Listen closely as soccer fans roar and send echos through the streets, there you’ll find your answer.
From my experiences playing professionally in Europe, the fans I played in front of in Eastern Europe were second to none.
The noise, the unity, the visual attractiveness and passion in their chants sent chills down my spine.
Are they the best though? Tough to say, I bet the Italians and English will have something to say about that.
It’s more than just a simple “D-FENCE” dum dum “D-FENCE” dum dum “D-FENCE” chant you hear at basketball and American football games. These are songs that have been part of the teams, cities and peoples culture for decades.
No matter the score or situation of the country these fans are singing and dancing away celebrating their team and cities history.
This is an escape for the people and brings joy to them at the end of their work filled weeks. The stadium is always a place friends and family can gather to get the blood rushing through their veins a little quicker than usual.
Why Are Soccer Fans so Passionate?
There are 3 Main Reasons Soccer Fans Are So Passionate About their Team.
1) Hometown Team
-These fans have grown up in this city and this team is a representation of them. If the team is good, the town is good, if the team is crap, fans aren’t happy let’s put it that way. Either way the passion shines through.
2) Only Thing to Bring Them a Little Joy
For some people this football club is all that keeps them sane in their lives. Such countries have political issues, economic issues and criminal issues that have torn their beloved country apart and this team is the only thing left for them to hold on to and be proud of. A little 90 minute game on a Saturday to hang out with some pals, have a beer and bring a smile to their face if only for a day.
3) Family Tradition
Most fans in football especially overseas link going to matches as a family tradition and a special childhood memory. Father’s take their sons to matches on a Sunday afternoon to cheer on their team much like their fathers did for them.
The bond between father and son and going to football has been passed down from families and generations. It’s for that reason that supporters take the game so seriously because it’s a big part of who they are and where they’ve come from.
What are Professional Teams Fans Like?
Pro team’s fans are actually a large part of the team in every aspect. Not only do they act as the twelfth man on the field many of them come to practices, are in contact with the players and make their voices heard in the media if they do not like what they are seeing within the club. Especially in Eastern Europe where supporters are a big influence on the decisions the club makes and the direction they go.
Why Do Teams Play So Much Better in front of Their Own Soccer Fans?
I guess playing better at home holds true for all professional sports but there’s something about soccer that makes playing at home such a massive advantage. Some professional teams have gone years without being defeated at home because of one reason or another. Sometimes it’s the temperature, the pitch and most definitely the atmosphere the supporters create.
It’s the comfortable atmosphere for the home side and the intimidating atmosphere for the visitors which creates a massive upper hand. Even the best teams in the world feel the wrath of a home crowd in Russia, Turkey, Serbia and other intimidating stadiums that make them happy to leave there with a draw even if they’d have a comfortable win against the same opponents elsewhere.
Types of Soccer Fans I’ve Played in Front of:
I’ve had the privilege of playing in front of fans all over the world on several different continents. I’ve played matches in front of fans such as:
-European (Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, Irish, English)
-South American (Brazilian)
All of them have been pretty special in their own way but all completely different as well. The Malaysians come in big numbers and are a more reserved crowd all though intelligent. South Americans love to make noise and you wouldn’t know if their teams are up or down ten based on the noise they make from beginning to end.
Now the English and Eastern European fans are loud, aggressive and united in their chants. Songs, hand gestures and dancing around in unison is common practice for these fans before, during and after matches. Oh and having a drink or ten is not unfamiliar ground for them as well. Gotta love it.
How Many Soccer Fans Show up to Pro Games?
Again, it really depends on where. With top 1st division clubs there can be upwards of 100,000 fans in some stadiums but generally 40-50 thousand fans is not uncommon to see with top club teams. Fan numbers (not necessarily fan passion) is generally in line with the division the team plays in. 1st division the most, 2nd division after that and so on. Why is this you ask? Well 1st division teams generally have better players, better play, more success and more money and in turn bring out the bigger crowds.
Although many true supporters follow their team no matter how good or bad they are, top division teams have the nice stadiums and the majority of the cities support to be fair.
The split is usually 70/30 in terms of hard core fans to general supporters. Usually the clubs diehard fans sit on the north end of the stadium, visitors in the south and all neutral or general supporters sit on the east and west ends.
Soccer Fans Or Soccer Hooligans?
Some clubs have intense rivalries with others and sometimes that spills out onto the streets. Soccer fans have known to be a little on the aggressive side (understatement of the century) when it comes to violence that proceed games, especially in derby’s.
Generally football supporters are passionate, loyal and committed supporters but some groups of fans make them all look bad. The ones that go to games just to fight and start nonsense are the ones that give all of us a bad name.