“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?