Best from the Stands” is the serie which shows you monthly all the finest moments happened in the global ultras scene. Ultrasbible believes that being an ultras is an art, and on art we decided to lean on for our project. With the partnership of the young illustrator Giuseppe Bonardi, we analyze one of his new artwork containing all of the best shots of last month, in our own style!
Best from the Stands returns with a new bimonthly schedule to bring you inside our favourite moments in the ultras world. Differently from most of the best we saw in the previous episodes, this month isn’t represented by just Europe, and scenes in other continents take an important part of our selection too. Traditional tifo-cities are still widely involved, with special mentions for moments coming from Switzerland and Poland, two cities owning famous and appreciated ultras sides, lately living a particularly lively period. Big football countries (in this case Spain and France) are there aswell, as we see two very diffent methods of creating an athmosphere to stay close to the team; in both cases the results were quite efficent, with good signals from their team and ovverall a remarkable feeling in the home stadium.

INDIPENDIENTE MEDELLIN vs Deportes Tolima, 23-01-2022, Estadio Atanasio Girardot

Who wouldn’t join a fierce hinchada for an unforgettable tifo experience in one of the classic games in South America? With the ultras movement finding luck mostly in Europe with a decennial tradition, it’s still important to be updated on the scene in the latino countries, looking up to Colombia, Chile, Paraguay, and all the other movements, aswell as the two from the biggest and most famous nations of the continent, Argentina and Brazil. And it’s in Medellin, Colombia, where we find one of the most interesting and entertaining tifos of those two months at the beginning of 2022.

The Colombians showed their best dress with an ambitious and remarkable project, bringing a unique banner to cover their whole stadium minutes before the game, both in height and lenght (the whole oval was clothed in it). The result speaks for itself, and it’s a very big plus added to the usual experience in such a warm stadium, with such loud and fizzy fans.
The execution is also something to look up to, with all the people in the stadium being able to collaborate with the help of rods and rope in order to cover all the 45.000 seats of the Estadio Atanasio Girardot, but their work becomes even more notable if you think back of all the realization and carriage problems that such a big and heavy banner can lead to.

Europe already withnessed a similar show with the Dynamo Dresden ultras being able to do the same just a few years ago; their stadium, the DDV Stadion, may present even bigger troubles with the fitting of their banner, but with figures to support, Indipendiente Medellin guys involved 45k people, against “just” 32k people by the Germans.

SENEGAL National Football Team, 8-02-2022, whole country


For the first time in this serie we find in our selection a fanbase from a national football team, and not from a specific club. And the exception comes after Senegal’s first ever victory in the Africa Cup in the 2021 edition hosted by Cameroon. Despite having a respectable football tradition, this country had to wait for so long to get their first continental title, and the scenes were so festive that it looked like the celebration were being prepared since decades. Colours, rhythm, passion and joy all came together in the streets of Dakar and all the major cities of the country, leading to the declaration of a national holiday on the day after the victory. We’ve also been reached out by videos and pictures of European cities (Madrid, Milan, Marseille, etc.) full of Senegalese people celebrating in the streets during that magic night for the Lions of Teranga; a nice example of how football can re-unite, and create communities for everyone, everywhere.

BASEL vs Lausanne, 19-02-2022, St. Jakob Park

We waited until deep February days to select our first European choice for those two months edition, as FC Basel gets into its best dress in a classic game at home. A memorable pyroshow lighted up St. Jakob’s Park before the match against Lausanne, creating such a special athmosphere which wouldn’t be possible in a lot of countries due to strict rules against flares and any fires on the stands. But as we know, the Swiss side is looking very modern and entertaining in recent era, and this show crowns a whole month of great condition from the RotBlau. For the whole winter this ultras base has definitly been one to watch in the whole global scene, applying to be selected for our serie in multiple occasions. A few days ago, they also used their last chance in an European match (vs Marseille, double leg in early March) to shine even in an European stage: mission accomplished?

RC LENS vs Ol. Lyonnais, 19-02-2022, Stade Bollaert Delelis


Funny idea, nice display and good execution from the RC Lens boys, which have always been a solid movement in the French ultras scene despite coming from not-so-nice years on the pitch. Recently though, the performances have clearly improved and the team is set to clinch a top flight result in Ligue 1, with big chances of European football next year. Just like that Red Tigers 94 (RT94) group, which has been the biggest and most influent in the recent era, organized a big banner as a political propaganda one, with an actual governmental plan to respect for the upcoming years. Easy ultras rules, against modern football business and collective repression, in favour of a return towards popular football and pyro legalization. We’re in!

ATLETICO DE MADRID vs Manchester United, 23-02-2022, Wanda Metropolitano

https://www.instagram.com/p/CaZSQEhgClE/

Differently from the examples of Basel and RC Lens (previous) and Legia (next), Atleti gets into our selection with a classic choreo using their whole stadium, with permissions and help from their own club. Used to be a fierce fanbase in their old Spanish-styled stadium Vicente Calderon (high walls, open air in multiple sectors), the Atletico boys managed to quickly create an identity in their new Wanda Metropolitano, which works fine for European nights and big league matches. Pumping their team before the clash against Manchester United, the whole stadium collaborated in forming a huge display with an aviator as protagonist, and the words “Vuela Atleti” (=”Fly Atleti) launching the team towards the next turn. A new chance for the Spaniards fans to show their best condition, and reminding us how close they are to a team that in the last year worked well to create a solid bond between the parts.

LEGIA WARSAW vs Wisla Cracow, 25-02-2022, Stadion Wojska Polskiego

Brilliant work coming from Warsaw, with the Legia boys snatching another pass for our bimonthly selection and confirming themselves as one of the most active and influent fanbases in the whole scenario. After some good years during the 2010’s, Legia is now facing a downfall which put them out from the European spots, a very rare bad moment for arguably the biggest club in Poland. And for the fans, being so big and recognized despite the small league they play in, missing out several times on chances to show themselves to the world would be a huge let down. This is the reason why we’re already withnessing disputs and protests choreos on the stands of the Stadion Wojska Polskiego, with the team being currently 20 points short from an European spot in the league. Lots of responsabilites are given to current chairmam Dariusz Mioduski, who fully own the club since 2017, and has been protagonist of the downfall in both economy and performances of club and team. Legia ultras decided then to use a metaphore to explain their feelings about the lawyer leading to this situation, picturing him as a Tinder profile, quoting the 2022 movie “The Tinder Swindler“, bases on stories about an Israeli entrepeneur accused to manipulate individuals with fake promises, to financially support his controversial lifestyle.
Despite the lovely work from our artist Beppe in making Dariusz look charming, we doubt we’d swipe right. Would you?

Best from the Stands” is the serie which shows you monthly all the finest moments happened in the global ultras scene. Ultrasbible believes that being an ultras is an art, and on art we decided to lean on for our project. With the partnership of the young illustrator Giuseppe Bonardi, we analyze one of his new artwork containing all of the best shots of last month, in our own style!

As we dig deeper into the season, the football scene has lately offered us some of the most intense derbies all around the world. A good chance for us enthusiasts to enjoy a great show coming from many stadiums, and a challange for us at @ultrasbible to select the best ones for our new episode of Best from the Stands. Milano and Istanbul city derbies get themselves a slot in our selection, which also see the lights of more “exotic” places involved. With some of the leagues in the nordic countries set to get a long winter break, we’ll have to wait for the contributes of some of the most interesting ultras bases around, but the rest of Europe and in general the southern part of the world is ready to please our eyes in the upcoming weeks. Great scenarios coming from Brazil, southern Italy and Alsace are infact all worthy to be celebrated in our Best from the Stands – November!

