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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?