Football, as the most popular sport in the world, has a massive amount of supporters that are living in every part of the world. In every continent, in every country, and in every city, there will always be some groups of football lovers with their own favourite football teams. These groups of football lovers divide themselves based on the team that they support and sometimes the city where they live. If they have enough members as a group of supporters, they will also create a name for their own group.
Football Fans, the Twelfth Player in a Match
Widely labelled as the twelfth player of a football match, football supporters really have a great impact for a team they are supporting in a match. In every football match, the home team will probably have a greater chance of winning because the support in the home stadium is much more massive.
English football fans are possibly the best known football supporters in the world. English Premier League is probably the most competitive league in the world, and their fans are also as competitive as the team they support. The fans of English Premier League can be found everywhere, but Asia is one that has the biggest amount of supporter excluding the English fans themselves. If you pay attention while watching English Premier League, there are even some teams that are sponsored by Asian companies, either in their football kits or in their advertising boards.
You can find more than five football teams in every city in England. The fans of English football teams are often called The Hooligans. London, as England’s capital city, has five teams in English Premier League. The teams are Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham Hotspur, and West Ham United, and all of them have their fanatic fans. For example, you can see in their derby matches that the fans try to give their support to the fullest for the team they are supporting. In London, Arsenal’s fans named themselves Gooners, and their biggest rival is the fans from Tottenham Hotspur.
In Italy, you can see that in almost every stadium, there are barriers between the tribune and the pitch. Even though The Hooligans are as barbaric as the Italian football supporters, they are more orderly than Italian football supporters. Therefore, barriers are needed in Italian football stadiums to prevent chaos from Ultras, the name for Italian football supporters. The Rome Derby, involving SS Lazio and AS Roma, is infamous for its ugly chaos sometimes between the two Ultras supporters. Both of the supporters are often considered the most dangerous in Italy.
An interesting atmosphere you will see from the football supporters in every football match is how passionate they are to support their favourite teams through their chants. Chants will be heard inside football stadiums from the start until the end of a match.
In England, the supporters have their own chants about their team, players, and even coaches. “Take Me Home United Road” is the chant from Manchester United football fans using the melody of John Denver’s “Country Road”. Chelsea FC fans have their own song entitled “Keep the Blue Flag Flying High” that uses the melody from a Christmas song “Oh, Christmas Tree”. However, the greatest, most passionate fans in English Premier League when it comes to chanting is probably Liverpool FC’s Liverpudlian. You will be thrilled and even compelled to singalong “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, a song by Gerry and the Pacemakers, as it is sung by Liverpudlian before the match is started. They also have a chant to sing how great their midfielders are in a piece called “We’ve Got the Best Midfield in the World”.
It’s Not about Supporting, It’s about Lifestyle
If you say that supporting the team they love is only an act of supporting, you will be somewhat incorrect. Die-hard football fans who have been a supporter of certain team for a long time will say that living life as a football fans is a lifestyle, or can be said also as a way of life.
The influence of supporting their favourite teams can affect their lifestyle in many ways. From their fashion style, it is clear that they will be up-to-date with what the players of their favourite teams wear. It is also possible that in their casual days, they will wear sporty style of fashion. Having a membership of a football team supporter can also give you many access and a lot of discount for buying official merchandise of the team you love.
Being a supporter for a football team also means that you have to believe in the spirit of the team. What the team and the players believe in reaching their dreams can be applied to the supporters’ life every day. Simple things like working hard before match and never giving up to win is an inspiring thing to follow.
Gathering with other supporters become their way of communicating and conversing with each other. Every weekend or every match day, football supporters will gather either to have fun together or watch their team playing. Following the news of the team together is a great thing to do. You can discuss how the team has advanced recently, and what will be the best thing for the team in the near future. In the gathering, you can also have conversation about other things except football. Basically, gathering with fellow supporters is a good thing to do socially since the people have the same thing in common with you.
Supporting a football team you love is great when you fill it with passion. No matter what happens for the team, if you still stay true to the team, then you are a good supporter. Many football supporters mock the team when things done by the management of the team are not as what they want. That is a bad thing because football supporters should support all the changes and development of the team, even though they can criticize them too.