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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!
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?

Paris Saint-Germain announced, in a press release full of sadness and respect , the death of James, a loyal supporter of the club, who has worked for years for the return of ultras to the Parc des Princes.

Accustomed to the Auteuil tribune, he mobilized against the plan of Robin Leproux, which temporarily canceled subscriptions to the Stadium, by participating in the foundation of “Freedom for subscribers” in 2010. He became involved in the Association of defense and legal assistance of stadium bans (ADAJIS) to defend the rights of Parisian supporters in their conflict with club management. Far from simply opposing the policies of the authorities and the club, James strives to renew the dialogue between the different parties and to make concrete proposals to allow the return of active supporters to the Park in good security conditions. This work in the shadows was materialized by the return of ultras in the Parc des Princes in the fall of 2016.

https://twitter.com/PSG_inside/status/1255426668421943296

Beyond PSG, James was a well known person in the French fan scene because he has been the voice and face of the National Supporters Association (ANS) for a long time which acts, in the same spirit as ADAJIS, to promote rights and interests of supporters in regular dialogue with sports and public authorities. Combining a passionate character and well-considered positions, he has greatly contributed to the improvement of relations between the ANS, on the one hand, and the LFP and the national anti-hooliganism division, on the other. He notably represented the ANS for more than two years in the meetings of the National Support Authority attached to the Ministry of Sports.

“James was a supporter of PSG but he was especially passionate about the cause of the supporters”, says Mohamed Bouhafsi, football editor in chief of RMC Sport. “He fought tirelessly for the ultras of all the clubs.”

For several years, he had been fighting with remarkable strength and courage against a serious and long illness that finally prevailed last night. Our thoughts are with his family and friends, may he rest in peace.

Liberté Pour Les Ultras!

Source: Sofoot.com