AC MILAN vs INTER, 07-11-2021, Stadio Giuseppe Meazza – MILANO DOESN’T FORGET

With the Milano derby taking place so early during November, we were sure at least one slot would have already been gone there. And of course we weren’t disappointed, knowing this derby always offer some of the most impressive displays of the whole season, with AC Milan looking brighter this time, and perfectly taking advantage of their home derby, with three whole sectors avaiable in height in the Curva Sud of the huge Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Their choreo was both impressive in its beauty and its meaning. More than 10k fans were involved in it, with red and black cardstocks framing a huge banner in the middle of the stand, and lifted up to cover two ring with an approximate height of 25 meters. With the northern Italian city being one of the most hardly hit by Covid during last year, they used this chance to thank the commendable work done by doctors, nurses, and the whole medical system. “Grazie, Milano non dimentica” easily translates as “Thank You, Milano doesn’t forget“; neither we’ll forget this choreo for a long time!

STRASBOURG vs METZ, 21-11-2021, Stade de la Meinau – 30 YEARS ULTRAS BOYS 90

Later into the month, and travelling some kilometers up north, here we are with RC Strasbourg and its main group Ultra Boys 90 celebrating their 30th anniversary with a noteworthy effort. We remember few sides already trying this show few seasons ago, such as Rapid Wien and Basel, but the French side definitly confirms its place amongst the most active and propositive ones in Europe with their own show. Wondering why Beppe decided to represent them as a chameleon? It’s because they were able to “change dress” for an astonishing nine times during a single game; they indeed set up nine different shows, with then an average of 10 minutes each, colouring their stands in different ways and showing some amazing organization skills, plus a good amount of creativity.

GALATASARAY vs FENERBAHCE, 21-11-2021, TURK TELEKOM – SQUID GAME

In the same day as Strasbourg’s action, we find another ultras side taking a seat in our November choices for Best from the Stands. It’s Galatasaray, with UltrAslan setting up a great choreo once again for yet another legendary derby with their city rivals of Fenerbahce. Since days before the match there has been a Squid Game thread going on within the two clubs, both on Twitter and with provocations coming from both sides of the city, as the serie became massive in Turkey following the rest of Western world. And with this display we believe Galatasaray wins it all, being able to create this difficult choreo in very few weeks. The iconic sountrack from the serie plays from the stadium’s spearkers, as characters from the serie are shown with big banners in the hottest stands of the stadiums, with a clear hate reference on their rivals in the middle of their opera: player 1907 (year of Fenerbahce’s foundation), eliminated!

CORITIBA vs CSA, 21-11-2021, Estadio Couto Pereira – IMPERIO ALVIVERDE

https://www.instagram.com/p/CWnvDCDNlNk/

Coritiba had the proper thought of adding once again some quality contents to the 21st of November, which with the Brazilian side taking a spot in our favourites, becomes a very intense day for the ultras world. A massive green smoke and pyroshow came up from the ground covering most of the height of the biggest stadium in the Paranà region, the Couto Pereira, with its 38.000 seats. Huge banners were also used to decorate the whole torcida with the club’s shirts, and a the name of the main group from Coritiba, Imperio Alviverde. We believe you’d also want to know this club plays in the Brazilian 2nd division, giving their support even more value, being unconditional from the club performance; a tradtion for most of south American supporters!

SALERNITANA vs JUVENTUS, 30-11-2021, Stadio Arechi – TRUE LOVE

November’s cirlce closes in Italy as it’s started, going all the way south and finally meeting Salernitana with one of their iconic choreos. With the Salerno side promoted in Serie A after 22 years since their last spell, we were expecting them to bring their art to the high-visibility Serie A, as they used to dominate the scenes in the lower leagues during the past years. There were some attempts already earlier in the season, but not as beautiful as this one, put into reality before the big match against Juventus and where their ultras are finally back to a very high quality standars. The structure of their ultras stand – the Curva Sud Siberiano – obviously helps with the creation of such art pieces, being basically a homogeneous wall. In this case they covered it with both cardstocks and banners, giving form to a real love declaration to their club. The True Love, or l’Ammore Overo in their regional slang, could you be more romantic? Our artist Beppe decided to make this exploit coming from a caricaturial character, proudly showing his tattoo, and finishing up our work for this episode of Best from the Stands!

 

 

Best from the Stands” is the serie which shows you monthly all the finest moments happened in the global ultras scene. Ultrasbible believes that being an ultras is an art, and on art we decided to lean on for our project. With the partnership of the young illustrator Giuseppe Bonardi, we analyze one of his new artwork containing all of the best shots of last month, in our own style!

As winter is already knocking on the door our third episode of Best from the Stands gets invaded with northern Europe, which steals the show with the Dutch and Swedish fanscenes committed to keep themselves warm on the stands. Our concept Keep An Eye On ‘Em shows us each weeken how Sweden has a lot to offer during this time of the year, with their league already coming to an end as they use a different schedule to avoid the colder months. Many big and crucial matches are for sure a good chance to get more visibility, and their ultras definitly haven’t lost their chance to shine. Holland follows right behind with many fanbases in particularly fizzy moment. The Southern part of Europe is still proudly represented by a traditional big dimensions choreo, as France sees Marseille shining for the loss of a Boss. Did anything already catch your eye from Beppe’s illustration down here? Let’s get into our choices for Best from the Stands – October! 

AIK vs DJURGARDEN, 03-10-2021, Friends Arena – LET’S PROTECT OUR FUTURE

Very early into last month and we already get what we feel could be the cover of our best moments’ choices.
Rightly so became popular on social medias and themed pages, this AIK choreo depicts a young fan proudly holding his scarf, and what hits the most is the absolute similarity between the picture and the ultras’ artwork. During the last few seasons we’ve already seen Italian ultras leaning on different artists (mainly tattoo artists) in order to make better and brighter choreos, an idea which worked pretty good for wide stadiums such as San Siro or Stadio Olimpico. AIK’s Friends Arena is a completely different concept of stadium and a vertical banner such the one used for this one works just as fine. With that checked, all the rest of the work was focused on making it look as real as possible; for Swedes? Easy as pie, apparently. And Beppe is definitly not far behind!
The meaning behind it closes the circle and allows this choreo into a very short selection of finests; right below the main banner, a sentence to frame it all: “Sla vakt om var framtid” – “Guard our future“, convincing enough.

HAMMARBY vs AIK (W), 10-10-2021, Tele2 Arena – 20k attendance at a Damallsveskan game, new record

https://www.instagram.com/p/CU4yLQ3oWqa/

Just a few days later and here comes AIK’s city rivals of Hammarby winning the weekend with a real European record of 19.000 fans attending a women’s association football match. Last decade has been very important for woman’s football, which saw a general development of the system even in countries which were still out of the map on this topic. Despite not being a proper choreo, this action from Hammarby fans gives us the same vibes as AIK’s previous one; earlier we saw the new youth being praised and protected, while the Bajen have found the perfect way to attract the attention on women’s football just by being there, supporting, sining and jumping as usual. Plus, the aftermaths interest towards the match and the athmosphere there, does nothing but confirm that football without fans is nothing, so well done Swedes fellows!

