FC Barcelona and their fans are known as “cules”; RCD Espanyol as “periquitos”; Valencia as “ches”… And why are Real Madrid and their fans known as “merengues”?

The word “merengue” referring to Real Madrid was used for first time in the Spanish press in 1913, 11 years after the club was founded. Real Madrid’s shirt was already white at that time (although not the kit, like now) and that brought people to identify Real with the popular dessert “meringue” (made from whipped egg whites and sugar, which is totally white).

However, the name “merengue” in reference to Real Madrid became common when La Liga matches began to be broadcast on radio. At that time there was only one radio station in Spain, Radio Nacional de España, so every name used by the famous Spanish journalist Matías Prats (who commentated all matches) was very likely to become popular.

This was exactly what happened with Real Madrid. Matías Prats began to talk about Los Blancos as “merengues”, and from that moment on, Real Madrid would be for ever known by this name.

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