The Belgian National Football Team, more commonly known as The Red Devils, is to change its nickname in order to avoid confusion with Manchester United. The Belgian National team, which became the first European team to qualify for next year's World Cup and which performed creditably at the last Euro and World Cup when they reached the quarterfinal stage at both tournaments, is considered one of the favorites to go far in Russia next year.
Speaking at a press conference in Brussels today, President of the Royal Belgian Football Association, Gerard Linard had this to say:
"We thought about it long and hard and although it was not easy, we realized that this was something that we had to do in order to avoid confusion and for us to have our own unique nickname. As you know, our National Football Team usually goes by the nickname The Red Devils which, unfortunately we share with another more successful and famous team and that is Manchester United. In fact, Manchester United even proudly wears the Devil on its team shirt. We don't. So why should we have a moniker that a more established football team already carries?"
He went on:
"Don't get me wrong folks and please don't call me unpatriotic or believe that I am bashing the national team. I'm not. In fact, I am very proud of this team and I look forward to them having a great World Cup in Russia next year. Frankly speaking, I won't be surprised if they win the whole thing. That said, I just don't like the nickname Red Devils when referring to the team. In addition to sharing the name with Manchester United, what makes them devils? To me the name "devil" generates negative images of the team. It tends to give the impression that our team is "evil" and "wicked". Why should this be?"
"So from this day on, the team will no longer be referred to as The Red Devils. Our boys always give their best whenever they represent their country whether it is in the World Cup or the Euros or even in international friendlies. They play with all their heart and soul. They will now be known as The Red Warriors which to me is a more appropriate name and which will serve to inspire and motivate them whenever they take the field and which will avoid confusion with Manchester United. Thank you folks."