 

N.E.C. NIJMEGEN vs VITESSE, 17-10-2021, Stadion do Goffert – CAN’T HOLD US

This is the short story of how Vitesse fans can now go around telling they litterally shoot down their rival’s stadium. And that’s what a packed full away sector in one of the biggest rivarlies in Holland can do, after getting a win in your derby. A collective celebration between players and fans got a bit too bouncy for a stand in Stadion do Goffert, and the structure didn’t hold up to the weight. Luckily nobody got hurt in the process, and what we really dig is how some fans kept on jumping and shouting even after the fall!

OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE vs LORIENT, 17-10-2021, Velodrome – FAREWELL TO THE BOSS

When one of the biggest and most influent fanbases around refers to you as “le Boss“, you can tell you left a mark there. That’s how people from Marseille call Bernard Tapie, who brought them to the top during his chairmanship at the turn of the 80s and the 90s. The former politician, businessman, investor in sports and most importantly in this case, former president of Olympique Marseille, died on the 3rd of October, and his fanbase built up a massive choreo able to cover a whole side of the Velodrome in less than two weeks in order to celebrate him. His not-so-clean criminal records and judicial past leave a doubt on the legitimacy of such a choreo, but the grandeur of this show just couldn’t take second place for us. You can make your own opinion on this topic here or through many others information channels; in the meantime though this controversial Parisien socialist-politician who made his way towards the high floors in such a particular city as Marseille, got his face depicted right into an historical stadium, alongside few other big personalities in other stadiums around the world.

FEYENOORD European nights (vs Slavia Prague, Union Berlin), 30-09 – 21-10-2021, de Kuip – THE MASK SAGA

Last but not least important spot of our October choices goes to Feyenoord, giving a style to their European campaign leaning on the famous ’90s film which sees Jim Carrey as protagonist, The Mask. Both Slavia Prague and Union Berlin have been welcomed in a new athmosphere in de Kuip, with the fans creating two wide choreos covering their whole stands, with clear references to the cult movie, full of catch phrases which fit very well in such works. Feyenoord still has to play one Conference League‘s group stage game at home in mid december against Maccabi Haifa, and with the qualification to the next round already secured, we look forward to at least two more themed choreo in Rotterdam, for another chance to be in our Best from the Stands!

Best from the Stands” is the serie which shows you monthly all the finest moments happened in the global ultras scene. Ultrasbible believes that being an ultras is an art, and on art we decided to lean on for our project. With the partnership of the young illustrator Giuseppe Bonardi, we analyze one of his new artwork containing all of the best shots of last month, in our own style!

The second episode of our serie gathers our choices of the best ultras scenes in September. All the first leagues of the main football countries have come back to normal schedules, with most federations able to assure high percentages of fans inside the stadiums, bringing towards new great athmospheres which we missed for more than a year. Once again Europe takes the totality of the scenes of our five choices for the month, but differently from August’s episode this time we won’t find only choreos, but other occasions where ultras groups gave their best to shine brighter than usual. Let’s see the best from the month just passed with our new episode of Best from the Stands!

ARSENAL TULA vs CSKA MOSCOW, 12-09-2021, from Moscow to Tula – HOT AIR BALLOON

As soon as we saw what these CSKA Moscow guys managed to organize we directly thought to put this into our monthly Best from the Stands, regardless of what will happen during the remaining days. CSKA’s fanbase already showed up with original away days with scooters, very long walks or cycling, but we’d never expected to see them travelling in a hot air balloon, moreover well decorated with the club’s colours, and inside a blanket of smoke coming from the red and blue pyro who accompanied them troughout the whole journey. The fans obviously didn’t fly for the whole distance between Moscow and Tula (where their away game took place), but they met in the close countriside of the host city to take off for about an hour, flying over the stadium and the city center, for a total cost of around a thousand euros. What will they arrange for the next trip?

SLAVIA PRAGUE vs UNION BERLIN, 16-09-2021, Edén Arena, HULK

A nice cinematographic reference coming from the Slavia shore of Prague‘s ultras scene. We’ve already seen plenty of choreos where the red and white showed their skill, and this time they’ve also achieved a decent visibility, displaying it during the Conference League match against Union Berlin (which were also very fizzy on the stands during their first ever European cups’ match). The whole stand deplicted a cloth with the figure of Hulk, painted him in their colours created a worthy athmosphere, adding a banner covering all the low side of their sector with the phrase “Slavia always… always angry!“, and fans on the upper side waving double coloured flags to give movement to the whole set. Apart from the obvious reference to the strong figure of Marvel’s superhero, there aren’t apparently any other reasons why the Czech guys picked Hulk, or felt represented under his banner. But the result speaks for itself, and their team has also been able to achieve good results in European football during the last years. A proper way from the fanbase to urge their team towards new goals!

ZELJEZNICAR, 19-09-2021, Sarajevo, CLUB’S 100th ANNIVERSARY

Zeljeznicar Sarajevo is one of the biggest clubs in Bosnia and of all the Jugoslavian history, and their 100th birthday – celebrated on 19th September – left us some unbelieveable scenes. Despite Bosnia can’t really vaunt a winning tradition in football, their ultras scene has always been up there with the very bests at a European level, with cities such as the capital Sarajevo, Mostar or Banja Luka opening the way for the whole country. Their main ultras group, The Maniacs, supported by many other smaller groups such as Joint Union, Blue Tigers, Vendetta and so on litterally lighted the capital on fire with an immense pyroshow; covering the whole area between the stadium and the city center with flares, fireworks and moving corteos. We’re pretty sure the city didn’t sleep for the whole night, and our artist Beppe was able to well represent their party, fitting them in our September’s Best from the Stands. Happy birthday FK Zeljeznicar!

FC COPENHAGEN vs MIDTJYLLAND – 19-09-2021, Parken, SEKTION 12 15th ANNIVERSARY

Copenhagen is one of the hottest cities when it comes to nordic Europe’s general ultras scene, and this set by Sektion 12 is nothing more than a well appreciated confirmation. The group leading FC Kobenhavn’s tifo turned 15 last month, and we can definitly say they’ve come a long way. Despite not having an ancient tradition in Danish football’s roots – the club borned in 1992 from the alliance of the older clubs B 1903 and KB – their fanscene had remarkably grown during the past years, becoming one of the biggest ones in Scandinavia. These results come from a constant development and interactions between the club and their ultrasgroup, and together they were able to connect all the fans under the same big logo of S12, a certainty for quality and quantity of the scenes since more than a decade. A famous Boca Juniors‘ motto says “La Bombonera no tiembla, late” (=”our home stadium doesn’t shake, it beats”), and with such scenes we think this stands could say the same (and be very proud of it!).

ST. GALLEN vs BASEL, 22-09-2021, Kybunpark, ALBUS SILENTE

Another reference to another very famous cinematic saga directly from St. Gallen, Switzerland! Following the similar idea coming from Prague which we talked about earlier, they decided to pick Harry Potter‘s character of Severus Pitos ahead of the classic match against Basel. Both sides are two of the most historical clubs in the country, and this fixture isn’t new to gift us with memorable moments, such as this last one. With the famous catchphrase “After all this time? Always!” coming from the movie Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and a dialogue between Severus and Albus Silente, St. Gallen gave credit to their rivarly against Basel, being used to play in the first division against each other for several years now. We might also be tempted to wish for a new episode of the famous saga, if other choreos like this one will follow.

 

Best from the Stands” is the serie which shows you monthly all the finest moments happened in the global ultras scene. Ultrasbible believes that being an ultras is an art, and on art we decided to lean on for our project. With the partnership of the young illustrator Giuseppe Bonardi, we analyze one of his new artwork containing all of the best shots of last month, in our own style!

