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European football visits


arrytheb
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6 hours ago, Leveller said:

Fly into Pisa from Bristol and its also an easy train journey to Florence for Fiorentina (and one of the world's great little cities too).

I did exactly that 2 years ago. The train from Pisa to Florence is decent. I went to the rooftop bar at the Westin Exelsior in Florence and the AC Milan team were in the lobby as they were playing Fiorentina the next day. Didn’t recognise a single player

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23 hours ago, arrytheb said:

Anyone got any recommendations on European grounds/matches to visit once travel restrictions are lifted? 

Not discounting the main obvious grounds of the big clubs but also happy to have other recommendations. 

Ideally flights from Bristol on budget airlines.

I've relatively recently been to Hamburg which was very good. Would like to go to some of the German grounds (been to Schalke old ground but new one is possibility).

Anyone got any thoughts or stories if trips? 

Nice topic. prepare to open the flood gates... However, my personal favorite is going to Seville both for the deafening sound of the Sevilla Ultras at one end of the ground, the unity they show in the presentation of support is incredible to see but also for the passion of the City itself. Ramon Sanchez Pijuan is an open air stadium with games in late August often kicking off at 10pm due to the heat, its a great place to watch football. I used to travel there a lot and watch games especially when Tins was exiled down in Malaga, we used to meet up and see games together. I am privileged to have been to many La Liga Grounds but above all Sevilla stands out as the most passionate. If you visit, do stay in the Historic Centre of the City its lovely and is walking distance to the ground.

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29 minutes ago, Eastendboy1965 said:

Nice topic. prepare to open the flood gates... However, my personal favorite is going to Seville both for the deafening sound of the Sevilla Ultras at one end of the ground, the unity they show in the presentation of support is incredible to see but also for the passion of the City itself. Ramon Sanchez Pijuan is an open air stadium with games in late August often kicking off at 10pm due to the heat, its a great place to watch football. I used to travel there a lot and watch games especially when Tins was exiled down in Malaga, we used to meet up and see games together. I am privileged to have been to many La Liga Grounds but above all Sevilla stands out as the most passionate. If you visit, do stay in the Historic Centre of the City its lovely and is walking distance to the ground.

I want to go to Seville, not to watch them though, I want to watch Real Betis. Betis are the fourth best supported team in Spain. They have 50 thousand season ticket holders and thousands on a waiting list. only  the two Madrid’s and Barca have better support. 

Sevilla and Betis in the same city has been likened to having Sunderland and Newcastle in the same city, real fervent support. 
 

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14 hours ago, Club and Country said:

Worth noting Serie a grounds currently only 50% capacity, I can’t see anywhere when or if that’s due to change 

also need to show a green pass to attend 

In theory, the UK pass is recognised by the Italian authorities too. It’s one of 6 non EU countries whose vaccination records/passes have been given recognition under their green pass rules. I say in theory - not sure I’d want to risk getting all the way to the stadium and then finding it didn’t work!

What’s more of a barrier at the moment though is that you have to self isolate for 5 days on arrival in Italy if you have come from the UK. 

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Done long weekends to Germany a few times with City mates,  usually Cologne / Dusseldorf area as there are so many Bundesliga 1 and 2 teams nearby and easy to get around. The Borussias are my favourites! Dortmund is a must see.

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Porto is an easy trip from Bristol, cheap flights particularly during the football season, great ground and a beautiful city. As a city I actually prefer Porto over Lisbon, more rustic, compact and then you have the port. 

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On 23/08/2021 at 10:21, jambodinho said:

Malaga. Regular cheap flights from Bristol. Cheap air bnb options. Think we paid €5 a ticket to watch them play against Las Palmas a couple of years ago. La Rosaleda is a beautiful stadium in a beautiful city 

I Second that. La rosaleda is a lovely ground... I found there was a lot of Brit expat support... I watched a v Dull game though against atletico Madrid when malaga were in primera.... 

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Anyone know if Valencia are in their new ground yet?

I really enjoyed going to the old one, more lung busting getting to the top tier than Newcastle.

