Football Club Initials and Meanings

Anyone who's a fan of foreign football, international clubs and leagues will no doubt have noticed the wide variety of letters that accompany football club names throughout the different countries.

So, whilst in the United Kingdom and Ireland we're mainly used to seeing FC after a name, or in some instances AFC, if you look over to the continent you'll discover a vast array of different letters before and after club names.

So here's our guide to what you can expect to see in the main leagues around Europe and what each of them means.

Initials used with French Football Club Names

There's some interesting club names used in France, here are the most common...

Initials Full Name Translation Examples
AS Association Sportive Sports Association AS Monaco
EA En Avant Forward EA Guingamp
FC Football Club Football Club FC Girondins de Bordeaux
SC Sporting Club Sports Club SC Bastia
RC Racing Club Racing Club RC Lens
OGC Olympique Gymnaste Club Olympic Gymnastic Club OGC Nice
OSC Olympique Sporting Club Olympic Sports Club Lille OSC
SCO Sporting Club de l'Ouest Sports Club of the West Angers SCO

Initials used with Italian Football Club Names

Some English influence on show in the club names in Italy with reference to cricket and football, both non-Italian words. Here are the most common...

Initials Full Name Translation Examples
AC Associazione Calcio Football Association AS Milan
AS Associazione Sportiva Sports Association AS Roma
CFC Cricket and Football Club Cricket and Football Club CFC Genoa
FC Football Club Football Club Juventus FC
SS Società Sportiva Sports Society SS Lazio
US Unione Sportiva Sports Union US Città di Palermo
UC Unione Calcio Football Union UC Sampdoria
SSC Società Sportiva Calcio Football Sports Society SSC Napoli

Initials used with German Football Club Names

There are plenty of variations with club names in Germany, here are the most common...

Initials Full Name Translation Examples
FC Fußball Club Football Club FC St. Pauli
BV Ballspiel Verein Ball Game Club BVB Dortmund
1. FC 1st Fußball Club First Football Club 1. FC Köln
SC Sport Club Sport Club SC Freiburg
SV Sportverein Sport Club Hamburger SV
TSG Turn- und Sportgemeinschaft Gymnastic and Sporting Community TSG 1899 Hoffenheim
TSV Turn- und Sportverein Gymnastic and Sporting Club TSV 1860 Munich
VfB Verein für Bewegungsspiele Club for Movement Games VfB Stuttgart
VfL Verein für Leibesübungen Club for Physical Education VfL Wolfsburg

Initials used with Spanish Football Club Names

Here are the most common football club initials used in Spain...

Initials Full Name Translation Examples
CA Club Atlético Athletic Club CA Osasuna
CD Club Deportivo Sports Club CD Leganés
CF Club de Fútbol Football Club Real Madrid CF
FC Futbol Club Football Club FC Barcelona
RCD Reial Club Deportiu Royal Sports Club RCD Espanyol
SD Sociedad Deportiva Sports Society SD Eibar
UD Unión Deportiva Sports Union UD Las Palmas