For lots of countries, August meant the return of fans in the stadiums, following the examples we’ve seen during the continental cups during the summer. Together with the start of the new clubs’ season, we decided to introduce our new series and accompany you within the best moments from the stands of the whole world, back to be packed full after the restrictions due to Covid-19 pandemic. Europe obviously mastered the scene, with highlights on both league matches, and European Cups qualification fixtures. We all know most of European ultras had to wait for more than a year before coming back to life, so let’s see what they have to tell us, analyzing our choices for Best from the Stands – August 2021!

DINAMO BUCHAREST vs FCSB, 15-08-2021, Arena Nationala – ERROR 404

Rapid Bucharest add themselves to the clubs from Romania capital city to mock the rests of the what was called Steaua Bucharest. Small premise, traditional Steaua Bucharest closed gates in 2014, and in Liga I (Romanian first division) remained a surrogate version of the historical club, re-called FCSB. The club kept most of the best players, but lost the company name, the historical brand and the whole palmarès, which all ended up in fourth division, in a club which splitting up kept the usual name “Steaua”. The oldest and biggest ultras groups followed the remains of old Steaua Bucharest in the low divisions, leaving FCSB without any hard core group inside the ultras world. For this reason the citizien rivals (Rapid and Dinamo) never lose a chance to make fun of their opponents. This time was Rapid’s round, and they created a choreo that goes back to the famous web error 404; “sorry, but we don’t find any interest in being rival with you!” Very often snobbing your rival is a great psychological tactic, and Rapid’s groups surely accomplished that in this first derby of the season.

TWENTE vs AJAX, 22-08-2021, De Grolsch Veste – VAK P CIRCUS

Twente recurs at home with the big match against Ajax, probably presenting the best choreo of the month, and an inspiration for Beppe, our illustrator. De Grolsch Veste stands saw themselves coloured by the historical group Vak-P, as a painting representing a circus of horrors. That’s how the fanbase wanted to contextualize their stadium, a strategy which looks effective looking at the nice 1-1 draw they’ve earned against the strongest club in the Netherlands. With a clear reference of the the clown within the horror imagery and fiction (made famous by the movie It), the Dutch fans set up a huge covering, creating a mega athmosphere for the entrance of the two teams on the pitch, precisely in this circus of horrors.

OGC NICE vs OLYMPIQUE MARSEILLE, 23-08-2021, Allianz Riviera – ULTRAS GUERNICA

This Cote d’Azure derby surely left us with the most discussed episode of the month in the ultras world, the clash between players and ultras of Olympique Marseille and OGC Nice. As the Marseilles, as guests, were attacking towards the goal under the home curva, Nice ultras started throwing objects to them, leding Dimitri Payet to a reaction, throwing back the bottle to the home fans fiercest stands. His gesture was obviously saw as an insult by Nice fans, and within seconds, hundreds of them jumped into the pitch searching for the physical fight with OM players. Nice players and the guests fans apparently also agitated themselves, creating a collective chaos and some pictures of war and riot in a football stadium, comparable to Guernica by Pablo Picasso. This episode will surely leave a mark in the French ultras scene, with OGC Nice currently risking to lose the match at the table and incur penalties, while they already have a closed doors stadium until further notice.

BRONDBY IF vs RB SALZBURG, 25-08-2021, Brondby Stadion – PYROSHOW

Despite their team wasn’t able to win in the double fixture with RB Salzburg, Brondby fans gave their best at the return of an European playoff during their economical crisis era. While they’re struggling during these last years, Brondby traditionally represents an historical Danish club, and Sydsiden (their collective ultras group), didn’t loose the chance to protest against a modern club such as RB Salzburg, father of the most famous Leipzig-model, under the Red Bull brand. At the start of the match their hard core fans sector litterally took fire, with a pyroshow that for sure will remain in the memory of the fans of the genre. Nothing new, but once again the demonstration of how much boost Danish fans are always able to give their team, a feature which puts them on a high rank of the most warm fanbases.

LEGIA WARSAW vs SLAVIA PRAGUE, 26-08-2021, Pepsi Arena, DUCK REBUS

For years Legia Warsaw fanbase incurs into problems and clashes with UEFA because of their violent attitude on the stands, between riots, clear social stances and some critics to the organizers of the biggest European football competitions. UEFA is not new to suspend or fine the Polish fanbase because of some deprecative choreos or banners, to be added to the usual violent and hard core support, typical for all the big Polish ultras groups. This time though, Legia fans came up with a smart way of teasing their hated UEFA, creating a sort of rebus on their stands. A duck, where the letter F replaces letter D, resulting in the new words “F-uck UEFA“, a messagge which is at the same time clear and clever, but un-impeachable and impossible to use in some court to accuse the ultras base for fines or punishments. Have your managed to solve this Polish rebus already?

Last week all the UEFA European Cups’ group stages have been drawn, let’s analyze which fixtures will bring us new contents for the ultras world, here, on @ultrasbible!

UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

Group D, Shakhtar Donetsk – Sheriff Tiraspol

The fixture between Shakhtar and Sheriff, in a group where most of fooball fans will mainly focalize on the presence of Inter and Real Madrid, represents without a doubt the match with the most ultras premises and possibilities for some troubles in the whole groups stage of this season UEFA Champions League. Ukraine, and even more Moldova (or Transnistria, but we’ll get to this point in a second), are not famous for their big numbers of fanbases and ultras, but as we all know the whole eastern Europe becomes a cauldron as soon as there are possibilities for a fight. Transnistria cited above is an indipendent and autoproclaimed territory, and Tiraspol, city where Sheriff has its site, is its capital city. We can find the reason why this land is separated from the traditional idea of Moldova through society and politics, and since 1990 this region on the border with Ukraine asks for annexation to the Russian Federation. Even nowadays the Transnitrians people regret Soviet Union times, differently to most of the other countries born after 1991’s dissolution. On the other side, Ukraine being protagonist of recent frictions woth Russia, among the most famous the one involving the Crimea region, which still brings these days to a real war between the two countries. Specifically Shakhtar, club from Donetsk, a city which in 2014 suffered a bombing coming from the Russian army, also damaging the Donbass Arena, their new home stadium at that time, bringing the club to an exodus which see them playing in Kharkiv, Lviv, and eventually Kyev. This will be the first fixture between the two teams, but if UEFA tryied on one side to avoid matches between Russian and Ukranian clubs, they didn’t think about this eventuality which could bring inconveniences, alongside new contents coming from the two fanbases, ready for the war.

UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

Group C, Legia Warsaw – Spartak Moscow

Legia, historically a club established by the Polish army, surely has one of the hottest and most violent fanbases in the whole Europe. Spartak is not far behind, vaunting friendships such as the one with Olympiakos and Red Star Belgrade, as a testimony of their social and political side, easily intuitable, socialist. Despite Legia having a difficult fanbase to generalize and label, recent manifestations showed a nationalist identity, giving space also to neo-fascist symbols and logos in their fiercest stands of the stadium. A Russian club from the left wing, against a right winged Polish side. If this doesn’t ring a bell in your head, we suggest a quick history review. You’ll be soon as excited as we are for this mega ultras clash!

Group D, Fenerbahce – Olympiakos

Fenerbahce managed to be one of the very fee Turkish clubs still not labelled with an ideology, and it’s often saw as “the people’s club”, where in both the board and the stands, democracy tends to prevail. Olympiakos presents itself as the “working class’ club” in Athens, not a far concept from the one used by Fenernahce. If a clash with opposite ideologies clubs such as Galatasaray or Besiktas might have been more appealing for an ultras clash, it’s also true that we can’t underestimate whatever match between Turks and Greeks. A tasty chance for other fanbases from Athens and Istanbul to use this bridge to meet, but not for a coffee! Keep your eyes peeled on this one.

