because their national team has been called that way since the eighties.

Why is the Spanish team called “La Roja”?

Spain’s national soccer team had earned the nickname “Red Fury” for the way they faced their rivals at the 1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, where they won the silver medal. Since then, her “direct, aggressive and energetic” style and the color of her shirt (red, in honor of her flag, with a golden lion embroidered on the chest) have identified her with this nickname.

But in 2004, when former player Luis Aragonés arrived to lead the Spanish team, he asked that the nickname “La Roja” be used to give the team an identity.

“I would like it to have a name, an identity. Just as Brazil is the canarinha or Argentina la albiceleste, I would like Spain to be La Roja”, said Aragonés, according to the sports journalist Miguel Gutiérrez in his book “soccer phrases“.

Aragonés was also responsible for putting an end to 44 years of waiting for Spain to win an important international title by winning the 2008 Euro Cup.

Spain against Germany, the great duel of Group E 1:55

Chilean fans claim exclusivity

That good run that Spain had achieved with Aragonés and later with Vicente del Bosque came crashing down in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil when they were eliminated from the group stage. “La Roja” lost to “La Roja” or, put another way, the Spanish team was beaten 2-0 by a Chile that played a great game.

A match that had been heating up since before it was played in the emblematic Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro. Chilean fans launched a large campaign on social networks under the hashtag “#LaRojaEsNuestra”. With this, they claimed that the Spanish team had appropriated their name. Not only that, they demanded that the winning team keep the exclusivity of the nickname.

“Because history has given us a name and since we can remember we have called our team La Roja. A couple of years ago, a team devoid of identity appropriated our name, our color. Chileans, the time has come to recover what that by history belongs to us”, is heard in the video.

The Chilean team has also been known as “La Roja” because of the color of its shirt since at least two decades before Spain was named that way.

With information from Juan Andrés Muñoz