Which Cities are the Most Passionate about Football?
September 08, 2015
Football is nothing without the fans, whose passion, intensity and ability to generate walls of sound enable a simplistic game to transcend sport as a whole. It is this passion that separates football from other sports, while teams draw strength from this support to elevate their performance on to new heights. The presence of local derbies and inter-city rivalries also add fuel to the flames, creating a furnace of adrenalin and excitement that is hard to top.
At Bethut we are more committed to than most to the sport of football, so here is our shortlist of the three most passionate and fervent soccer cities in the world…
Now this may be a controversial choice, but Birmingham is our choice of the world’s most passionate footballing city. This is inspired by the rivalry between Birmingham City and Aston Villa, which has raged for generations and has only cooled due to the fact that the clubs have largely operated in separate leagues since the Premier League era began. When the Blues made their EPL bow in 2002, however, the reignited the city’s passions with a stunning 3-0 win of Aston Villa at St. Andrews (as game remembered for goal keeper Peter Enckelman’s horrendous own goal.
Comfortably in second place is the passionate city of Glasgow and the classic Old Firm derby. It has seen tensions cool between Rangers and Celtic after the former’s relegation to the lower echelons of the league.
The clubs may be reunited soon, however, as the fans look to reignite a long-standing rivalry that transcends sport and crosses sectarian boundaries. The fans in this city are unique, while their ability to generate noise and excitement knows no bounds. When these two are finally reunited in the Scottish Premier League, it is sure to be one of the most keenly contested battles in history.
Since the Greek national side triumphed against the odds to win Euro 2004, the countries quality and level of football has declined considerably. Despite this, the passion of the fans and the intensity of the rivalries have remained unaltered, especially in the capital city of Athens. This has been aided by the fact that three of the nation’s leading club sides are all based in Athens, from Olympiakos (the most successful side in Greek football) to AEK Athens and Panathanaikos. The derby matches between Olympiakos and Panathanaikos are particularly ferocious, and well worth watching if you ever get the chance.