The 5 Best Atmospheres in World Football

Callum Fox@@cjfox21Contributor IIIAugust 6, 2013

The 5 Best Atmospheres in World Football

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    In world football, the best atmospheres can form part of a club's popularity and success, allowing the team to reach greater heights, buoyed by the roar from the many thousands surrounding the pitch.

    This has become so inextricably linked with club folklore, to the extent that the club is known worldwide for their supporters even if the team has fallen on hard times.

    Some stadiums even combine fan support with mosaics, flags and pyrotechnics to enhance their support of the team and add to the hostility shown towards the visiting team.

    Indeed, certain groups of supporters have taken it upon themselves to intimidate visitors to the ground, imposing themselves on away supporters.

    Certain clubs can lay claim to some of the greatest supporters around, so where are the five best atmospheres in world football?

    These atmospheres are ranked according to factors such as consistency of support, intimidation factor and reputation.

5: Ali Sami Yen

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    The Ali Sami Yen, home of Turkish outfit Galatasaray, is notorious for the brutal atmosphere fostered by home supporters.

    The "Welcome to Hell" atmosphere is created by Galatasaray fans to intimidate opponents and is often a psychological boost to their own players.

    The use of torches, smoke, drums, flags and giant posters to create a vision of "Hell" often applies psychological pressure on visiting teams and destabilises players.

    This has been especially prominent on European nights as the Gala supporters have seen victories over some of the biggest clubs in Europe, such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and AC Milan, all made possible by the backing of the home fans.

    This notorious stadium enters at No. 5 due to its intimidation factor, but it isn't as well-known or as well-supported as those that follow in the slides ahead.

4: La Bombonera

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    The Estadio Alberto J. Armando, or La Bombonera as it is commonly known, has a reputation for being one of the most intimidating arenas due to two special qualities.

    Known as the "Chocolate Box" because of its unique design with only three stands, the Bombonera has excellent acoustics due to the layout and has led supporters of home team Boca Juniors to be known as "La Doce," or the 12th man.

    The closeness of the 49,000-seater stands to the pitch also helps to provide an intimidating atmosphere, an advantage that Boca Juniors supporters are only too happy to exploit.

    Like the Ali Sami Yen, La Bombonera prides itself on the intimidation factor but places ahead of Galatasaray's stadium due to the reputation of "La Doce."

3: Anfield

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    Anfield, home to the world famous Spion Kop, has captured the imaginations of supporters around the world.

    Countless players have visited as part of an opposing team and spoken of their awe at the atmosphere sustained by members of the famed stand.

    Perpetually on their feet for the whole match, the Kop drove their home team on in their endless quest for silverware over decades of success.

    It may have since been converted to an all-seater stand as part of Anfield's renovation in 1992, but the old stadium is still one of football's greatest atmospheres.

    Nowadays, the glory days may have passed, but there is no doubting that the Kop still retains a magical quality that leaves visitors speechless.

    Anfield ranks highly on this list due to an enormous reputation and dedicated support despite the club enduring a torrid time on the pitch, which sees them enter the ranking ahead of others before it.

2: Westfalenstadion

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    These days officially known as the Signal Iduna Park, the Westfalenstadion has regained its place amongst the best stadiums to visit in football.

    The 80,000-seater plays host to Borussia Dortmund and has fast become one of the most intimidating stadiums as the team underwent a revival under Jurgen Klopp.

    The Yellow Wall, as Dortmund's South Stand is known, provides an enormous boost to the team as 25,000 standing fans shout themselves hoarse.

    Dortmund fans are also partial to hoisting huge banners to welcome opposing teams into the arena, adding to the already notorious atmosphere.

    The Westfalenstadion is already known as one of the most vibrant atmospheres in all of Europe, emphasising relentless support of their team as well as intimidating opposing teams, just edging ahead of Anfield due to BvB's recent success.

1: Maracana

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    The Estadio do Maracana is one of the most famous stadiums in world football, having played host to the Brazilian national team since its inception.

    Built in 1950 for the World Cup that summer, the Maracana has seen some of the best players ever to play the game, as well as historic matches.

    The infamous "Maracanazo" plays on in every Brazilian's mind as the Selecao failed in their quest for home World Cup glory, as they were shocked by rivals Uruguay in the 1950 final.

    The 1-0 defeat ranks as one of the shames of Brazilian football, and Luiz Felipe Scolari's men will be hoping to put that right in Brazil 2014.

    Backed by raucous Selecao supporters and the carnival atmosphere that Brazil is famed for, the Maracana brings out the best of the country's virtues.

    The famed stadium comes in at first place due to its immense history, undying support and the spectacular carnival atmosphere every time Brazil plays, as demonstrated at the recent Confederations Cup.