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BatiGol Weekly 108: The naming of things

In which we discuss cheese, the lion king, and all the other wonderful names.

ACF Fiorentina v Spal - Serie A
How is there not an Andrew Bird lyric about this?
Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

I’ll preface this by saying that I’m no expert on nicknames. I’ve never really even had one; when your name is Tito, a nickname is about as necessary as nipples on a bicycle, or whatever that old saying is. Nevertheless, I’ve always been very into nicknames, so I feel like it’s time to talk about them a little bit.

Fiorentina has always produced some wonderful nicknames. I mean, this is the club that signed up Pedro “el Artillero (the Artilleryman)” Pedrone back in the 1930s, paving the way for such luminaries as Angelo “il Soldatino (the Toy Solider) di Livio, Roberto “il Divino Codino (the Divine Ponytail),” Baggio, and Gabriel “il Re Leone (the Lion King)” Batistuta. And Socrates is still the best name a footballer has ever had and I will brook no argument here. Perhaps less immortal players, such as Facundo Roncaglia (Thor) and Juan Cuadrado (la Vespa/the Wasp), have gotten some excellent nicknames from the tifosi as well. Of the current squad, Giovanni Simeone’s “Cholito” is perfect, and Bryan Dabo’s “Perestroika” is perhaps self-imposed but nonetheless utterly brilliant.

But the nicknames we’ve come up with here have been pretty damn excellent too. My favorite is probably “the Cheese” for Riccardo Saponara, but “the Mountain” for Nikola Milenković is pretty swell too. Adem Ljajić being dubbed “Nutella Boy” will never not make me smirk. Alberto Gilardino becoming “the Gila Monster” is perhaps not super original, but provides a nice synergy between a poacher and a lizard—both wait, motionless and apparently useless, until the critical moment. Nikola Kalinić and Ciprian Tătărușanu may shared a pair of monickers—the Slim Reaper and the Slender Man—but they’re both worthy recipients of either.

While we may not have a Tanque or a Loco or even a Principino or a Pek on the squad right now, I have no doubt that this group will end up with some hall-of-fame-worthy nicknames in the coming months and years, and I’m very excited to see where they end up. I guess that this is to say that damn, yall funny.

Latest news

Fiorentina beat Genoa in a typically bonkers match. Here is our full coverage.

Comment of the week

I can’t post a picture of it because it’s maybe the most bigly comment in terms of square acreage in VN history, but Catalogue posted some of his greatest photoshop hits from the past several years in the comment section here. Just scroll til you find it. Trust me, it’s worth it.


What’s your favorite Viola nickname, past or present?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    the Cheese
    (14 votes)
  • 12%
    the Gila Monster
    (6 votes)
  • 27%
    Nutella Boy
    (13 votes)
  • 18%
    il Soldatino
    (9 votes)
  • 12%
    el Tanque
    (6 votes)
48 votes total Vote Now

That’s it for this week, folks. Do some stretching; it will improve your life so much.