This blog is more around personal experiences and I have been very lucky to visit some of the best stadiums in the world for lots of different sports.
Away from Football I have managed to see Tennis at Wimbledon, Cheltenham Festival, Cricket at the Gabba, MCG and SCG in Australia, Played Rugby at Twickenham and a few other sporting occasions but Football is the sport I most want to watch.
Having an away season ticket with Chelsea has meant that I have been able to see the very best that English Football stadium has to offer as well as seeing a lot of Football league stadiums too. Old Trafford, The Emirates, Anfield are all games that you look out for when the fixture list is released in June.. this year I am more so looking forward to a trip to the new White Hart Lane.
All grounds have their own type of a Atmosphere, OT is loud when the fans sing occasionally due to the volume of people.. Anfield is loud for the first 5 minutes and last 5 minutes when they serenade you with speaker assisted singing of YNWA, Emirates is a library unless they score, City is just cocky fans in the corner because they know they’re a good team. Now a lot of that was said tongue in cheek because I know for a fact that Stamford Bridge is not a good atmosphere, hence why I would rather get an away season ticket, travel the country and meet mates along the way.
Wembley is a whole different ball game, in previous blogs I have given it a bad rating.. this is no different. The stadium itself is huge.. there lies the first problem. The second problem being that the fans are situated so far away from the pitch, the divide doesn’t make it an intimidating environment which an England Team may want to have when facing a crucial qualifier etc.. thirdly for all of round general experience, it’s overpriced and better English Stadia are available.
Moving abroad, I’ve been lucky enough to follow Chelsea across Europe a few times.. Milan (San Siro), Barcelona (Camp Nou), Schalke (Veltins Arena) PSG (Parc Des Princes), Roma (Stadio Olimpico) Prague Super Cup etc etc
I’ve also caught a game at the Bernabeu in Madrid when on a long weekend.. that stadium is incredible. Not only is it absolutely gigantic, but it also is tall and overhanging the pitch, which creates an incredible atmosphere – if Benzema isn’t missing easy chances and the fans are waving the white handkerchiefs.
I have to say the Bernabeu is probably the most impressive stadium that I have seen. A lot of the stadiums like Camp Nou and San Siro are more concrete structures – when tucked away in the corner in the heavens of Barcelona with no roof etc and San Siro has now been decided to be knocked down and rebuilt in the future.. says a lot!
Atmosphere wise though, European fans are head and shoulders above the English. Mainly due to the fact that they have standing areas, can use drums and other ways to get the crowd going and do not stop from early before kick off right until the very end.
But nothing will top my night in Barcelona, as Torres went round Valdes and sent Chelsea in the Champions League Final.. the best moment of sport I’ve ever felt live.