We stayed near the new ground, about 8 years ago, it looked close to being finished but apparently work had stopped because of money issues. 
I must admit it already looked a bit dated compared to modern stadiums so I’m not sure why they were bothering.

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On 22/08/2021 at 22:59, arrytheb said:

Anyone got any recommendations on European grounds/matches to visit once travel restrictions are lifted? 

Not discounting the main obvious grounds of the big clubs but also happy to have other recommendations. 

Ideally flights from Bristol on budget airlines.

I've relatively recently been to Hamburg which was very good. Would like to go to some of the German grounds (been to Schalke old ground but new one is possibility).

Anyone got any thoughts or stories if trips? 

When you went to Hamburg did you go to a Hamburg game or st Pauli?

 

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On 23/08/2021 at 23:14, Eastendboy1965 said:

Nice topic. prepare to open the flood gates... However, my personal favorite is going to Seville both for the deafening sound of the Sevilla Ultras at one end of the ground, the unity they show in the presentation of support is incredible to see but also for the passion of the City itself. Ramon Sanchez Pijuan is an open air stadium with games in late August often kicking off at 10pm due to the heat, its a great place to watch football. I used to travel there a lot and watch games especially when Tins was exiled down in Malaga, we used to meet up and see games together. I am privileged to have been to many La Liga Grounds but above all Sevilla stands out as the most passionate. If you visit, do stay in the Historic Centre of the City its lovely and is walking distance to the ground.

Just back from there (again) the other week. Should also highlight the primary reasons to go for a football weekend - the weather, beer & food. It's called the 'frying pan' of Spain for good reason, Cruzcampo is the local brewer with many great beers & tapas are bountiful & cheap. Good reason to go now is the place was empty and prices have fallen through the floor.

Though older, more tatty & adjacent the main dual carriageway south (if you take the bus rather than walk make sure you don't get an express else it's a long slog back up pedestrian unfriendly roads,) Betis' stadium is the more impressive of the two. It's a proper, old-school European bowl even though bits of it are new (for ground hoppers it's a joy trying to work out which 'new bits' were built over which old bits - no wonder they downed tools and gave up.) Personally, I find Seville's ground sterile, (though not their fans.) For a start, blink and you'll miss it given its shrouded on the city side by a full on 'retail experience'. You'll see dozens of punters looking at their maps trying to work out where it is only to realise it's just behind the mall.

As Eastendboy1965 says, fab city to walk around, compact with much to see and do.

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14 hours ago, frenchred said:

When you went to Hamburg did you go to a Hamburg game or st Pauli?

 

Hamburg mate. Was against Frankfurt (I think). We got chatting to a frankfurt fan in our hotel on the day of the game and he was trying to get us to meet up with him and his mates after the match. He's a police officer but said his wife and bosses 'let' him have a month a year of 'fun' where he meets up with other fans. We were sat right by the away fans and he was the bloke who was there with the loudspeaker thing getting everyone going. We decided against meeting him. 😂

 

Edit - he was a good bloke tho and gave our Stag a signed vintage shirt from their record signing player. 

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On 23/08/2021 at 12:03, CyderInACan said:

Saw Chicago Fire v. San Jose Earthquakes at Soldier Field - that was an experience

Though not European I'm interested in your take on your MLS 'experience'? 

I've watched football all over the world, seen many outrageous and odd affairs, so when on annual holiday in the States a few years back I thought to take in an MLS game along with the baseball. From a 'crowd' perspective it was beyond doubt the weirdest atmosphere I've ever experienced.

New York City Vs LA Galaxy; Villa, Lampard & Pirlo Vs Gerrard and Keene. For starters it appeared everybody in the stadium (fully integrated as in all American sports,) wasn't there for a sporting event, rather an 'entertainment spectacle'. Most were in FKW mode, can't have been one piece of merchandise they hadn't bought, yet few had any idea who was playing, their background or how the game was played. Comments from the stands were full on WWF (or whatever it's called these days,) boo and scream at the bad boys (opposition) yet fawn and coo like adoring schoolgirls when the bad boy players came near to take a corner or throw-in and provide the obligatory social media photo opportunity. Most fans watched the match through their camera-phones. Despite copious pre-match advertising as to the 'major European stars on show', plus the subtle hint of having names and numbers printed on the shirts, the most frequent comment from the stands was: "...is that him?"

