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Why is Real Madrid’s possible signing Tchouameni called ‘Chumino’ and what is the origin of the nickname?

As the operation to whisk Aurelien Tchouaméni to Real Madrid gathers pace, his nickname ‘Chumino’ has been trending in Spain.

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) of France and Aurelien Tchouameni (AS Monaco) of France during the warm-up before the UEFA Nations League League A Group 1 match between France and Denmark at Stade de France on June 3, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Aurelien Tchouaméni is set to become Real Madrid’s second acquisition of the summer after Antonio Rüdiger. The 22-year-old agreed personal terms with the European champions a few days ago and it has since emerged that Monaco and Madrid have reached an agreement on a fee. Madrid will pay Monaco a fixed figure of 80 million euros for the French midfielder, plus a further 20 million in performance-related add-ons. Pending official confirmation of a deal, the Spanish giants appear to have beat PSG and Liverpool to land Tchouaméni, who will be an alternative to Casemiro in Ancelotti’s midfield set-up.

Unsurprisingly, Tchouaméni’s name has loomed large in the Spanish sports media during the past few weeks. He is one of the most promising young players to have emerged in European football in recent years, modelling himself on the stars he admires - Pogba, De Bruyne and Kanté.

Tchouaméni was also trending on social media for other reasons. In France, he has several nicknames - Auré, Aurel plus references to Pogba (La Pioche) and Kanté (TchouaNgolo). But in Spain, many fans find the player’s surname too much of a mouthful to pronounce, and like in similar cases, they have adapted it. In many of the chat forums, Tchouaméni has been referred to as Chumino - a variation on his surname, although an unfortunate one.

Chumino is a Spanish slang word, not frequently used these days, which refers to an intimate part of the female anatomy. There is an entry for the word in the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) dictionary, classified as a vulgarity.

There have been several cases of foreign players whose surnames or nicknames take on an entirely new meaning in other languages. Some in LaLiga that spring to mind include former Mallorca and Zaragoza midfielder Francisco Higuera, nicknamed Paquete (moron), Antonio Poyatos, Ciprian Marica, Pierre Webo or Benjamin Karamoko.

But who knows? When he arrives, Tchouaméni could be referred to in a more harmless way by Madrid fans - he could possibly be dubbed Chuey, Chua, Chuchamini