Collymore's World Cup Corner: Ranking the Tournament's Best Fans

Stan CollymoreFeatured ColumnistJuly 2, 2014

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 25:  Argentina fans show their colours ahead of  the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group F match between Nigeria and Argentina at Estadio Beira-Rio on June 25, 2014 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.  (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Ian Walton/Getty Images

1. Argentina winning the World Cup of fans

The Brazilian public have embraced this World Cup completely. Every house has a flag outside of it, every street is decorated, and people are wearing half-and-half scarves everywhere you look. 

For all the protests and controversy, football is still a religion here. But Brazil's fans have not been the loudest or most passionate I've come across at the tournament.

That award would have to go to those following Argentina. It almost feels they're creating a club atmosphere when they're in the stadium. In Sao Paulo, there were 20-30,000 fans jumping up and down, waving banners and signing songs.

"Maradona is better than Pele," they chant. The noise is unbelievable.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - JUNE 28: Colombia fans enjoy the atmosphere prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

My second-ranked group of fans would be those following Colombia. There are huge numbers of them here, supporting a team they believe has a real chance of making something happen.

I'm going to Porto Alegre on Friday, and I can't wait to see how many Colombians make it into the stadium. Some are predicting it might even be a 50-50 split with the Brazil fans, which would be remarkable.

Mexico come third in my World Cup fan rankings. I saw them in the group stage and their supporters bring drums, they dance, and every one of them seems to be wearing a home or away shirt. They are very, very loud.

The host nation Brazil come fourth. Brazilian fans have been awesome. They sing the national anthem with unbelievable passion, but I think we're seeing a lot of high-price tickets in the stadiums for Brazil games—the "prawn sandwich brigade" as Roy Keane might call them. That dilutes the atmosphere somewhat.

Fifth on my list are the fans of Germany. They're here in huge numbers, with many second- and third-generation Germans native to Brazil. They're not the loudest, but their sheer volume is impressive.


2. Fleeting genius is still genius

There aren't any truly great teams in this World Cup, but there has been some great counter-attacking play and moments of brilliance from talented individuals.

The 2010 tiki-taka World Cup bored people to death. This time it's been about running with the ball, which has upped the entertainment value.

As of the blockbuster star names, I'd give Lionel Messi and Neymar seven out of 10 so far for their performances.

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Lionel Messi of Argentina controls the ball as Admir Mehmedi of Switzerland gives chase during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Argentina and Switzerland at Arena de Sao Paulo on July 1, 2014 in Sao Pa
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Switzerland's Valon Behrami and Gorkan Inler didn't man-mark Messi; they challenged him to go past them. To me, he looked a little flat at times—walking around the pitch. Perhaps his injuries are frustrating him?

But the reason you keep a guy like Messi on the pitch is because they are always capable of winning the game for you. Messi got his chance, passed to Angel Di Maria and Argentina were through to the quarters.