As for the match itself, it held all the allure of Dads Vs Lads, walking football friendly. In my mind Pirlo, who ran the show, played in carpet slippers. He didn't, but not once did he break sweat, instead ambling imperiously around the centre circle. Gerrard and Co played like they were there for the appearance money, which of course is what they were there for.

Not there were many goals but mattered not who was shooting to get the fans on their feet and cheering. They were there for the 'action' and not remotely bothered if that action was damaging to the side whose colours they were sporting.

I've never been back.

Edited by BTRFTG
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38 minutes ago, arrytheb said:

Hamburg mate. Was against Frankfurt (I think). We got chatting to a frankfurt fan in our hotel on the day of the game and he was trying to get us to meet up with him and his mates after the match. He's a police officer but said his wife and bosses 'let' him have a month a year of 'fun' where he meets up with other fans. We were sat right by the away fans and he was the bloke who was there with the loudspeaker thing getting everyone going. We decided against meeting him. 😂

 

Edit - he was a good bloke tho and gave our Stag a signed vintage shirt from their record signing player. 

St Pauli is an unreal atmosphere, their ground is just along from the rheeperbahn so full of their fanatics! I believe they may have been relegated now but was absolutely superb when I went, well worth a visit! I agree Hamburg is very good as well

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1 hour ago, BTRFTG said:

Just back from there (again) the other week. Should also highlight the primary reasons to go for a football weekend - the weather, beer & food. It's called the 'frying pan' of Spain for good reason, Cruzcampo is the local brewer with many great beers & tapas are bountiful & cheap. Good reason to go now is the place was empty and prices have fallen through the floor.

Though older, more tatty & adjacent the main dual carriageway south (if you take the bus rather than walk make sure you don't get an express else it's a long slog back up pedestrian unfriendly roads,) Betis' stadium is the more impressive of the two. It's a proper, old-school European bowl even though bits of it are new (for ground hoppers it's a joy trying to work out which 'new bits' were built over which old bits - no wonder they downed tools and gave up.) Personally, I find Seville's ground sterile, (though not their fans.) For a start, blink and you'll miss it given its shrouded on the city side by a full on 'retail experience'. You'll see dozens of punters looking at their maps trying to work out where it is only to realise it's just behind the mall.

As Eastendboy1965 says, fab city to walk around, compact with much to see and do.

Went to Sevilla a couple of years ago for a week, and very annoyingly both teams were away while we were there so didn't get to watch any football. Great view from the hotel window though...

IMG_20190827_084543037_HDR.jpg

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Been to Barcelona Nou Camp for Real Madrid game, visit the museum under the stand if you want to view silverware and history of the club. Impressive. As others mentioned, Budapest is good, Sparta Prague also. San Siro one of the best stadiums for me though.
Great way for a weekend away with the wife if you can tie in a football match whilst she visits the tourist sites.

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1 hour ago, BTRFTG said:

Just back from there (again) the other week. Should also highlight the primary reasons to go for a football weekend - the weather, beer & food. It's called the 'frying pan' of Spain for good reason, Cruzcampo is the local brewer with many great beers & tapas are bountiful & cheap. Good reason to go now is the place was empty and prices have fallen through the floor.

As Eastendboy1965 says, fab city to walk around, compact with much to see and do.

I have just come back from a week in Valencia, so can relate to your comment about the place being empty.

It was extremely relaxing walking around with very few tourists, not only in the old City, but also in the 'cultural' hotspots of Oceanographic and the Arts and Science complex - it was the only day that was overcast with sporadic showers, so ended up a day well spent.

I first tasted Cruzcampo in Malaga a few years ago, but could only find it offered in bottles, similar to Estrella this time in Valencia. I far prefer to try a (local) draught beer when visiting foreign climes, and was pleasantly surprised to discover a new one (for me), Alhambra; somewhat surprisingly, I can't recall seeing this on offer when I visited Granada.

