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English Names Abroad

Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy - British Council
 This article was generously provided to ClubFootball by the British Council, which operates in China as the Cultural and Education Section of the British Embassy.


Some of the world's most famous clubs were founded with the help of British people living or working abroad in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. In many cases the names of these clubs provide lasting clues as to their origins. Other clubs were named purely in honour of the English originals.
AC Milan
Formed in 1899 by an Englishman, Alfred Edwards, A.C. Milan have stuck to the anglicised version of their city's name. In Italian, the name is Milano. Similarly, Italy's oldest football club, Genoa, founded by Englishmen in 1893, have rejected a change of name to the city's Italian name, Genova.
Athletic Club de Bilbao
Formed in 1898 by the merger of two local clubs with British members, this famous club from the Basque region of Spain has maintained the English form of 'athletic' rather than adopt the Spanish 'atletico'.
River Plate
This famous Buenos Aires club adopted the anglicised name River Plate rather than the Spanish Rio de la Plata, after some of the founders spotted the name on a ship's container down by the docks. Another favourite name in Argentinian football is the English tag Juniors (as in Boca Juniors).
Red Star
This old Paris club, formed in 1897 by Jules Rimet (a founding member of FIFA), adopted its English name on the suggestion of the governess of one of Rimet's associates. Red Star now play in the French third division.
The Sao Paolo club formed in 1910 after its founders were inspired by the visit to Brazil of the English amateur club, also called Corinthians.




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