RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook
With fellow football fans in rural Brazil

With fellow football fans in rural Brazil

I have watched football games in more than 40 countries around the world. Football is a big part of the culture and the social life in most countries around the globe and I love to visit football clubs around the world. Watch them play and have a few drinks with the fans before and after the game. For me it’s not so much about who wins the game. It’s all about the culture that surrounds it. Football is a working class sport in most countries and that gives it a lot of heart and a lot of edge.

At the world cup in germany watching Togo vs Switzerland.

At the world cup in germany watching Togo vs Switzerland.

I have watched the cup final in Laos. Been to a third division game in a Paris suburb. At the MLS final in Los Angeles. At a UEFA Cup quarter final in Prague. Watched Denmark and Georgia play in Tbilisi. Seen Bolivar against the strongest in Bolivia (for some reason the strongest lost). Been to Maracana in Rio more than 10 times and to 3 football world cups. Just to mention a few of the games I have seen around the world. I travel the world most of the year for the pure love of travel. But if I can throw in a football game then that is super. I’m not just going for the big famous clubs, but often I visit smaller clubs that has an interesting history attached to them, or maybe they have some fans that are a very dedicated.

 

But what about hooliganism?

Croatian supporters in Zagreb.

Croatian supporters in Zagreb.

One thing I always get from people who do not watch football games in the stadium is that it can be dangerous to watch games because of all the hooliganism. Fact is though that hooligans are very few and they tend to gather in their own little groupings and they seek other hooligans to fight with. I am never in trouble when I go to games. And I hang out with the fans both before and after the games.  I see this as one of the most fun things about the game. I have been to some stadiums where the atmosphere was very intense. Such as when I watched Croatia play Hungary in Zagreb once. Or when I watched a Besiktas game in Istanbul. But I felt totally fine in all the places. Most football fans are very honoured that you come to watch their team. So what mostly happens is that I get a few free beers when they realise that I am from abroad. Going to a football game is like going to a bar. You can have a great time with people there or you can be the odd idiot looking for trouble.

 

The football World Cup is the best.

World cup fever in Brazil after Argentina just won a game.

World cup fever in Brazil after Argentina just won a game.

Of all things in football, the world cup is what I like the most. National teams from all continents celebrating football for a month in a giant party that looks more like a carnival than a football match. I love all the different nations that gathers there and this is a place where you can stand and talk football and have drinks with Mexicans, Greeks, Brazilians, Japanese, Nigerians, Norwegians, Iranians all at the same time and there will probably be another 12 nationalities around you at the same time. FIFA might be corrupt. But the world cup is still the real deal and not a boring tourist circus like the Champions league finals, where you barely have any fans coming. All because the tickets are being given to sponsors and sold to tourists. Who in many cases have never been to a football game. The world cup is the real deal and I have been to 3 of them so far in France in 1998, Germany in 2006 and Brazil in 2014.

 

But a third division game can be great too.

Celebrating a win with the fans of Red Star Paris.

Celebrating a win with the fans of Red Star Paris.

On the other hand I also like to pop in to a stadium and watch a small lower division team play a game. The few people who attend these matches are usually people who spend most of their free time in the club as volunteers and love the game and their local team. Some smaller teams also have strong following even though they are not that good, but they might have a history that makes people come anyway. I went to a third division game once in Hamburg to watch St.Pauli. The stadium was full with 18 000 spectators and that is almost always the case with St.Pauli cause they have become a cult team for people from around the world with anarchist and leftist leanings. Watching St. Pauli is a bit like going to a punk rock concert with a bit of football added. Red Star Paris, Goztepe Izmir and Frem Copenhagen are other small teams that I have seen who have a fantastic home crowd.

Meeting fellow football supporters from around the world is great.

Meeting fellow football supporters from around the world is great.

But I am happy to watch any football game around the world.

In Manila to see the Philippines play against Sri Lanka.

In Manila to see the Philippines play against Sri Lanka.

But I will basically be happy to watch any football game around the world if I happen to be around for a game.

Visiting a local football stadium in Long Xuyen in Vietnam.

Visiting a local football stadium in Long Xuyen in Vietnam.

And sorry guys. I do not have any favorite team that i root for. I root for football as a whole and not for a specific team, but mostly have an opinion of who should win each individual game.

If you want to read about my visit to Red Star Paris then here is a link to that Red Star Paris

Cheers everyone and have a nice game.

Cheers everyone and have a nice game.

RSS
Follow by Email
Facebook
Facebook

2 Comments

  1. Claus, you are one of a kind and keep coming up with cool travel experiences that no one else is writing about. I’m not a football fan but love and appreciate the work, the excitement and the loyalty. Looking forward to what you come up with next.

  2. It was a wonderful time, good experience and a very fantastic atmosphere. I was there with a group of friends, we didn’t know what to expect but now we absolutely love it. I can recommend Team Escape at http://teamescape.com/oslo/en/. Just be there and have fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please confirm that you\'re not a robot: * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.