It may be a ding dong battle on the pitch, but there are also a host of struggles off it. This is largely in part down to the variety of supporters who pledge their allegiance to their particular club. At the end of the day, football is all about following your side through the thick and thin. Whether winning Champions Leagues in a blaze of glory or having to deal with yet another relegation, fans are always there no matter what the situation.
In fact, supporters are the foundation of a club. After all, a club would in most likelihood cease to exist without the unwavering loyalty of the fan. Supporters will follow their chosen side to the ends of the earth in order to watch their footballing disciples.
However, there are some teams who are so crazy they are often involved in extortion as well as influential decisions. Certain teams have sections of their clubs who are simply known as Ultras. These specific fans are rife throughout Europe not to mention South American teams where there passion can sometimes spill over. From violence on the streets and inside the stadium to all out wars with rival supporters, Ultras are considered to be a fervent bunch of individuals who often have a nasty streak. This is in spite of the fact that their enthusiasm can sometimes be a little misguided. Nevertheless they are an integral part of today’s football society.
However, there are some groups of fans who will stop at no ends to create the ultimate atmosphere or simply to create a stir. For some enthusiasts, football is a chance to let off steam, whilst for others it can become a genuine sporting addiction. Here is the rundown of the top 10 craziest club supporter groups of all time.
10 10. Red Star Belgrade
9 9. Lech Poznan
8 8. Gremio
7 7. Penarol
If winning the World Club title on three separate occasions is not enough, Penarol have also been highly successful in their own national league. Having won the Uruguayan league title on nearly 50 separate occasions, they are one of the most significant clubs in the history of association football. Their fans are known to be truly off the chart, so much so, that they set record back in 2011. This came off the back of Penarol’s charge to the Copa Liberadores final. This is the equivalent of the UEFA Champions League and is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world.
6 6. Olympique de Marseille
One of the leading fan groups in France can be found in the beautiful area of Aix En Provence. Playing their games at the mightily impressive Stade Velodrome, Olympique de Marseille have some of the craziest supporters to have ever graced a ground. Nicknamed OM, the Ligue 1 side have already enjoyed watching some of the finest footballers on their hallowed turf. This includes the likes of former World Cup winner Didier Deschamps and Chelsea front man Didier Drogba. Marseille’s obsessive fans really take the game time experience to a whole new level.
5 5. Olympiacos
When it comes to expressing love for one’s team, Greek side Olympiacos are definitely high up the soccer radar. The Greek outfit have featured several times in the Champions League and most famously upset the odds last year. This is when they beat Manchester United by two goals to nil in what was to be David Moyes's only season in charge at Old Trafford.
4 4. Galatasaray
“Welcome to Hell” was the phrase daubed on many signs when Manchester United came to town. This was the greeting for the English side when facing the Turkish might of Galatasaray. Playing their football in the Ali Sami Yen until 2010, they are well known for their avid fans that often set off fireworks and flares. In addition to this, many teams coming to their grounds have had to have police escorts due to some supporters wanting to show more than a round of applause.
3 3. Standard Liege
The Ultras Inferno 96 group from Belgian team Standard Liege has hit the headlines recently for their show of passion. This particular association recently took part in a league game against Anderlecht. Unfortunately for one player, it was to become a little uncomfortable as Liege unfurled an enormous banner of an ex-player whose severed head was featured on it. This giant banner caused plenty of furore in their native land as well as around Europe for its highly sensitive nature. With influences taken from Friday the 13th, it was definitely graphic in its aesthetics.
2 2. Besiktas
1 1. Lazio
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