There’s more to football than money, fame, glory, and goals. It is the passion that lies embedded deep in the sport that shadows the most glittering of aspects. Blinding flares, massive flags, deafening chants, constant bickering, amusing banter, and what not – the feeling of affection of fans for their favorite teams is something that makes one’s hair tingle when they themselves experience in a packed European football stadium.
It is arguably the most followed and sought-after sport in the whole wide world, let alone in the continent. Here we look at some of the greatest cities in Europe that possess a personality of their own when it comes to being a footballing powerhouse.
To start with the most obvious, London is an enigma for football lovers. The great European financial hub has long been at the crossroads for the development of the sport and houses some of the world’s most famous clubs in Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham United, and tens more. With almost as many teams as districts, London offers a wide variety of football clubs, each with its own personality – from the top of the pyramid in the Premier League, all the way to amateur football. It is one of the football capitals of not only Europe but the world.
The Spanish capital is a hotbed of football fanatics and unsurprisingly so, with two of Spain’s biggest teams – one of them being arguably the greatest club in world football. From Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid to lowly Leganes and Rayo Vallecano, each club possesses its own taste and character. From the historic Estadio Santiago Bernabeu to the majestic Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid’s stadiums are jaw-dropping. The city also has lively nightlife and with its world-famous museums, one cannot just get bored here.
Two of England’s fiercest rivals call Manchester their home – Manchester City and Manchester United. The blue and red side the city respectively, have their own passionate fan base, but United are the more historic of the two – having registered their name on the pantheon of the world’s most famous football clubs. Old Trafford, also known as the ‘Theatre of Dreams is a stadium not to be missed and the Etihad Stadium on the other side of town is also a great venue to experience some exciting football.
A city of contrasting cultures, history, architecture, and geography, Istanbul is simply a treat to experience. Straddling on the crossroads between two continents, the city houses the three giants of Turkish football – Galatasaray, Besiktas, and Fenerbahce – three teams with extremely passionate fan bases. Although Istanbul is infamous for its fan hooliganism and incidents of violence, that shouldn’t deter anyone from experiencing its wonderful aura and multicultural outset. From Hagia Sophia and Spice Bazaar to the Bosphorus Bridge and Blue Mosque, the city is filled with great spots to explore.
The Bavarian capital is the stronghold of one of Europe’s most feared teams in Bayern Munich, who have gone on to steamroll continental opponents in recent years. Munich is an extremely hospitable city with great beer, welcoming locals, and cultural richness. The German giants call the magnificent Allianz Arena their home – a stadium renowned for its UFO-like shape which is wholly fitted with RGB lighting that can be changed according to the occasion. Its architectural brilliance is underrated but it is not the only attraction in Munich, as the city also houses the famous BMW museum where one can experience vintage and modern automobiles at their finest.
Just nicking Milan to the spot here, Rome’s cultural and historical significance makes it an obvious entry in greatest footballing cities. Roma vs Lazio is one of the world football’s fiercest rivalries and they astonishingly share the same stadium – the grand Stadio Olimpico, the second largest in Italy. With the eagle as their symbol, Lazio are known as the working-class club, in stark contrast to the bourgeois persona of Roma, who are represented by the wolf in reference to the twin founders of the great city, Romulus and Remus.
Each of the above cities has their respective clubs competing for Europe’s biggest and fiercest club tournament – the UEFA Champions League – and according to statistics, betting providers predict Manchester City and Bayern Munich to outclass all other teams and go all the way in the competition this season. With the aforementioned resource, one can gain indisputable knowledge regarding where to place their hand, an overview of popular football markets, and a first-hand guide to increase their understanding of betting in general. Players, whether new or old, can also benefit from rewards and bonuses such as free bets, loyalty points, and cashback schemes.
Europe is arguably the best continent to explore the might of football, on par with South America, with its die-hard supporters, gigantic stadia, jaw-dropping tifos, and tactical outlook on the beautiful game itself. All these aforementioned come in addition to its amazing culture and history, which one cannot get enough of.