A propos draught beers, I couln't help but notice that the well known 'local' beer, Amstel, was frequently offered whenever I requested a draught beer - una cerveza de barril, as I am sure you well know. Now, I am familiar with Amstel from my time in Belgium and, latterly, in France, and I have always considered it a slightly wishy-washy beer, almost best to be avoided, so I was astonished when I finally succumbed and accepted one as the only choice one sunny afternoon; it was quite malty and, to be fair, was very enjoyable, so, of course, I had another and, perhaps, even a third: further enquiries established that it is actually brewed in Valencia and has been since the 1950s!

One final point/question. When you state that prices (in Sevilla) have fallen through the floor, do you mean just food and drink or prices in general, i.e. property, hotel accommodation, clothing etc?

 

  

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3 hours ago, BTRFTG said:

Though not European I'm interested in your take on your MLS 'experience'? 

I've watched football all over the world, seen many outrageous and odd affairs, so when on annual holiday in the States a few years back I thought to take in an MLS game along with the baseball. From a 'crowd' perspective it was beyond doubt the weirdest atmosphere I've ever experienced.

New York City Vs LA Galaxy; Villa, Lampard & Pirlo Vs Gerrard and Keene. For starters it appeared everybody in the stadium (fully integrated as in all American sports,) wasn't there for a sporting event, rather an 'entertainment spectacle'. Most were in FKW mode, can't have been one piece of merchandise they hadn't bought, yet few had any idea who was playing, their background or how the game was played. Comments from the stands were full on WWF (or whatever it's called these days,) boo and scream at the bad boys (opposition) yet fawn and coo like adoring schoolgirls when the bad boy players came near to take a corner or throw-in and provide the obligatory social media photo opportunity. Most fans watched the match through their camera-phones. Despite copious pre-match advertising as to the 'major European stars on show', plus the subtle hint of having names and numbers printed on the shirts, the most frequent comment from the stands was: "...is that him?"

As for the match itself, it held all the allure of Dads Vs Lads, walking football friendly. In my mind Pirlo, who ran the show, played in carpet slippers. He didn't, but not once did he break sweat, instead ambling imperiously around the centre circle. Gerrard and Co played like they were there for the appearance money, which of course is what they were there for.

Not there were many goals but mattered not who was shooting to get the fans on their feet and cheering. They were there for the 'action' and not remotely bothered if that action was damaging to the side whose colours they were sporting.

I've never been back.

I was there in 2005 so the MLS was a different beast then, the only name from either team I recognised was (if memory serves) John Thorrington of Huddersfield who was playing for the Fire. 

The football itself was shit. I think it was nil-nil. All fans were in just a few blocks of the huge Soldier Field stadium so there was a very weird atmosphere. Most didn’t really pay much attention to the soccer itself, it was more a social event than something to get too enthusiastic about. The most memorable part of it was one  of the stewards asking me if I was from Ireland. 

I’d imagine it would be a vastly better experience now.

Going to the Baseball, though (Sox v. Mariners) was a sensational day out. 

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50 minutes ago, PHILINFRANCE said:

I have just come back from a week in Valencia, so can relate to your comment about the place being empty.

It was extremely relaxing walking around with very few tourists, not only in the old City, but also in the 'cultural' hotspots of Oceanographic and the Arts and Science complex - it was the only day that was overcast with sporadic showers, so ended up a day well spent.

I first tasted Cruzcampo in Malaga a few years ago, but could only find it offered in bottles, similar to Estrella this time in Valencia. I far prefer to try a (local) draught beer when visiting foreign climes, and was pleasantly surprised to discover a new one (for me), Alhambra; somewhat surprisingly, I can't recall seeing this on offer when I visited Granada.

