Intimidating, hostile, boisterous – some of the many adjectives used to describe football stadiums around the world. A wild home crowd chanting furiously can uplift the moods of even the most dejected footballers in the world and propel them to performances that were perhaps improbable.
Yes, today we have a look at some of the noisiest and loudest football stadiums in the world. Stadiums that have now become synonymous with passionate fan support.
5. Anfield, Liverpool
Over the years, Anfield has remained one of the best stadiums in the world in terms of attendance figures, popularity and stature, mainly due to the Kop stand.
One of the largest single tier stands in the world, The Kop houses the most vocal and passionate home supporters, usually referred to as Kopites. The importance of the Kop stand can be gauged by how rival players celebrate when they score against that end – The Kop is hallowed turf for the Anfield faithful, and it is said that the ball somehow gets sucked into the goal owing to the constant chanting from the fans.
In a 2011 survey by Fan Chants, it was revealed that Liverpool supporters notched up decibel levels of 97 with their singing and chanting, the loudest home support in the EPL!
Manchester United‘s Old Trafford came in second at 94 decibels, so if you are a Liverpool fan, there’s another bit of trivia for you to annoy rival fans.
4. Stadio San Paolo, Napoli
With a capacity of 60,240, Stadio San Paolo is the third largest football stadium in Italy, behind the San Siro and Stadio Olimpico. So it comes as no surpise that Napoli fans are some of the loudest in the world.
Visitors to the city of Naples usually remark how the entire city seems to shake when there is a match going on at the Stadio San Paolo, such is the fanatic support for the club.
How loud are they? Well, find out for yourself. Below is the ovation Napoli’s star signing Gonzalo Higuain received in a recent home game:
That’s how loud they usually are in Naples. But the home crowd reserves its biggest cheers for its favourite players. And up until last season, that favourite player was goal-machine Edinson Cavani. Here’s his reception:
3. Westfalenstadion, Borussia Dortmund
Borussia Dortmund catapulted to instant fame on the back of their performances in last season’s Champions League, and since then they have become the second club for a number of football fans around the world.
The prime reason for this spurt in supporters is the home support that the club enjoys. Intimidating mosaics and incessant chanting makes Westfalenstadion one of the most hostile places for visiting teams.
The South Bank is one of the four stands in the stadium, and it is unique in that it is the largest terrace for standing spectators and is usually filled to its capacity of 24,454 fans. Due to the atmosphere and the intensity that the stand creates, it is nicknamed as the “Yellow Wall”.
In fact, the Dortmund supporters are so noisy that in a match between Hoffenheim and Dortmund, fans of Hoffenheim, the home team, were so worried about the away Dortmund fans and their chanting that they had installed a loudspeaker that would drown out the chants of the away support.
The loudspeaker, installed right below the away stand, would emanate a series of shrill noises that ending up causing headaches and earaches to a host of Dortmund fans!
In the video below, you can clearly hear the loudspeaker trying to cancel out the away support with a high-frequency buzz.
2. Inonu Stadium, Besiktas
The Inonu Stadium in Istanbul has a capacity of only 32,145 and compared to the rest of the entries in this list, it is a very small stadium.
But that was not enough to deter the fans of Besiktas, who, with their frighteningly loud support, managed to notch up noise levels of 132 decibels in a European match against Liverpool. That is louder than the sound of thunder or an aircraft!
The loudness of the stadium can be understood from the comments made by Manchester United’s goalkeeper Ben Foster, who had this to say after his team’s match at Besiktas in September 2009:
“It was a frightening and disorientating experience”, and after a while Foster simply told his defenders to stop screaming instructions to him as “there was no point because I couldn’t hear a thing!”
The Carsi is the best known supporter group of Besiktas, and they are ones who set the agenda as far as chanting, jumping and supporting their team is concerned.
Here’s what the Inonu Stadium sounds like before a game!
1. Turk Telecom Arena, Galatasaray
Turk Telecom Arena holds the record for the loudest football stadiums in the world at 131.76 decibels, a feat acknowledged by the Guinness World Records officials.
Manchester United players of 1993 will no doubt have nightmares about their trip to Galatasaray, where fans greeted them with banners of “Welcome to Hell” and “Hey Man United, these are your last 48 hours”. Such was the hostility at the ground that police officers in full riot gear were deployed to protect the players from the crowd.
Regardless, these days the hostility at the Turk Telecom Arena has been replaced with genuine passion and fanatical support for the home side. Goals are often met with an outpour of deafening noise and eardrum shattering roars, such as the one below: