Barcelona and 10 Teams with the Best Home-Field Advantages in World Football

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 13, 2012

Barcelona and 10 Teams with the Best Home-Field Advantages in World Football

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    Home-field advantage may be the most used cliche in all of sports. In some cases, it's true, but some teams simply don't take advantage of playing in front of their fans.

    Fans can play a huge part in a team's success and some statistics show that teams are much better at home than on the road.

    Each team's home record, along with the environment that each stadium provides, were the main factors used in compiling this list.

    There is no doubt that without home-field advantage, some of the teams that occupy the following stadiums would not be as successful as they are now.

Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

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    The Camp Nou in Barcelona is home to one of the best clubs in world football, FC Barcelona.

    In the past three La Liga seasons, the Catalan giants have only lost two matches at their home stadium.

    In the same three seasons, only Rubin Kazan in 2009 were able to beat Barcelona in UEFA Champions League play.

    Not only have the Catalan fans witnessed the greatness of their club over the past few years, they have provided their club with a home-field advantage that is hard to rival anywhere in the world.

Turk Telekom Arena, Istanbul, Turkey

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    If there is one thing we all know about Turkish football, it's that their fans are possibly the most diehard in all of Europe.

    The Turk Telekom Arena is home to one of the top Turkish clubs, Galatasaray,

    This season, the Istanbul club won the Turkish Super Lig title thanks to their great form at home, with 13 wins, three draws and one loss.

    Galatasaray has always been historically better at home than on the road. The club have won at least three more games at home than on the road in the past five seasons.

De Kuip, Rotterdam, Holland

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    Feyenoord Rotterdam may have not won an Eredivisie title since the 1998-99 season, but their fans are more passionate than ever and their home form is still strong.

    In the past few seasons, Feyenoord have finished in the middle of the Eredivisie table, but they still perform strong at home despite their poor away form.

    For example, the club recently finished 10th in the league with 33 of their 44 points being earned at home.

    The continent of Europe has also been able to see the passion inside De Kuip as the stadium hosted the 2000 UEFA Euro final and most recently the 2002 UEFA Cup final.

Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy

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    Napoli has been a team on the rise in Serie A. That being said, their home fortress the Stadio San Paolo has given them home-field advantage for years.

    The Italian outfit has managed 52 league wins in five years, during a time when the club has finished as low as 12th and as high as third.

    Now a successful side competing in Europe's top club competitions with players like Ezequiel Lavezzi, Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and others, the Stadio San Paolo is being brought back into the European spotlight.

Estadio La Rosaleda, Malaga, Spain

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    The Estadio La Rosaleda may not be historically known as a fortress for its home club, Malaga, but it is rapidly becoming one.

    Malaga's run to fourth place in La Liga this season was because of the club's brilliant home form.

    Los Boquerones won 11 times at home compared to a pitiful four on the road this season.

    Under new oil-rich ownership, Malaga has been able to bring in world class players like Ruud van Nistelrooy and Martin Demichelis to help their club compete more in La Liga.

    The club did not succeed on the road this season, but when at home, at the 28,000-seater in Andalucia, they made La Rosaleda their fortress for the present and for years to come.

Petrovsky Stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia

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    Zenit St. Petersburg have been the top club in Russia over the past few seasons, and their home-field advantage at the Petrovsky Stadium has helped them alot.

    Zenit has won three of the last five Russian Premier League titles and have been a main feature in the UEFA Champions League as well.

    In those five seasons in Russia, Zenit has only had one bad season, which came in 2008 when they finished fifth in the league but won the UEFA Cup.

    In the other four seasons, Zenit only lost one league game at home at the Petrovsky Stadium.

Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah, USA

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    Some of you that read this may not know of Rio Tinto Stadium and its tenants, Real Salt Lake, but RSL have one of the best home records in Major League Soccer.

    Since the stadium opened in October 2008, Real Salt Lake have been significantly better at home than on the road.

    In 2009, when the club finished fifth in the Western Conference, RSL earned 32 of their 40 points that season at home.

    The two seasons following 2009 were no different. The club won five more games at home than on the road in 2010 and 2011, and even went unbeaten at home in 2010.

Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico

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    Ask anyone in the CONCACAF region how tough it is to play at Azteca against Mexico and they will say it is extremely tough.

    The Mexican fortress has given El Tri a home-field advantage like no other in competitive CONCACAF matches.

    While they may play friendly matches at other stadiums around the country, once World Cup qualifying comes around, Mexico returns to playing matches at Azteca.

    The only country to come into the 100,000-plus seat stadium and take a positive result from El Tri was Spain in an August 2010 friendly.

Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England

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    Home to the newest Premier League champions, Manchester City, the Etihad Stadium has been a factor in the club's success for years now.

    Before City were even in the news thanks to their oil-rich owners, they were still getting results at home.

    The club had won 25 games at home in the two seasons before the spending spree in the summer of 2009 that brought in all the first-class talent.

    Those results were the best outside of the top six in the Premier League.

    Now, with a strong squad to boast as well, City only dropped two points at home in the league in all of last season. A 3-3 draw with Sunderland was the only blemish on their record.

Craven Cottage, London, England

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    Craven Cottage has become known around the Premier League and even the world as a home fortress for Fulham FC.

    The small 25,000-seat stadium in London has seen many Fulham wins over the past few seasons, including a great escape from relegation engineered by current England manager Roy Hodgson.

    Since that tumultuous 2007-08 season, the Cottagers have averaged 10 wins at home, which is a very impressive number outside of the top five in the Premier League.

Estadio Do Dragao, Porto, Portugal

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    Ever since Jose Mourinho re-introduced Porto to the European football scene, the Estadio do Dragao has been one of the toughest places to play in Europe.

    On their way to the 2011 Europa League title, Porto only had one slip-up at home, a 1-0 loss to Sevilla.

    Domestically, Porto has lost two games at home in the last five years.

    What is more impressive is that Porto have not lost at home in the Portuguese Liga in three seasons.