20 Countries with the Most Passionate Fanbases
Football, known throughout the world as the "beautiful game," is a sport that—for the majority of the time—brings out the best in people.
While the expectations can be high across the board for many nations from domestically to internationally, there are some countries that take their love of the game above all others.
As we near the final gold medal men's and women's matches of the 2012 summer Olympics and domestic competitions for the majority of the world's top league's are only weeks away, we take a look at 20 of the best fan bases in the world.
Poland are a growing major fan base in the world of football, but their passion shown throughout the 2012 Summer UEFA European Championship was exemplary.
With a talented young national team, you can expect the country to continue to show their passion in the hopes of earning a spot in the 2014 World Cup.
The Portuguese are a proud and powerful footballing nation. However, they more often than not come up just shy of glory.
Nonetheless, the fans from the small Iberian nation are among the greatest in the world and continue to show their support wherever their national team or domestic clubs may go.
To Colombian's, football can be taken beyond a way of life, even as a fan. The South American country is one of several nations from their continent that treat football as the ultimate height of sports and honor.
The Grecian fans are some of the most interesting in the world. Always ones to wear togas and Spartan helmets at matches in support of their national team and national pride, there are a nation that have used football as an escape in their time of economic crisis.
Greece's domestic league also is home to some of the most passionate fans around, and if you check out some of the videos of clubs such as PAOK Thessaloniki, you will see that exemplified.
Russia is a nation where football is rising to the top of their sports hierarchy.
Continued strong performances in international, domestic and continental competitions between club and national team levels have brought the nation into the spotlight as one of the world's best fan bases.
Scotland will always have a hard time competing with England as a most passionate nation in world football.
Despite recent scandals that have rocked the nation's iconic clubs, the Scots remain a proud and passionate group of supporters.
The Turks are growing as a powerful fan base in the world of football. Domestic club Galatasaray currently holds the Guinness world record as the loudest fan base in all of the sport, and the nation as a whole is football crazy.
The Japanese may be baseball crazy, but they also are complete football fanatics and have a strong domestic championship as well as a massive national team following.
With the continued growth of the nation's footballing presence around the world, their passion for the game only continues to build.
China are a nation begging for more football every chance they get.
The nation's domestic league is starting to boom and with the growth of their own league coupled with their love of the major leagues around the world, their passionate support of the game is getting greater every year.
Major League Soccer is now the third most attended league in the United States as reported by Yahoo!, and is the ninth most attended soccer league in the world.
With a knowledgeable fan base that continues to grow each season, the U.S. are a budding nation in terms of power on the pitch, but masters at supporting their nation's best sporting athletes.
One of the handfuls of nations to have won both a World Cup and two European titles, France is a nation where football is great domestically but paramount on the National lever.
The French are a passionate country by nature, and that extends itself well to their love of the game.
The Dutch are some of the most colorful fans in all of world football. On top of that they are also one of the most passionate groups around.
However, despite their glowing support of the country, their national team always is one to come just short of glory.
With a domestic league that is renowned for producing great young talent as well, their support for the game from birth till death is on par with the best nations in the world.
Although Argentina did not have a chance to chase their third straight Olympic gold medal in men's football this summer in London, the nation are one of the most decorated and world revered countries in the sport.
Likewise, their fan base is one of the greatest in South America and in the world.
According to ESPN, Mexico have the best fans in all of North America. Honestly, when you look at the attendance numbers and the support of their national team, they have a strong case for such.
Mexico may not have the most popular league's worldwide according to television ratings, but the Primera División de México is one of the top 10 most attended leagues in the world among all sports.
Futbol is a passionate part of every Mexican's life, and that only continues to show more with their national team's exploits in recent years, including the upcoming gold medal final against Brazil in the 2012 Olympics.
Home of the Italian Serie A and the historically acclaimed Azzuri, the fans of Italy have a passionate love for the game all of their own.
Imagine what you think of their love of great wine and food, and think of it in terms of football, and you can almost taste what the game means to the Italians.
England, the birth place of the beautiful game and home to world football's most popular club league, the English Premier League. England's second tier competition, the npower Championship is also one of the top 20 leagues in the world by attendance.
Although the England National team has never won more than one major championship, the nation remains one of the world's greatest and most passionate football hotbeds.
Germany have the best fans in the world. Not only are they forever behind their national team with a fierce loyalty but they posses two of the worlds top 20 most attended leagues in all of sports.
The Bundesliga has an average match attendance of over 45,000, ranking second in the world, while the Bundesliga 2 averages just over 17,000 per match, coming in at 19th in the world.
With all that love of football in Germany, there is no doubt they have the most passionate a loyal fans in the world.
Spain have been conquering world football both domestically and internationally for the last decade. Their fans for both club and country are phenomenal and support their national team around the world.
Their professional league, La Liga BBVA, is one of the top five most attended leagues in the world, and their national team just won their record third major title in a row with victory in the 2012 UEFA European Championship.
The world's most fabled footballing nation, Brazil have some of the most, if not the most passionate and demanding fans.
Five-time World Champions, and five-time Copa America champions—just to name their biggest accomplishments—the Samba Stars are just one of the reasons the nation is a great fan base.
The Campeonato Brasileiro Série A is one of the world's greatest breeders of young footballing talent, and is home to some of the game's greatest rivalries of the western hemisphere.
Although Uruguay is one of the smallest nations in South America, and also one of the world's smaller countries, the one thing they have above many others is their passion for football.
With a population of just under 3,400,000, you would never think of the the small nation as a powerhouse in football, but that is exactly what they are. With two World Cup titles, two Olympic gold medals, one Pan American games title, 11 South American Championships and four Copa America titles, how can this nation's fans not be passionate about their football?