Football is the most popular sport on the planet and is played in every continent and country. For many fans, for whom football is their national sport, football is more than just a sport though, it’s a way of life. So what are the best soccier cities in the world? We decided to take a list at ten cities who live and breathe football on a daily basis that you should definitely visit if you get the chance. Here are our best football cities.
10 best football cities in the world
Cairo is one of the oldest cities in the world but that hasn’t stopped the African metropolis being bitten by the football bug. The Egyptian capital hosts some of Africa’s most successful sides with the likes of Zamalek, Al Ahly and Pyramids FC all calling the city home and enjoying multiple successes in the highly competitive Egyptian Premier League. Local derbies between the Cairo sides are also intensely fought both on and off the pitch rivalling any atmosphere found in Europe which makes it the African home of football.
Moscow has traditionally been one of Eastern Europe’s biggest footballing hubs and this passion carried on through the breakup of the USSR and into the formation of Russia itself. The city boasts no less than 4 top sides in CSKA, Spartak, Lokomotiv, Dynamo competing to take titles in one shape or another. There is no doubting the passion within the city during local derbies and this passion has made visits to Moscow difficult for any foreign teams visiting the city – either as clubs or for internationals. With such passion flowing throughout the city, Moscow is a footballing haven that needs to be explored.
Not one of the football cities that would jump to mind in a list such as this but Montevideo is certainly one of football’s best undiscovered gems. Uruguay has produced a surprising amount of talent generation after generation and almost all of these players have cut their teeth with a club in the capital. It also hosted the first ever World Cup final in 1930, which Uruguay won.
Some of the city’s biggest clubs such as Penarol, Nacional & Danubio all have been successful in continental competition as well as having classic clashes domestically in lively arenas that are always packed to the rafters. With the likes of Diego Forlan & Luis Suarez all having showcased their potential here first, a trip to Montevideo is a must-have for any football aficionado.
It’s the spot where east meets west and this clash of cultures has made Istanbul one of football’s most thriving hubs. The Turkish city boasts many of the country’s big sides with Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas and Basaksehir all based within the city limits. The big 4 of the Super Lig are overflowing with local and international talents and are generally in the race to be crowned champions each season. Each club have die-hard supporters following their teams to the ends of the earth and it’s common to see local derbies filled with flares, fireworks and non-stop chanting. An atmosphere unlike any other city!
- Mexico City
Mexican culture is known for passion, fire and colour and this can all be found anytime a football match is happening somewhere in the city. The sprawling metropolis hosts many of the top sides in Liga MX such as Club de America & Cruz Azul who have won many titles between them both domestically and against other North & South American sides. It has also hosted no less than two World Cup finals at the Estadio Azteca, one of the biggest football stadiums in the world, and is the birthplace to one of sports’ greatest celebrations – the Mexican Wave. With such a legacy still thriving today, Mexico City remains one of the best places to watch a game unfold.
Spain is one of the traditional homes of football and it’s not difficult to see why the moment you enter the city. The Spanish capital is home to two of the biggest teams in the world – Real and Atletico Madrid – who often have many of the world’s best players within their ranks. Having many of the world’s best brings fans all over the world to watch the sides play and Real also hosts one of the biggest games in the sport each year – the El Clasico battle between Real and Barcelona. This creates an atmosphere unmatched anywhere in football and makes Madrid a must-visit whenever a Real or Atletico are in town. It is certainly among the best football cities in Europe.
For many places, football is a part of the culture but the sport is a way of life for anyone who lives in Glasgow. The city is traditionally split in two, with fans supporting either Rangers or Celtic, and the clubs represent a way of life that involves class, politics and beliefs. It’s not surprising then that the passion from these clubs spills into the streets on a regular basis making the city come alive whenever the Old Firm Derby takes place. Having dominated Scottish football for decades, there are very few footballing cities that rival Glasgow for passion when it comes to game time.
- Rio de Janeiro
Football and Brazil are synonymous with each other and, although you could do a list just filled with the best Brazilian football cities, it is Rio that is the country’s footballing mecca. The city hosts numerous clubs that are known throughout the world whether it be the likes of Vasco Da Gama, Flamengo or Fluminense making the headlines. The city also boasts perhaps the most famous stadium in the entire world – The Maracana – which is seen to be hallowed grounds for any footballer to play in or for any supporter to experience during a match. Having hosted everything from World Cup finals to even the Olympics, there is always a story to be told somewhere in Rio.
- Buenos Aires
When one city hosts half of the footballing talent in a country as passionate as Argentina, then you know this is a haven for football. There are no less than 10 clubs who are based with the Buenos Aires city limits and each have their own band of loyal fans dedicated to the cause. The Argentine capital boasts many big clubs with San Lorenzo, Velez, Independiente, Boca Juniors and River Plate just a few teams from the capital to win both league and continental titles. Alongside that, the derbies between River/Boca (The Superclasico) and Racing/Independiente (The Avellaneda Derby) are two of the most fiercely contested in the world meaning that games can bring a major world city to a standstill in an instant!
Often seen as the home of football, it is hard to argue that anywhere is as enamoured with ‘The Beautiful Game’ more than the city of London. The English capital has many of the world’s richest and successful clubs on its doorstep whether its Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham making the headlines. Within the city limits, there are no less than 25 professional teams in the city who each have their stadiums filled with singing fans each and every weekend. The city’s football scene has been translated onto the silver screen more than once and Wembley Stadium still remains one of the most iconic sporting destinations anywhere in the world. With that in mind, nothing can stop London being the beating soul of all things football.
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