To be honest, September brought me only 4 matches. But the passion, the love for football during those matches was simply amazing. Full support, beautiful tifo and some proper pyro. I visited mainly Germany, but also ‘unknown’ Finland.
Finland is a bit of a grey mouse in Europe when it comes to football. A modest country, respectful people, no doubt. Finish people prefer icehockey and pesäpello (Finish baseball) over football. Nothing spectacular coming from the football stadiums you would say. Not entirely true. Helsinki provides a proper rivalry between HJK and HIFK.
Despite the fact that both ultra groups have small numbers, their love for the club is admirable. They do anything to get proper atmosphere inside the stadium, which they share. You can sense a fare amount of hatred between the two sides.
Before the derby I visited the bar of the HIFK ultras. They were preparing for a short corteo to the stadium, which proved to be full of passion and pyro. Respect for that. They definitely beated HJK on the stands. Unfortunately they lost the derby 2-1. Eventually HIFK relegated, so no derby this season. HIFK is on top of the table in the second division, hopefully they manage to return in the top league for next season.
The promotion of SV Meppen brought pre-season excitement. Entering the 3. Liga ment bringing back the derby against Osnabrück. Unfortunately they planned it on a Wednesday night, so I had to be creative visiting this one. Managed to do so!
Meppen, brilliant oldschool stadium. Close to the pitch, beautiful terraces. It was completely sold out for the derby. I was literally with my face stuck in the fence to be able to see anything of the match. Love it. Great support on both sides. Eventually Meppen managed to win the derby 1-0. They didn’t win the derby at home since 1992. Crazy scenes by the home crowd
I had to wait just a couple of days before the next crazy derby day in Germany: the Frankenderby. The most played and oldest derby in the country. A fierce rivalry often resulting in violence between the two sides. It is Greuther Fürth against 1. FC Nürnberg.
Besides getting the title “derbysieger” there is more to play for. Nürnberg going for the league title and SpVgg doing everything to prevent relegation. Craziness on the stands, lots of passion and several nice tifo. A derby to remember with Nürnberg taking a 3-1 victory home. This one needs to be on your bucket list if you haven’t visit it yet!