Football would be difficult to envision without fans. Supporters, like football players, benefit and contribute to the sport’s dynamism, spectacle, and entertainment. Without the football supporters, the stadium is just another place to play. A stadium is built by the crowds and their enthusiasm for their favourite teams. As fans will surely be in stadiums next season here are some clubs that will benefit the most.
This season of football is about to come to a close, with the champions of the top 5 leagues crowned. Football has been as thrilling as ever this campaign but without the electrifying crowds present in the stadiums, which are one of the most critical facets of the sport, some teams who depend heavily on crowd support have suffered at home.
In that case, let’s take a peek at the top five clubs that will benefit greatly from fans returning to back their teams next season.
Napoli’s Stadio San Paolo is the third largest arena in Italy, and the Neapolitans are fervent football fans. Though the club has not lived up to the golden years when Maradona played for them and his love embodied that of the home crowd, the supporters never hesitate to build an exciting environment for the major clashes in the Serie A or the Champions League.
Napoli has the most ardent supporters in Italy, who have used a number of ways to demonstrate their devotion to the club. The Stadio San Paolo has consistently packed its 60,000 capacity stadium with diehard fans, and their participation in the Champions League over the years has earned them worldwide recognition and a platform on which to project itself to a higher number of football fanatics.
Although, for the next season, after a 1-1 draw at home against Hellas Verona, Napoli will have to settle for a Europa League slot, finishing fifth and one point behind Juventus in Serie A.
The return of Neapolitans to back their club next season will undoubtedly give Napoli a boost.
River Plate is not well-known outside of the South American footballing circuit, the passionate fans who back it have made it infamous for their exploits, advocacy, and deranged support. The Buenos Aires derby, between River Plate and Boca Juniors, is one of the most competitive sports rivalries in the world, with a record of aggression and conflict from both ends.
River Plate’s fans pack stadiums for all of their home matches, making it tough for any opposition team who must cope with some of the most fervent fan bases on the globe.
Estadio Monumental, River Plate’s home ground for the past 78 years, has recorded up to 70,000 spectators for its marquee clashes. The presence of fans is important for River Plate, and with their support and love, they are a difficult team to defeat.
Celtic Park is one of the most difficult venues for opposing teams to visit. For any opposing fan, the atmosphere created by the Green and White army on those marquee matches is unforgettable.
After a historic match between Celtic and Spanish heavyweights Barcelona at Celtic Park, which the home team won 2-1, Lionel Messi said, “I’ve been lucky to play in some wonderful stadiums in Europe with Barcelona, but none compare to Celtic. The excitement generated by their fans makes it a very unique European football night.” Nothing beats the big match environment in Glasgow”.
The Old-Firm Derby- a fixture played between Glasgow clubs Celtic FC and Rangers FC- is one of the most awaited, fiercely disputed, and critical football rivalries on the calendar. Although this season it’s been a one sided affair as Rangers won the Premiership by an astounding margin of 25 points while Celtic finished in second place. The home supporters have undoubtedly contributed to Celtic’s triumphs and have sorely been missed this campaign. Celtic will be relishing the fact that fans are returning to stadiums and the players will surely benefit from it.
The 2005 Champions League final was the best European evening for Liverpool supporters, and they made their presence known by continuing to root for their side, who had slipped three goals behind to Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan. Liverpool’s revival into the contest, and subsequent penalty shootout win, was undoubtedly aided by the crowd.
Or may we talk about their amazing comeback against Barcelona. At 3-0 down following the first leg of their 2018/19 UEFA Champions League semi final, injury-ravaged Liverpool- without Firmino and Salah- looked dead in the water. Not so. The Anfield crowd was deafening, and they were certain that their team would win. And, much to every fans delight, they did, defeating the Spanish giants 4-0, advancing to the final, and ultimately defeating Tottenham to be crowned European Champions. Magical!
Liverpool supporters are scattered all over the globe, and they take special pride in displaying their passion. Anfield has a global recognition attributable to the zeal of their supporters on major European evenings. When the Kop begins to chant “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the supporters raise their scarves in the air, Liverpool seems unstoppable.
This season, their fans have been sorely missed as the Reds were defeated in the quarter-finals of the Champions League by Los Blancos and were unable to retain their Premier League crown, placing third in the standings. While their injury woes are to blame for their poor season, Anfield without fans is not Anfield. Nonetheless, Anfield’s maniacal atmosphere will return next season as fans return and the Reds will surely benefit from it..
The legendary ‘Yellow Wall’ is well-known around the world. The supporters of Borussia Dortmund not only generate a lot of noise from this special stand, but there is nothing else like it in the footballing world. All of the yellow and black flags and banners seem to be caution signs to the opposing supporters and squads. The ‘Yellow Wall’ serves as a 12th man for Dortmund when this threatening vision is mixed with orchestrated and noisy chants.
Dortmund supporters are known for their great travel support, with 20,000 of them travelling to Madrid for the second leg of the semifinal in 2013 and cheering their team past Los Blancos at Santiago Bernabeu.
Any match at Signal Iduna Park draws an average of over 80,000 fans, which is regularly among Europe’s top numbers. They are a fun, well-behaved fanbase that manages to form a relationship with the locals even when the team is on the road.
Dortmund are one of the toughest teams to beat at their home.
Dortmund finished third in the Bundesliga this season, but claimed the DFB Pokal Cup as well. The presence of the ‘yellow wall’ next season will be a huge boost for the Dortmund team, surely the team will benefit a lot when fans return completely to their stadium.