Group E madness, Lazio, Galatasaray, Lokomotiv Moscow, Olympique Marseille

For each of the ultras world, reading the clubs belonging to this Europa League group and thinking about every single match, means cast gold. Lazio, club from Rome, Lokomotiv from Moscow, Galatasaray from Istanbul and OM from Marseille. If ultras would be divided in pots depending on their level such as happens for all the UEFA cups, we’re pretty sure all of those fanbases would belong to pot one, at the very least pot 2. Each match will be a chance to shine for every fanbase, confronting themselves with very worthy opponents, even though we don’t remind of violent clashes directly between these fanbases. Friendship between Olympique Marseille and Napoli will motivate Lazio to be ready for the big occasion, against “some friends of the enemies”, while Galatasaray and Lokomotiv will represent Turkey and Russia, in an historical time which sees the two countries creating new social, economical and political balances between themselves. It’s also going to be Rome against Istanbul, Western Roman Empire against Eastern Roman Empire, alongside Marseille vs Moscow, two of the cities where ultras culture is saw as a religion since decades. So fasten your seatbelts and follow us on @ultrasbible to don’t miss out on this Europa League group E madness!

Group G, Ferencvaros – Celtic

Celtic fanbase has recently showed itself as one of the most left winged side of the social world we recently withness on the stands. You surely remember the fights against Lazio (once again cited on this article) at Celtic Park a couple of seasons ago. Ferencvaros on the other side, following the route of most Hungarian ultras groups, travels in the opposite way aiming to a very clear right winged ideologies, and sometimes ending up even in neo-fascism moments. The two clubs already met last season, where the Covid-19 pandemic prevented them from reaching each other in the hosting city, and ward off any clash. Faith has decided to put the two teams against once again, when, without further news, the two fanbases will have the chance to meet. We really can’t wait to hear what they’ve got to tell.

UEFA CONFERENCE LEAGUE

Group C, Roma – CSKA Sofia

For the third time in this article Lazio becomes the protagonist, slipping also in their city rivals affairs of AS Roma. You’d ask what’s the link between CSKA and Roma, which stands precisely in the friendship between the white and blue side of the Italian capital city with Levski Sofia, in turn rivals of CSKA Sofia, of course. Lazio and Levski are bonded by a sociopolitical relationship which puts both clubs on an extreme right wing idelolgy since decades, and this will be a great chance for them to meet again, causing troubles with each others rivals, in either Rome or Sofia, giving birth to colourful clashes and wars. A typical Mexican stall situation, with 4 very big guns in the ultras world ready to face each others, moving up also the stands of the Conference League.

May opens up with the United Kingdom reaching 30k deaths, resulting one of the most hit countries in Europe. It seems clear that the number of contagions and victims is strictly connected with the hospital organisation in each countries; the nations which manage to assure prope cures to their patiences without previous pathologies can indeed keep their numbers under control. With the pharyngeal laryngeal swab getting much more accurate day after day, numbers raised in most of the countries, but Italy, already in lockdown since more than 50 days, starts creating a plan in order to open back the general activities in the whole nation: the general quarantine will finally end for Italians on the 18th of May. In the meantime, the USA starts accusing a big economical crisis, with more than 30mln citizens requesting for the national unemployment benefit, an astonishing number which in theory includes around 20% of the whole workforce in America. After a little time, a big social crisis will add to the already exsisting economical and hospital crisis, after many fierce demonstations in order to defend and ask for respect of black people lives. A very curious moment to enter such a heavy crisis, considering the WHO declarations about a study showing how black people are FOUR times more vulnerable to contract the virus, comparing to the Caucasian race. Alongside Italy, also France moves its first steps towards the new opening, while the government signs a deal with Germany to allocate 500mln for the rebirth of both countries. Also private industries such Google and Apple started accelerating the creation of apps in order to register a number of people positive to Coronavirus, while Pfizer finally finds a good track to prepare their vaccine. In the various ideas to limit the virus and challenge it, Colombia comes out with an idea as handy as macabre, which still gets you the idea of the gravity of the situation: hospital beds, convertible in coffins, after the death of the patience.

Below, our chosen five May actions, in chronological order.

AIK, tribute to former deceased GK, 02-05-2020, Stockholm

Ivan Turina is a former Croatian goalkeeper, deceased in May 2013 due to a congenital cardiovascular problem. Arrived in Sweden in 2009 after many experiences around Europe which brought him to also defend his national team goal once, he collected 65 total apps with AIK, always maintaining an wonderful relationship with both the club and the fanbase. His attitude brought him to be considered as one of the favourites of the fans and ultras, and his sudden death left a big scar on the hearts of all the fans of Stockholm’s suburb of Solna. During May 2020, in the occasion of the 7th anniversary since his death, and with the Allsveskans suspended due to Covid-19 outbreak, AIK ultras decided to gift to their favourite goalkeeper a big tribute, organizing a pyroshow oh huge dimensions. Since his death, the Swedish fans brought on a tradition of being completely silent during the 27th minute of each game, 27 as his former shirt number, followed by a long chant shouting his name. With no chances of respecting his memory during an actual game, we want to reward the Swedish ultras putting them into our shortlist for the big organization system and the spectacularity of their show!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B_u-WuGA-Fe/

Torino FC, Grande Torino plane crash anniversary, 04-05-2020, Superga

Five Scudetti in a row during the ‘40s, as the first club to complete a winning cicle of such dimension in both the Italian and European scene. Alongside the Busby Babes and the more recent Chapecoense squad, also Grande Torino is unfortunately to be remembered as a club suffering from a plane creash. In italy, a veil of mysticism covers the men who lost their lifes on the mountain in which is located Superga santuary, in Piedmont region, on the 4th of May 1949; no one before them and as them was able to dominate the whole sport scene of a whole nation. Coming back from an away friendly match in Lisbona against Benfica, the faith put to an end the life of many players, giving birth to their legend. Since the birth of the ultras movement, Torino fans never missed a chance to remind their heroes, “only stopped by the sky”, as they like to say. In 2020, with Italy inside the biggest pandemic ever saw in recent history, the fans still managed to give homage to Grande Torino, without remarkable choreos or shows, but with gentleness and elegance.

 

de Graafschaap, graffiti art, 08-05-2020, Doetinchem

With the Dutch football federation passing through the hottest days of the season, deciding what to do with both Eredivisie and Eerstedivisie destiny, de Graafschaap fans had the nice thought of occuping their free time with useful activities for themselves and the whole club. Their stadium, de Vijverberg, was funded in 1954, but following a recent renovation at the start of the century, the installation still fits with Dutch standards, and doesn’t particularly need other innovations; however, why don’t give it a little bit of colour? And it was so that de Graafschaap ultras groups, strictly bonded with the Italian and South European ultras school, managed to show their consistency and raising money to buy materials for some graffiti art, ending up with covering many different areas outside the stadiums, creating a true white and blue stronghold. Remember, always live the life of an ultras, not only at some big games!

