A football club’s stadium is so much more than just a pitch where they play.
For adoring fans they are like temples, where their pious followers can congregate to praise their club’s soul. Giant-killings, historic comebacks and champagne football all reeling out to the backdrop of thousands of roaring supporters. Flares will light up, jeers and bellows will accompany the opponent’s every touch; make them hesitate, fear, wobble and ultimately fall.
When a rival shows up, home fans will make sure to crank the noise up a few good notches – to raise pandemonium on the pitch!
Bitter rivalries like the Old Firm or El Clasico will see rival fans dishing vociferous bile down at opposition players, generating intimidating degrees of hostility. Hostility those players would never get at their home stadium, regardless of their performances, right?
Unless your home ground is also your worst rival’s stadium – like these 6 famous stadia from across the globe!
Maine Road – Manchester United & Manchester City
“Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour and have to live with it. You can't do anything about them..." – except leave their stadium, Sir Alex Ferguson!
The iconic jibe aimed at their (now superior) rivals by the famed Manchester United legend is quite ironic, considering their history. In 1922, Manchester City moved from their maternal home, Hyde Road, to the brand new Maine Road.
However, the 2nd World War brought another United knocking at Maine Road, looking for strength in – well, unity. The Theatre of Dreams was damaged by the Luftwaffe’s Blitz campaigns.
For £5,000 a season (plus a share of gate receipts), Manchester United were paying guests at their bitter rival’s home. In fact, the highest-ever attendance for a match at Maine Road was set by Manchester United’s record-breaking league fixture against Arsenal in 1948.
That’s right – Manchester United and Manchester City aren’t just noisy neighbours, they’re more like angry ex-roommates!