Spanish football culture wouldn’t be complete without the weird and wonderful mascots that accompany each La Liga team. Here are some of the most beloved mascots in Spanish football’s top tier.
Super Pepino (CD Leganes)
Who would have thought a cucumber could be a superhero? Well, that’s exactly what Legane’s mascot is, the Super Pepino.
After some years away, Super Pepino has gained some admirers in the 2018/19 season. The name has its origins from the nickname given to the citizens of Leganes who have long been referred to as ‘pepineros’ due to the area’s history as a supplier of fruit and vegetables.
While Super Pepino personality can be a handful, leading to hi-jinks from his own team and opposition, he has become one of the most popular mascots in Spain.
Blau and Grana (Levante UD)
In keeping with the weird and wacky nature of Spanish football mascots, Levante’s mascots go hand in hand with the club’s own nickname, ‘Los Granotas’, or ‘The Frogs’.
Wearing the ‘blugarana’ colours of their team’s home jerseys, Levante are the first La Liga club to have both male and female mascots, Blau and Grana.
Each of the frogs are said to have their own distinctive personality, Blau has a strong personality, is a fighter, a non-conformist and a dreamer. Meanwhile, Grana is smart, intelligent, realistic and insightful.
Both work well together and never miss a home game, while also supporting local causes and making regular appearances and club events.
Levante club president Quico Catalan said the pair “show our younger supporters the values of the club, based in humility, respect, integration and overcoming challenges.”
Zorro Babazorro (D.Alaves)
Born back in 1997, Zorro Babazorro is the brainchild of Vitoria artist and designer Inaki Gonzales-Oribe.
His name comes from Alaves’ own nickname ‘Los Babazorros’ a combination of Basque words for ‘bag of beans’ and ‘zorro’ meaning fox.
Babazorro likes to get as close to the action and usually joins in the team photo with the players before the game.
Palmerin (Real Betis)
A palm tree does indeed make for one of La Liga’s most established and beloved mascots.
Chosen by a vote from Real Betis fans in the club’s centenary year in 2006, Palmerin is a large than life symbol of ‘Beitcismo’.
Palermin’s name comes from the historic palm-tree lined Avenida de la Palerma which runs from Seville city centre to the club’s Estadio Benito Villamarin home.
Palermin is best known for joining in on both men’s and women’s team's goal celebrations and also attends official club events and visits younger fans at local hospitals.
Perico and Perica (RCD Espanyol)
The 2017/18 season saw Espanyol’s favourite parakeet Perico joined by a female counterpart in the form of Perica.
Espanyol fans have long been known as los periquitos due to the parakeet birds that lived around the club’s old home stadium, the Estadio de Sarria.
The two mascots are innovative dancers as they look to add an extra bit of entertainment at the RCDE stadium, and they also get involved in pre-game ceremonies recognising local celebrities and achievers in other sports.
Rat Penat (Valencia CF)
While Valencia’s mascot may be called ‘rat’ despite being a bat, this is explained as bats are indeed called rats in the local language – just to clear up any confusion.
Since as far back as the 13th century, a bat known as a ‘murcielago’ in Spanish has been included in the city crest of Valencia.
The nocturnal mammal played a legendary role in a medieval battle for control of the city, and as such, the bat has also featured on the club’s crest since Valencia’s formation in 1919.
Groguet (Villarreal CF)
Taking on the Beatles-inspired Yellow Submarine nickname, Groguet is literally a yellow submarine, with a periscope and all.
Groguet was brought to life in 2001 after 12-year-old fan Javier Fuster Almela won a naming contest with his suggestion of Groguet, ‘yellow’ in the local dialect.
Groguet never misses a game at the Estadio de la Ceramica, supporting Villareal through good times and bad, while also becoming a well-known personality in the local media.