“The Selection” is Brazil’s nickname because it’s what Brazilians call every soccer team: a “seleção. But only the national team is “the “Seleção.” Brazil is also known as “Canarihno” (“Little Canary”) due to the team’s bright yellow uniforms.
Call it German efficiency: “Die Mannschaft” means “The Team” in German. Simple, practical and formidable when spoken.
Named for the team’s famous orange kits, the color is actually nowhere to be found on the Netherlands’ flag. Instead it refers to the color of the old Dutch royal family: House of Orange-Nassau. The team’s invention of a precise method of passing to maintain ball control — Total Football — also earned the Dutch team the nickname and Kubrickian homage “Clockwork Orange.”
As beautiful as it is eloquent, “La Albiceleste” means “The White and Sky Blue,” and refers to Argentina’s famous striped uniforms.