There’s really nothing quite like European football. The passion, intensity, fan loyalty and entertainment value is unparalleled in professional sports.
Before you start saying, “hey man isn’t it called soccer” or “dude the hooligan fans are scary” or “bro where are the cheerleaders, this is lame”. We’re here to introduce you to what can be an amazing travel experience, you could add to your next trip.
This is not to take away from American professional athlete dominance and entertainment value in the NFL, MLB and NBA, it’s just different. Football, also called soccer, is with out question the most popular sport on the planet and Europe is where the best players in the world play.
Should you wish to experience a football match next time you’re in Europe, consider these steps:
Step 1: Pick a Country and League:
If you already support a club, this should be easy. However, if you’re new to the sport or a neutral fan, you should research which country you want to visit and which Football league you want to attend a game. The Premier League arguably has the best experience, but not everyone wants to travel to gloomy England. Sunny Italy and Spain have leagues with long histories and incredible atmospheres. Don’t forget Germany! The Bundesliga has on average the most goal scoring every year. They also have amazing beer!
Step 2: Become a fan or be neutral:
Let’s be real, your experience will be even better if you’re a fan of the team you support. The Hooligan era of European football is, for the most part, a thing of the past. Football matches are safe and the supporters atmosphere’s are unforgettable. However, if you’re a neutral fan, be sure to stay neutral. Don’t sit next to a group of Manchester United fans at the game and pull out the Chelsea scarf you picked up at the duty free airport shop on the way in country. Not cool and you might get your a$% kicked!
Step 3: Scope out local stadium pubs:
If you’re an American, you know how important tailgating is to NFL and college football games. The pregame at the local pub or bar is a huge part of your football match experience. Pick a spot like the Bricklayer pub down the road from the stadium or head to a German beerhall before the match. It’s a perfect opportunity to meet locals and make friends!
Step 4: Decide on group or solo trip:
Deciding who to travel with the probably one of the most important things you do in life. If you have friends that are really into football (soccer) and culture, a group trip is a no brainer. However, if some of your friends make comments like, “bro why don’t they have time outs” or “man, these fans are just too passionate” or “pubs are lame” you may want to travel solo.
Step 5: Book tickets
To book tickets you can use the standard ticket brokers or travel with a tour operator if you have a group. Unless you’re looking for a super VIP experience, you don’t need to break the bank for tickets in any country. Check out our stadiums with the best atmospheres reviews.
Step 6: Get a Top Class Private Driver
This is especially important for large groups. Avoid taking a rental car. It sounds fun but driving on the left side of the road (in some countries) and getting lost could cause you some serious problems. Also, you’ll more than likely be drinking a few alcoholic beverages on game day. Don’t be a moron and throw up in your taxi on the autobahn in Germany or duke it out with Italian police, just because they pulled you over on your Vespa. Don’t drink and drive, get a private driver with a nice Mercedes Sprinter van and enjoy the ride.
Step 7: Luggage and Club Gear
No one wants to travel like a scrub. We recommend Away, Tumi and Monos premium luggage for your domestic and international trips. All companies are top class so purchase what you think fits your style! Whether you’re a bandwagon Real Madrid fan or just someone who loves the beautiful game, everyone wants to look fresh. Check out the official World Soccer Shop and or go to any official club website to get your gear.