A propos draught beers, I couln't help but notice that the well known 'local' beer, Amstel, was frequently offered whenever I requested a draught beer - una cerveza de barril, as I am sure you well know. Now, I am familiar with Amstel from my time in Belgium and, latterly, in France, and I have always considered it a slightly wishy-washy beer, almost best to be avoided, so I was astonished when I finally succumbed and accepted one as the only choice one sunny afternoon; it was quite malty and, to be fair, was very enjoyable, so, of course, I had another and, perhaps, even a third: further enquiries established that it is actually brewed in Valencia and has been since the 1950s!

One final point/question. When you state that prices (in Sevilla) have fallen through the floor, do you mean just food and drink or prices in general, i.e. property, hotel accommodation, clothing etc?

 

  

Re your final para I'd have to defer to my neighbour who was writing an article for the FT (not sure if yet published,) on commercial estate in Seville and Covid impacts. My understanding is that, like elsewhere, there are many bargains to be had if prepared to take a punt. In respect of eating out at decent quality venues - 3 of us ate out (so minimum 9 drinks) with enough food for Mr Creosote and the biggest tab I picked up all week was €65. If on a budget, a 6 pack of Cruzcambo in the supermercado was €2.15!

Without sounding greedy, I also sank a few of each of the Alhambra's. I prefer the '25 & Negra but you can easily drink these in London as they're stocked in any Fuller's pub. Of course in Seville Cruzcampo is the big local brewery and in addition to the ubiquitous lager (which is excellent and difficult to source in the UK,) they've a dozen or more variants and craft offerings. Anybody heading to Seville check out 'Maquila' at the North end of the old town. Fantastic craft ales from independent local brewers, modern, innovative, top-quality tapas and very cheap (compared to UK.)

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18 minutes ago, CyderInACan said:

I was there in 2005 so the MLS was a different beast then, the only name from either team I recognised was (if memory serves) John Thorrington of Huddersfield who was playing for the Fire. 

The football itself was shit. I think it was nil-nil. All fans were in just a few blocks of the huge Soldier Field stadium so there was a very weird atmosphere. Most didn’t really pay much attention to the soccer itself, it was more a social event than something to get too enthusiastic about. The most memorable part of it was one  of the stewards asking me if I was from Ireland. 

I’d imagine it would be a vastly better experience now.

Going to the Baseball, though (Sox v. Mariners) was a sensational day out. 

Interesting, I'd say the MLS hasn't improved then!

Baseball though us something else. You going to The Green Monster or whatever they call the Mariners stadium these days (I'm so old the only time I saw them was at The Kingdome?) Fenway is great, even on the bleachers if joining in the obligatory 'Sweet Caroline'. If you haven't done so but get the chance do the Oracle at SF. You'll have to buy ST returns but a sunny afternoon overlooking the Bay is one of sports greatest sights.

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On 22/08/2021 at 23:20, Davefevs said:

Did that on my stag weekend v Stuttgart.

 

Your stag weekend was versus Stuttgart?!

Mine was just versus a bunch of chavs in a kebab shop in Herne Bay.

We'll call that one a no score draw.... :facepalm:

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3 hours ago, BTRFTG said:

Re your final para I'd have to defer to my neighbour who was writing an article for the FT (not sure if yet published,) on commercial estate in Seville and Covid impacts. My understanding is that, like elsewhere, there are many bargains to be had if prepared to take a punt. In respect of eating out at decent quality venues - 3 of us ate out (so minimum 9 drinks) with enough food for Mr Creosote and the biggest tab I picked up all week was €65. If on a budget, a 6 pack of Cruzcambo in the supermercado was €2.15!

Without sounding greedy, I also sank a few of each of the Alhambra's. I prefer the '25 & Negra but you can easily drink these in London as they're stocked in any Fuller's pub. Of course in Seville Cruzcampo is the big local brewery and in addition to the ubiquitous lager (which is excellent and difficult to source in the UK,) they've a dozen or more variants and craft offerings. Anybody heading to Seville check out 'Maquila' at the North end of the old town. Fantastic craft ales from independent local brewers, modern, innovative, top-quality tapas and very cheap (compared to UK.)

I thought I was doing well (compared to Paris prices) when I sat down on a terrace outside a nice bar in the old town and paid €2.50 for a 25cl glass of Amstel!

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