Everybody loves a good mascot. Whether they’re building pre-match hype or offering a little levity at halftime, these characters are a beloved part of the matchday experience. Below, we rank the 25 mascots that, for one reason or another, are the best at bringing smiles to soccer fans’ faces.
25. Fred the Red (Manchester United)
Classic. The least intimidating “Red Devil” you’ll ever see, Fred the Red gets bonus points for wearing tiny shin guards like a mercurial No. 10 for Manchester United.
24. Jay (Juventus)
Jay’s dedication to wearing a scarf in all weather is admirable, but the Juventus mascot’s biggest selling point is that pair of excellent gold boots.
23. Hammerhead (West Ham)
Hammerhead looks like the lovechild of a Transformer and a Lego superhero. With such a solid build, it’s stunning Sam Allardyce never tried to deploy West Ham’s mascot at center-back.
22. H’Angus the Monkey (Hartlepool)
H’Angus the Monkey was literally the mayor of Hartlepool for a decade. That’s not a joke. It actually happened.
21. Fritzle (VfB Stuttgart)
Fritzle looks like he should be battling Donkey Kong, but the Stuttgart mascot is actually two years older than King K. Rool. Explain yourself, Nintendo.
20. Captain Blade (Sheffield United)
In a battle royal, I’m taking the mascot wielding two giant swords, even if Sheffield United’s Captain Blade only has one eye and is encumbered by a pair of absurd clown shoes.
19. Bulli (RB Leipzig)
What’s Bulli hiding beneath that sheepish grin? Perhaps it’s the secret behind RB Leipzig’s incredible scouting system.
18. Super-Homem Tricolor (Bahia)
The mascot for Brazilian club Bahia is an unabashed rip-off of Superman. Honestly, you have to respect the brazenness.
17. Palmerin (Real Betis)
Real Betis’ mascot, a jolly palm tree, is one of the few in world football to show off multiple hairstyles over the years. Palm leaves are very versatile.
16. Xolo Mayor (Club Tijuana)
Created in honor of the Xoloitzcuintle, the hairless dog breed native to the Mexican region, Club Tijuana’s canine mascot has bigger biceps than a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.
15. Blu (Cruz Azul)
Mexican side Cruz Azul have several monikers; locomotives, cement workers, and hares are all associated with the club. Thankfully, they’ve opted to use the leporine option for their official mascot.
14. Grayou (FC Metz)
Grayou, one of the game’s most prolific mascots on social media, was inspired by French folklore; legend has it that a dragon-like creature lived in the city before being vanquished by St. Clement of Metz. Cool backstory for the FC Metz representative.
13. Crusty the Pie (Wigan Athletic)
That no drunken Wigan fan has ever tried to eat Crusty the Pie is nothing short of a miracle. And pretty disappointing, to be honest.
12. Filbert Fox (Leicester City)
Filbert Fox of Leicester City was the first mascot to ever sign a shoe deal, inking terms with Puma in 2016. Filbert also sports Predators. Respect.
11. Timber Joey (Portland Timbers)
Portland’s tradition of having an authentic lumberjack for a mascot – complete with a freakin’ chainsaw – started in the 1970s with Timber Jim. Joey took up the mantle after Jim retired.
10. Harry the Hornet (Watford)
One of English football’s most notorious mascots, Watford’s Harry the Hornet became Roy Hodgson’s mortal enemy after mocking Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha for diving in 2016.
9. Boiler Man (West Bromwich Albion)
Baggie Bird remains West Brom’s primary mascot, but Boiler Man, introduced after the club signed a sponsorship deal with a boiler company in 2018, became an instant legend.
8. RapidMan (Colorado Rapids)
RapidMan, the Colorado Rapids’ super-chill and super-jacked mascot, returned for the 2020 season after a 13-year retirement. He hasn’t aged one bit. Must be that Rocky Mountain air.
7. Erwin (Schalke)
Schalke mascot Erwin, who makes absolutely no anatomical sense, once showed a red card to a referee after a heated draw with rivals Borussia Dortmund. Power move.
6. Cozmo (LA Galaxy)
The LA Galaxy captured one MLS Cup prior to introducing their thrill-seeking galactic mascot in 2003. They’ve won four since. Cozmo forever.
5. Super Pepino (Leganes)
Leganes’ nickname is Los Pepineros – the Cucumber Growers – so it should come as no surprise that their mascot is a 7-foot cucumber who … wears a Zorro mask?
4. Groguet (Villarreal)
Instead of playing it safe with something from the animal kingdom, Villarreal went bold with an anthropomorphic submarine. Groguet has been a fixture at the club for nearly two decades.
3. Kinsgley (Partick Thistle)
Partick Thistle’s mascot was described by some as the “physical embodiment of nightmares” when it was unveiled in 2015. It’s terrifying, and that’s why it’s great.
2. Hennes (FC Koln)
FC Koln’s famous billy goat mascot has been around since 1950 when the club was gifted a former circus goat and named it after then-manager Hennes Weisweiler. The long-serving Hennes VII retired in 2019 due to age-related osteoarthritis, with Hennes IX assuming the coveted position.
1. Gunnersaurus (Arsenal)
There was only ever going to be one winner. The lovable dinosaur shaped like a pear is probably a better footballer than half the members of the Arsenal squad.