Banik Ostrava + GKS Katowice (CZ/PL), friendship renovation, 18-05-2020, CZ/PL border

Only less than 100kms divide the cities of Ostrava and Katowice, but they respectively belong to Czech Republic and Poland, both with two clubs which are often involved in the high tier of their national football. Their proximity, and few friendly matches during the past years, gave birth to a nice friendly relationship among the Czech and Polish fanbases, surely two breed to underlight and respect in the ultras world. Both clubs have big national rivarlies, even if they didn’t have a lot of success in the last decades and so during the start of this friendship; the decent palmares they have collected in the previous decades would make up for it. The brillant idea from the two ultrasbases to renew their friendship during Covid-19 outbreak, and with the border of the two countries strictly closed by law, was to meet each other precisely halfway, exactly on the border between the two European countries. Respecting the rules, but always following the brotherhood!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAVLhLpgz1F/

Turris, promotion in Serie C, 30-05-2020, Torre del Greco

The Italian Football Federation decision to suspend all the lower leagues brought a lot of fibrillation in many Italian places and towns: what would it be with promotions and relegations? Turris fans, supporting their club from the town of Torre del Greco may answer this question, being promoted for the first time from Serie D to Serie C, right after the decision of activating the movements of clubs between divisions, with the tables frozen as they were at the official stop of the leagus. A suggestive seafront, in a famous locality known in the whole country for the sweet summer life, litterally put it to flames by a massive pyroshow from the fans of the small club from Campania region. Sense of belonging and the willing of always be close to the team, those are the simple rules for such a big show, also in low divisions! Ah, and also just a bit of illegality for the various gatherings and abusive parties, but for how long have they waited this beautiful moment? Might aswell risk a bit!

https://www.instagram.com/p/CAz6OFGA35E/

 

 

April sees plenty of countries down on their knees, in front of the biggest hospital and social crisis since World War II, as declared by the United Nations. The new rule of lockdown though appears efficient, with Italy recording their first new contagions decrease for the first time in the 4th of April, and Germany declaring low numbers statistically, so low to arouse suspicion from some international journalists. At the start of the month some studies show a clear improvement about the general air quality, as consequence of the reduction of any kind of traffic, either via see, land or air: the whole society is basically always relegated at home, an a lot of activities are completely stopped and closed, a situation which also bring nature to take back some of its spaces. A big political ferment anticipates the half of the month, with the EuroGroup which manages to sign a general deal for the allocation of 500.000.000.000€ (500 mlds) for the economical reprise after the quarantine months and the general suspension of many industries. Those are numbers never seen before, in such a delicate moment, all to highlight the big effort by many leaders of the European countries in the same direction. At the half of April, Spain and Italy register a clear decrease of new contagions, while unfortunately USA and UK are pretty much at the top of thee epidemic curve. France in the meantime formalize another whole month of lockdown: the citizens, agreeing with the idea that quarantine still is the best solution, are a bit resentful, thinking that the government should have waited some more days to take such a singular and quick decision, and some social tension arises. Other two nations get our attention in this month, being two very influent countries ultraswise; the first one is Austria, which is the first European country to loosen the measures a bit, getting out of lockdown and starting over some industrial activities. The secondo ne is Brazil, living two awful weeks which see them going on top of the ranking of the most hit countries in the world, due to a very permissive government under the leader Bolsonaro, a list of decisions which will appear to be crazy after few days. Describing the gravity of the situation, Angela Merkel, German leader since 2005 spoke for the first time in TV. In the German measures, also the cancellation of Oktoberfest 2020, the famous event which attracts millions of tourists coming from all around the world each year. In the meantime in the USA, for the first time in history petrol cost goes below the limit of 0$ per barrel: storages are completely full, and in order to keep on extracting petrol from the land, people are payed to empty the various stores around the country. The month ends with declarations from China about their return to normality, with the city of Wuhan still with new contagions, but without an hospital crisis, and well organized to cure each patience. In Europe the situation is much worse, and it looks to keep on getting more serious both statistically and socially speaking.

Below, our chosen five April actions, in chronological order.

Lokomotive Leipzig, online ticket selling sell out, 07-04-2020, World

Lokomotive Leipzig is the oldest and most influent, talking about ultras, club in the German city of Leipzig. Nowadays they find themselves in the German 4th division, after a downhill ended with a bankrupt some ages ago, and an interest which kept on turning towards the new Red Bull project, which is bringing the new city club towards the top of national and continental football, but with very harsh method and philosophy towards the loyal fans. However, some years ago the yellow-blue club (Lokomotive) used to always be in the 1st division, and also conquered 3 German Leagues and one DFB Pokal. Their big success brought the club to have a massive fanbase, in a hugely populated city and area as the Leipzig one. Recently the club reviewed all their most famous games played in Zentralstadion, a structure able to contain more than 100000 fans, in appropriate or unappropriated manner. Until late 80’s, the stadium was considered the second biggest in Europe, paired up with Camp Nou in Barcelona, and only behind Velky Strahovsky Stadium in Prague, a notion which maybe  makes more sense knowing that Leipzig was one of the most important city in the whole DDR Eastern Germany until the fall of the Berlin Wall. Coming back to our days however, and particularly to the start of April, the club which can still vaunt the bigger part of the ultrascene in the city despite the lower divisions, decided to sell at the price of 1€ some virtual tickets for their matches played behind closed doors. All the obtain has been used for the survival of the club, and fans from alla round the world followed the idea, managing to collect 1.100.000€ (1.1mln) in total, and in a singular match selling more than 110.000 tickets, establishing a new record, and surpassing the total capacity of the legendary Zentralstadion in the golden years of the club.

French ultras say no to a premature football restart, 13-04-2020, France

A big manifestation of cohesion from all the French ultrascene, in order to stop the farce of football without fans. Ligue 1 restarted regularly this year adopting the same measures as the rest of all the rest of European football, but suspended the previous season mainly due to the effort and contribution from all those ultras groups. Forty-five different groups, hundreds of rivarlies in this collective, but the same desire to avoid as much as they could to play football without them supporting their colors. France and its football federation listened to the call from the ultras, still proclaiming PSG as national champions, being the first club in the raking at the moment of the stop. A similar decision was also taken by the Dutch federation, so a big round of applause to all the fanbases in Holland, managing to stop both Eredivisie and Eerstedivisie, even avoiding the proclamation of Ajax as national champion.

White Angels Vitoria SC ghost choreo, 17-04-2020, Guimaraes

A very hot topic in the last months for the whole tifo world is the one of ghost choreos, that is the idea of organized tifo scenarios even without the physical presence of fans inside the stadium. In order to not unbalance ourselves too much on the argument, we chose White Angels from Vitoria Guimaraes in our shortlist for two main reasons. The first one lies in the fact that the Portuguese were the first one to propose this new concept, up to date: a real choreo, adapted to the stadium  structure and functional even without anyone animating it live. The second reason is that during the choreo, precisely in those few minutes, a very ironical fact, there wasn’t even any live match going on! With the suspension of every sporting events in Portugal, the fans didn’t even have to chose a weekend with a home match to celebrate their birthday, 25 years ago, they just respected the actual date of their fundation. A very original way of showing their passion and support to the club, with or without actual football!

Ultrasbible stickers fundraise, 18-04-2020, Ultrasbible

Not an autocelebration, but a proof of how unity of intent and organization could always bring us to big targets and making us all achieving big projects. Those are the rules which stand at the base of the ultras world, and us from Ultrasbible tried to apply them towards the half of the month of April, in order to help with our little contribution the big societies fighting the virus on the front row. Without never selling merch before, we organized a set of stickers with different ultras graphics and pics, which you could see here. Thanks to your help we managed to sell everything we’ve produced, so we decided to devolve 100% of money spent by you for the purchase of the stickers to World Health Organization. You can find the details about our money transfers here, but for us this is yet another chance to remember the beauty of the gesture we managed to make during such hard times, due to your effort trying to fight Covid-19. So, a big and warm THANK YOU!

