Intimidation can play a huge part in the end result of a football match. Being able to scare teams away, causing them to underperform and ultimately losing the match is a highly skillful tactic. This tactic can only be performed well by one group, the fans.
Fans play a massive role in football games and teams can often face consequences if they underestimate them. The role of a football fan is not just to simply turn up, watch the game and leave. There are different ways in which fans can get involved to motivate their team, whilst also making the opposition feel vulnerable.
Tactics we are used to seeing include: booing teams off the ball, loud singing and banging of instruments, flares (illegal), chants aimed at certain players, banners, flags and more. All of these factors contribute towards an unsettling atmosphere.Â
So which stadiums provide the most hostile of atmospheres? Listed below are teams that have been labelled as providing an unsettling environment for opposition teams, perhaps something you may want to consider when checking out todays football betting & odds.
Red Star Belgrade – Red Star Stadium
Red Star Belgrade are a team located in Serbia, based in Belgrade, as you probably already assumed. They play at the Red Star Stadium, which has been nicknamed â€œMarakanaâ€. Talk about aggression, these fans provide one of the most aggressive atmospheres you could ask for. This atmosphere has been recognised all over the world and for that reason, teams fear being drawn Red Star Belgrade not only in their league, but also in European competitions where they seem to step it up a notch.Â
Their stadium is built in a unique way to feel like the fans are over the pitch, looking down on the players, taunting them all game. Ability wise, they donâ€™t have the best squad and are not expected to win many competitions, however they sometimes exceed expectations thanks to the backing of the fans, making it hard for any team to come and play there.
AC Milan & Inter Milan – San Siro Stadium
Located in Milan, we have one of the most historic stadiums in world football, the San Siro. This stadium is shared by 2 giants of European football, also rivals, AC Milan & Inter Milan. These are 2 of the biggest clubs in Italy that have a huge following, a following capable of providing an intimidating atmosphere for opposing sides.Â
The stadium itself is huge, holding over 80,000 fans! That puts it bigger than any football stadium in England, other than Wembley. It isnâ€™t always the case that the fans manage to fill the stadium as they average around 60,000 in attendance. Nevertheless, when big football nights come up, they certainly pack out the ground and provide their team with a lot of noise and motivation, making it one of the scariest stadiums to visit.
Manchester United – Old Trafford
The biggest club in English football and also the biggest club stadium in England. Manchester United are one of the most notorious football teams in the world, with some of the best successes of any team. Famously known for their treble triumph in 1999 and also having had the best football manager we have seen, in Sir Alex Ferguson.Â
Manchester United, based in Manchester, play at Old Trafford, which is nicknamed the â€œtheatre of dreamsâ€. Looking back through their history, you can understand why itâ€™s called this. Old Trafford first opened in 1910 and has become one of the biggest tourist attractions in England.
Located above the tunnel, where the players come out, is the Stretford End. This stand in particular is known for creating great noise and an unnerving atmosphere for away sides, especially when playing the likes of Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Leeds United, some of their great rivals.
There are many other stadiums that could have made the list, such as: La Bombonera (Boca Juniors), Maracana (Flamengo), Estadio Santiago Bernabeu (Real Madrid), Camp Nou (Barcelona) and many more, however the stadiums listed above conclude our top 3 intimidating stadiums.