Football is without a doubt the most popular game in the world, with millions of people watching and playing. And then, there are football fans who live and breathe their favourite teams.
During the Corona Pandemic, we saw that football is not as exciting without the fans and the atmosphere created by the crowd.
But have you ever heard which club has the craziest football fans? Maybe you’ll be surprised about some of them.
- Fans known as: Çarşı
- Country: Turkey
The famous Turkish club, Beşiktaş, has probably one of the craziest fans in the world, known for their choreography and political commentary. Çarşı is defined not only as a fan group, but also as a means of expressing the fans’ shared beliefs. For the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Çarşı group, a documentary was filmed in which not only members but also famous football players gave interviews, demonstrating the fan group’s importance.
Hooliganism is a common occurrence at these matches, resulting in fights, broken seats, and riots on Turkish streets, demonstrating the rivalry between fans and their passion for their clubs.
- Fans known as: Tims / The Bhoys
- Country: Scotland
A club with unquestionably one of the most dedicated fan bases. Celtic is supported not only in Europe, but North America, Canada and even Japan, and the “Irish connection,” whether through ancestors or international players, is a key factor in their success. The global fan base is estimated to be around nine million people, with one million in the United States and Canada in 2003, according to Capita Consulting.
They have a well-known rivalry with Rangers club supporters, who are from the same country, and it is not just about soccer; it also involves politics and religion.
When it comes to acknowledging their efforts, they are not overlooked. They received the 2003 UEFA Fair Play Award for their behaviour during the club’s run to the UEFA Cup when 80,000 fans travelled to Seville. And for the Bhoys’ pro-IRA chanting in 2011 and an incident involving politics in 2013, Celtic has received fines.
- Fans known as: Wisła Sharks
- Country: Poland
Poland is known as the home to the most feared football firms. Also, it was once said that the hooligans have a league of their own in the Polish Premier League. Their brutality has come far that they have even used machetes and baseball bats and they’re also linked with some murders.
Wisła Kraków supporters are also well known for their long-running rivalry with MKS Cracovia, known as the “Holy War.” Not only are these two clubs from the same city (both resign in Krakow), but their stadiums are only 500 metres apart!
The atmosphere in the Polish derbies is something that needs to be experienced, but with caution because it can easily get dangerous. With all the preparations fans make months before the match, the chanting and jumping, it’s obvious that the derbies are more than just football for them.
- Fans known as: The Kopites
- Country: England
For its supporters, Liverpool is more than just one of the best football clubs in Europe; it is a way of life and a passion. It’s truly amazing how the Reds fanatics support their favourite club, showing loyalty until the last minute.
The famous “You’ll never walk alone” was adopted as a sign of support by Liverpool fans in 1963, and is now primarily known as their club anthem, which creates an incredible atmosphere before every home game. So if you ever have a chance to visit Anfield, without a doubt, it will be an experience for a lifetime.
But bear in mind that they are no strangers to incidents, as the latest news comes in the form of a report handed by UEFA to the British Government compiled over the last four years, all about incidents involving Liverpool fans.
Red Star Belgrade
- Fans known as: Delije
- Country: Serbia
Delije, a very passionate fan group, follows Red Star in large numbers wherever they play, regardless of the championships they attend or position on the winning boards. You’ll see them supporting the club at every stadium worldwide, but the show they make in their home games is something on another level.
One of the most well-known rivalries is with the Partizan supporters known as Grobari. “Eternal Derby,” the local derby in Belgrade between Red Star and Partizan, is so popular that people travel from all over the world to experience the atmosphere, pyrotechnical displays, and big paroles.
With a history of violence in several derby matches, it’s no surprise that police often increase their attendance at matches these fans attend. They are also known for their Serbian nationalism.
- Fans known as: The Blues, The Pensioners
- Country: England
The latest UEFA Champions League winners are always enjoying the crowd’s support, creating an extraordinary atmosphere for the audience with their anthems.
They have a history of hooliganism and incidents mainly until the 1990s. Most known is the 1985 incident, because of the football firm Chelsea Headhunters getting in trouble with fans from other London clubs, which resulted in almost erecting an electric fence to prevent violence.
Chelsea’s crazy soccer fans even got that far to send death threats to Swedish referee Anders Frisk, who was forced to retire from refereeing at 42 after the defeat in the last minute to Barcelona in 2005.
Furthermore, the Chelsea legends are never forgotten by the fans, as they continue to bring paroles in their honour.
- Fans known as: Los Millonarios
- Country: Argentina
The 37-times Primera Division Champions, Club Atlético River Plate stadium Monumental is overwhelmed with red-white jerseys and the picture is the same at every single game.
Research from the Bundesliga in 2018 showed that River Plate was in the 6th position with the number of members, surprisingly more than the giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Man United.
Many will agree that Argentina has the craziest football fans, especially when it comes to local derbies, known as Superclásico, between River Plate and Boca Juniors. An attraction not only for the Argentinians but also for the whole football world, because fans make it more spectacular by signing chants, waving flags and putting banners, but often these derbies end up with fights and curses.
- Fans known as: Die Schwarzgelben (The Black and Yellow)
- Country: Germany
A sea of black and yellow fans travel from country to country to support their club with banners, flags, and tifos.
Borussia Dortmund is more than just a club for the fans; it is their passion and religion. In comparison to other fan groups, Borussia’s fans are not associated with violence, though they are known for occasionally chanting offensive chants.
The Wall of Dortmund (or the Yellow Wall), Europe’s largest standing grandstand with a capacity of around 25,000, is one of the most iconic views of derbies in Germany.
- Fans known as: Los Xeneizes (the Genoese)
- Country: Argentina
Another club on our list with the craziest football fans is the Argentinian club Boca Juniors, with the highest number of fans, based on the country’s population. Their favourite star was Diego Maradona, the King of La Bombonera, whose death even put the rivalry with River Plate’s fans aside to mourn him together.
Los Xeneizes expect their selfless support to be returned with high performances by the players. The hours prior to the match are essential for them, as they gather in pubs to “warm-up” with barbeque and beer or wine before heading to La Bombonera, the football stadium in La Boca, to occupy the stands.
- Fans known as: Curva Sud
- Country: Italy
The fifth most supported club in Italy has one of the most committed fanatics, who fill the stadiums with noise, chants, and enormous flags in red and yellow colours. One of the most famous anthems is “Roma Roma” sung by the supporters before every match, while “Grazie Roma” is played after every victorious home match. This club is also very popular because of one of the greatest number 10 players who stepped on a pitch, Francesco Totti.
The Derby Della Capitale, or the derby with Lazio, is the one that both teams’ fans look forward to. There have been moments of violence and riots.
In 2001, before the UEFA Cup match between Roma and Liverpool, five Liverpool fans were stabbed, and a few months later that year, the police had to disperse the crowd with tear gas.
So we have singled out ten of the craziest football fans around the globe. There are people who love football and their favourite clubs, and then there are hardcore fanatics that literally live for it. The Beautiful Game is just another dimension with the tireless support from the stands.
Maybe some of you have already attended a famous derby and for those who still haven’t, we warmly recommend you to witness it by yourself!