Supporters are the lifeblood of football clubs, which became evidently clear when they were unable to attend matches for more than a year in 2020-21. Without the fans, the game didn't quite feel the same and it was great to see them back this season in any sort of capacity. Fans can make the difference between a loss and a win, such is the influence that they have over games.
Some stadiums are capable of building the best atmospheres
Stadiums with a great fan atmosphere can be a treat for the home team and neutral visitors, but a really intimidating prospect for the opposition and their supporters.
Some football grounds are naturally better suited to create better atmospheres than others. It could be due to the supporters that turn up or because they’ve been specially engineered to make the most of the sound generated and sometimes a combination of both.
On that note, let's we take a look at five stadiums with the best atmosphere in the world right now:
#5 Celtic Park - Celtic | Scotland
Scottish football supporters have long been regarded as some of the most passionate and dedicated supporters across the globe. Hampden Park, Ibrox and Tynecastle are some of the venues with an atmosphere to savour.
But many regard the famous old ground in Glasgow's east end, Celtic Park, as the beautiful game's ultimate amphitheater.
The club's supporters have always encouraged the team in the best possible way whenever needed, pushing the players to reach ever greater heights.
Many opposition footballers have also praised the atmosphere in the stadium, with even the likes of Lionel Messi commenting on the fans in the stadium.
"I've been fortunate to play in some great stadiums in Europe with Barcelona but none compare to Celtic. The atmosphere their fans create makes it a very special European night of football."
The fans also sing the famous 'You'll Never Walk Alone' anthem to cheer their club before the start of each game at the stadium.
#4 Rajko Mitic Stadium - Red Star Belgrade | Serbia
If you are planning on watching football in Serbia and want to experience a raucous atmosphere, then Rajko Mitic Stadium is definitely the place for you to go.
Home to Red Star Belgrade, the stadium was previously known as Red Star Stadium but was renamed in honor of club legend Rajko Mitic in 2014. The stadium has the capacity of more than 50,000 supporters and is the largest football ground in the country.
The Red Star supporters are known for creating an awe-inspiring atmosphere on the ground, especially in big games and derbies. The supporters known as the 'Delije' are known to get under the skin of opposition players with their chants and songs. They were a part of the reason why Red Star won the Serbian SuperLiga in 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Given that "Delije" has different translations in English, such as hero, warrior, tough guy or stud, you can certainly get a rough idea of the Red Star's hardcore supporters. They began to make their mark in 1980s, and although things may have cooled down in the last few decades, they still know how to support the team when needed.
#3 Westfalenstadion - Borussia Dortmund | Germany
The way German fans support their respective teams is a lot more different than in many other countries across the world. In countries like England, Wales and Scotland, the ebb and flow of support changes depending on what's happening on the football field. However, the situation in Germany is different, and the noise is almost uninterrupted from the kick-off.
Whether the home team is leading or behind seems to have no effect on the supporters. They always maintain a rhythmic and constant noise throughout the game. Whether that helps the players or not is another but it definitely makes for an impressive spectacle. Borussia Dortmund's Westfalenstadion is one of those stadiums, thanks largely to the presence of the "Yellow Wall".
The South Bank is a continuous stand that can hold more than 24,000 fans, most of whom will stand in the club’s yellow and black colors, waving flags and making incredible noises. It is an amazing sight to see and a feast for the ears, making it one of the most eye-catching stadiums in German football.
Like Celtic, Borussia Dortmund also sing the popular anthem "You'll Never Walk Alone" to build up the atmosphere on the ground.
#2 Anfield - Liverpool | England
There’s a coincidence that three of the stadiums that feature on this list also see supporters singing 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' before kick-off. In addition to Celtic Park and the Westfalenstadion, Anfield also sings the famous tune. In fact, it is Liverpool who have become synonymous with that anthem.
Liverpool supporters have always been known for their passion, and Anfield fans have long been able to influence the outcome of the game, thanks to their sheer ferocity. For a long time, 'The Kop' has been one of the most famous stands in football and has inspired many others around the world because of its impact.
The stadium has seen some of the most memorable nights in European football and has been able to produce some electric atmospheres. This has helped the Reds overcome some of the best teams in Europe.
When Liverpool lost 3-0 to Barcelona in the 2019 Champions League semi-finals first-leg, many thought their run in the competition was over. However, those that stood on the Kop, in the Main Stand, in the Anfield Road end and in the Sir Kenny Dalglish Stand continued to believe in the team.
They cheered, ranted and intimidated the Spanish opposition, helping the Reds to a famous 4-0 win, reminding people of the power of the Anfield crowd.
Liverpool even had a 68-game unbeaten home record in the Premier League, which was broken last season when the fans were absent due to the pandemic. This shows the impact the Reds supporters have on their teams' performance, making Anfield one of the best stadiums in the world.
#1 La Bombonera - Boca Juniors | Argentina
In 2020, France Football did an article about the stadiums with the best atmospheres in world football, and the home of Argentinian side Boca Juniors took the top spot. Considering the enthusiasm of Boca fans to support their team, this may not be surprising.
The Alberto J. Armando Stadium, better known as La Bombonera because of its shape that makes it look like a chocolate box, has three steep stands. This makes it an intimidating place for both players and the supporters that attend matches there. The shape of the stadium is part of the reason for its atmosphere, which is ideal not only for football fans watching the game there, but also for musicians performing there.
La Bombonera opened to the public in 1940 and has since undergone numerous renovations. Given that it can welcome more than 57,000 spectators, it is not surprising that it can create an atmosphere that most other football teams envy. But make no mistake, the Boca Juniors fans do their utmost best to create such an environment, making it the stadium with the best atmosphere in the world.