Ruch Chorzow 100th birthday, 20-04-2020, Chorzow

Poland is not a country which suffered the hospital crisis like the most hit countries by Covid-19 in Europe, at least reading the gouvernement declared stats during last spring. Rather, Polish people are living hard times during this month of December, and the typical cold Eastern Europe winter surely influenced and got the new stats to be worse. The country, during the spring, yet decided to move in advance due to avoid big crisis during the following months, applying strict measures and following most of the rest of Europe. Those measures worked in the first place, and will be used again in those weeks in order to save as many people as possible to be hospitalized. Ignoring the prohibition of gathering, and basing their decision much more on the low contagions number rather than the government rules, Ruch Chorzow ultras and fans organized a big party in the street of their city for the 100th birthday of their club, a very historical and big one in Polish football. In a country which loves pyroshow so much, it was easy and quick to see the whole center of Chorzow completely on fire in only few minutes!

 

 

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March will result to be the month where a new era for the whole Europe was started, with many countries fighting against an invisible enemy, inside a society where physical relationships and crowd activities are fundamental. Italy is the most hit country of the European ones, with a quick impact by the virus, bringing the government to introduce a general lockdown in the Lombardy region, involving more than 15 milions people, exactly on the 8th of March. Nobody could exit their houses, unless for working reasons or groceries. Only two days later, the whole nation will use the same restrictions, bringing to 65 millions the number of people relegated at home. In the meantime, in the Middle East, Iran is the country choosing the hardest way: a choice which shows how the whole moment was really serious surely is the release from prison of 70.000 prisoners, sent back home in order to avoid the spread of Covid-19 in the overcrowded jails. During the second weekend of the month also Spain starts taking measures trying to limit their famous movida, but only two days later the restrictions become much harder, with the total lockdown also in the Iberic country. United Kingdom, with a very high number of contagions, adopts a lighter politic with their leader Boris Johnson contemplating the idea of the herd immunity, a concept which will be soon defined as crazy and senseless, bringing the stats to read more than 40 millions of serious contagions only in England. Following decisions will contain the number to be in line to many other European countries, but the time lost will be heavy in the final report. France starts its lockdown alongside the metropolitan area of San Francisco, around the half of the month. USA starts facing an hospital crisis only a couple of weeks later, while China reports a drop of new contagions. 24th of March will become an emblematic moment, sportwise: 4 months before the start of the competitions, Tokyo 2020 Olimpic Games are delayed by a whole year. A loud decision, considering the level of organization required for such an event, and shows how long the crisis will be. Before the end of March, USA become statistically the most hit country in the world, by new contagions and death by Covid-19, while many newspaper are attacking the USA secret service, unable to justify the origin of the virus with proofs. A simultaneous hospital crisis with the governative one, put down on knees the whole USA society.

Below, our chosen five March actions, in chronological order

Crvena Zvezda vs Partizan Belgrade, Prva Liga Srbija, 01-03-2020, Belgrade

First day of the month, and March always presents us with a true classic of the whole ultras scene globally. The biggest derby in Eastern Europe, between Crvena Zvezda and Partizan Belgrade, doesn’t fail to impress even in this case, and this time we were able to witness the spectacle by ourselves. (Check our story archive on Instagram for some images and videos). A wholesome choreo just before the starting whistle, all framed by a pyroshow both in and outside the stadiums, with stands put on fire by ultras close to the pitch, and real fireworks just outside the Marakana, to colour the dark sky. The rivalry between fanbases causes clashes outside the stadium, with police forced to use violence in order to calm the hot moment: no surprise in this particular case though, being the Belgrade derby always between the most fierce and violent ones. Also notable, the continue division between Grobari, the main group for Partizan: Covid-19 right now appears like a far thought, and the priority are well different at the moment for all the Serbian ultras, obviously not thinking about a sanitary crisis in the close future.

delije grobari 1

delije partizan 12

delije partizan 12

delije partizan 12

delije grobari 151

Hajduk Split vs Dinamo Zagreb, 1. HNL, 04-03-2020, Split

We climb North by some kilometers, and we find another great classic of Balkan football. As usual Hajduk Split and Dinamo Zagreb gives life to the most interesting match on both the pitch and the stands in the whole Croatian system. Also in this case, we could assist to a choreo AND a pyroshow by the homefans: up to today, this match between the two most famous Croatian clubs, is the last one taking part with fans and ultras inside the stadium.

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hajduk dinamo 1

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AS Saint-Etienne vs Rennes, Coupe de France, 05-03-2020, Saint Etienne

As said previously, France is the first country to be hit by the first contagions of Covid-19 in Europe, and stats are already looking bad at the very start of March. However, like many other governments in the same situation, the country is displaced, and the first restrictions are slightly slower than required. Those few week of waiting before the actions will result to be crucial for the future spread of the virus. The Coupe de France fixture between ASSE and Rennes is then one of the last big tifo event for the country, and conquers a spot in our shortlist due to its extraordinariness. Both clubs are in the history of French football, and their clash is a true classic. Added to that, the Saint Etienne tifo scene was living a great moment, with positive relationships and actions in the previous months and years. In its best dress for the big occasion of the semifinal, the curva managed to propose multiple choreos during the match in a fantastic scenario, in a completely full stadium. Saint-Etienne victory sent back the club in a final after more than 35 years, bringing big celebrations with it. Indeed, right after the final whistle, thousands of fans ran into the pitch for an invasion which looks utopian in the actual moment, after Covid-19. This may be the last highlight in the French ultras scene, but for sure it was very noteworthy.

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asse rennes 1

asse rennes 1

asse rennes 1

ES de Tunis vs Zamalek, CAF Champions League, 06-03-2020, Tunis

This CAF Champions League semifinal surely is one of the most significant matches of the month. We must consider that ES de Tunis and Zamalek come from different countries, and this is an important international match. True, in Northern Africa we don’t find a lot of tradition between fans for away games, but such a big occasion brought Zamalek fans to travel all the way from Egypt to Tunisia. In the stadium, more than 50000 fans for the last step before the final of the biggest African cup. Also in this case, with Tunisia not being a particularly hit country even nowadays, this will be one of the last remarkable ultras actions in the whole Arab area of Africa, like the rest of the world. We’re now very close to the end of the normal life, and the start of an unavoidable crisis of the whole ultras scene!

ec tunis zamalek 1

ec tunis zamalek 1

ec tunis zamalek 1

Universitario vs Alianza Lima, Liga 1, 08-03-2020, Lima

Different match, different geographical area, a clear example of how at the start of March the virus was still only in some countries, and it wasn’t affecting the whole world. A massive classic for South American football, the derby of Lima, which shows the best of the whole Peruvian fan scene. Hosting the show, the biggest stadium in the whole continent, El Monumental  de Lima, a factor with makes the images we receive even more epic. Classic latin hinchada support during the whole match, colorful and very loud, by both the fanbases. We chose this fixture in our monthly top 5, and we noticed how we’re already at the end of our list, only at the 8th day of the month. Going through March we could find some other noteworthy actions, but the progressive drop brings the very best of the month in the first eight days: from then on, a clear downfall. Covid-19 hit the ultras world like a tsunami, like all the rest of society, and without even noticing we were already watching the last blazes of the whole global ultrascene.

Universitario Lima 1

Universitario Lima 1

Universitario Lima 1

Thanks for reading again and make sure to check out the overview of January and February

With China already in full pandemic mode, and the population already used to live inside a massive dimensioned crisis, Europe starts giving some serious thoughts about the imminent problem. Towards the end of the month we will see how some European countries already started some limitations never saw before, even if slight ones compared to nowadays condition. From China, Europe still receives bad news constantly: even though quarantine has already been confirmed as the best precaution, the main news about government management are still confused and fragmentary. On 6th of February we find the death, due to uncertain causes, of one of the first and most influent doctor to call and declare the presence of a new virus coming from a laboratory: Li Wenliang death causes more discontent between the citizens, now very doubtful about the true origin of Covid-19. However, during the same weekend China register the first stats decrease as for number of new contagions, an info which kind of calm down most of the population. Meanwhile however, the independent state of Hong Kong becomes the first one to introduce legislative penalties in case of lack of respect of the lockdown standards. 19th of February will later become a turning point for what concerns most hit European countries, and we could finally find an easy link also with the ultras world. The Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia, two clubs coming from two of the most hit areas in the whole world, regularly takes part, in front of a full public of around 50.000 spectators in the San Siro stadium, based in Milano and used by Atalanta for European competitions. Later on, that match will be revealed as a true pandemic-bomb, with doctors from northern Italy explaining some incredible stats on the later weeks, about strange fevers and respiratory difficulties between young men. Only one day before Italy officially confirms their first patience hit by Covid-19, based in Lodi, around 50kms away from both Bergamo and Milano. In less than five days Italy becomes the third most hit country in the world, and the government immediately run for cover, deleting historical shows such as the Venice Carnival, and sports events too in the red zone of the nation; we then find ourselves in front of the first step that will bring us to the decline of the ultras movement, with Italy, such a big country in the tifo world, hardly hit by the virus. Lodi quickly becomes a “red zone”, just before many other areas, immediately later. Towards the end of the month, some studies show how 60% from a sample of new contagions in the whole Europe, would have admitted to have travelled in northern Italy in the previous month. A frightening number, which further charges of mystery and doubts Italy, and the true time start of Covid-19.

Below, our chosen five January actions, in chronological order.

Inter vs Milan, Serie A, 09-02-2020, Milano

A choreo taking place in San Siro, during a derby between Inter and Milan, would probably find its way through our shortlist prior to more reasons. However in this case we also have a valid sake for the most skeptical ones. The following limitations which brought Serie A to be suspended more than once, and with the few matches left being played behind closed doors, makes this wonderful choreo created by the milanesi fan, the last one up to today. San Siro didn’t have such an occasion to shine again like that last night, and we’re talking about a stadium used to assist to the ultras history during many decades, both Italian and international. Inter, home club this round, covers all the three rings at their disposal with a massive choreo reminding the history of Milano, joking about a previous Milan choreo, and defending the black and blue colors. On the southern side, a double choreo from Milan ultras, with the typical Milano irony mixed with a light show, everything with the purpose to denigrate the city rivals of Inter. A Giuseppe Meazza stadium with its best dress on, no better way to leave the Italian ultras scene and their typical and famous choreos. We still believe that those frozen months of wait and patience will give the time to the maker of such shows to bring the rod even further and higher, so be ready for other legendary scenarios from both Curva Nord and Curva Sud, alongside the infinite number more of Italian fanbases.

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inter milan 1

inter milan 1

Borussia Dortmund vs Paris Saint Germain, Champions League, 18-02-2020, Dortmund

The always spectacular BvB fans already had a couple more actions to possibly be featured in our February top 5, but they officially get their ticket to ride in this match against PSG. Even though we’re used to see the black and yellow army in even better versions than this one, the clash against the French side ends up in our shortlist because we’re talking about an international match. We’re in the second half of February, and even without knowing it, very close to the top of the pandemic, which will be out of control in few weeks. However, unaware of what was going to happen, we were all excited about every away match, and even more for an European away match. And consider to involve two tifo-city such as Dortmund and Paris: perfection! A Signal Iduna Park set on fire for a match which will see its second leg being played in Paris, behind closed doors. This shows how close we were to the verge of the disaster, and close to the end of a freedom which we’ve always took for granted. Unfortunately until that moment all the away matches were part of a usual procedure, and the away end was 100% full with PSG fan, a move which surely didn’t help the limitation of Covid-19 spread. Even if badly hit, our hope is to come back to this normality, which now seems far away.

bvb psg 1

bvb psg 1

FC København vs Celtic, Europa League, 20-02-2020, Copenhagen

A similar talk to the previous action between BvB and PSG, the one which fits for the match between FC København and Celtic. Only two days later the German show, few km’s further north, the guys from Sektion 12 give life to a show which involve the whole Parken stadium. FCK and Celtic are well used to meet each other in European matches, and the game has become a good chance to put to test both fanbases, between first and second leg, home and away, to see the hottest and better one. Between Danes and Scottish there seems to be a good relationship, respectful, despite on the pitch we’re used to see true war due to a very hard styled football from both sides. This match too was a good excuse to renew and newly sign some deals between the fanbases, in a hot atmosphere, and with a full away end which also sent appreciations through social medias for the Danish treatment. We’re at the end of February, but Covid-19 still appears as the last thoughts for millions of people, with thousands of them involved on the stands of whole Europe, as during this cold Thursday Copenhagen night, heated up by chants and beers.

fck celtic 1

fck celtic 1

fck celtic 1

 

HSV vs St. Pauli, 2. Bundesliga, 22-02-2020, Hamburg

The city of Hamburg always showed to deserve the first tier in the biggest European ultras cities. Unfortunately, true football didn’t reserve many satisfactions to both sides of the city, with St. Pauli constantly bogged down in the lower divisions of German football, and HSV coming from an historical relegation, and yet to find their way back to Bundesliga. Despite all of this, the images we could see coming from this derby show an unconditional love from both fanbases: a totally full stadium, a full away sector, and many choreos with the colours of the two club. Tifo wise we would be buzzing to see both HSV and St. Pauli (a club famous for their strong socio-politics ideologies) back in Bundesliga. The truth puts those factions in the second division, and the sold out event show how in February we were yet to close any kind of sport meeting, back down till amateurish levels. We strongly hope to see fans coming back to stadiums with paired criteria, on every level of every sport, in order to give new life to many small realities which still depend on the true presence of fans.

hsv stpauli 1

hsv stpauli 1

hsv stpauli 1

hsv stpauli 1

hsv stpauli 1

Fenerbahce vs Galatasaray, Super Lig, 23-02-2020, Istanbul

 

We’re at the end of a month where we saw few news about tifo in very few countries, and for sure Turkey is not one of the most hit nations, up to now, and uses its best speciality to take the scene, ultras wise: it’s time for the Istanbul derby, this time between Feberbahce and Galatasaray. For the first time through this shortlist, the main reason of our choice is only inside the dimension of the clash, and the tifo atmosphere, Turks in this particoular case. Home fans propose an interactive choreo, moved through ropes and the work of some guys on the hottest areas of the stadium. The choreo reminds a scenario used by Galatasaray few months before, a controversial one, which we analyzed during our previous serie Inside the Choreo. Galatasaray used to hoist the figure of Rocky Balboa on their tifo sector, ready to fight, and later identified as a Erdogan oppositor, bringing the club to suffer fines and penalties. Fenerbahce instead, shows Balboa while punched in the face by another boxeur, with yellow and blue shorts: a classic tifo provocations, in the frame of a fiery stadium!

fenerbahce galatasaray 1

fenerbahce galatasaray 1

fenerbahce galatasaray 1

fenerbahce galatasaray 1