There are a lot of things that make the UEFA Europa League special, but one of the best things about the competition is the wide variety of cultures and atmospheres on offer each season.
The bizarre and wonderful ambiance of the show is the subject of this week’s UEFA Europa League breakfast, presented by official tournament partner Kia. This week’s show features broadcaster Ben Haines, who has traveled the memory route to deliver some of the best Europa League experiences.
Here are the five things that top the bill for the Europa League.
Most teams across Europe are doing what they can to create tension ahead of their Europa League games, but sometimes they will go the extra mile to create something really special. In Ben’s experiences, Celtic and Benfica stand out from the crowd.
Whether it’s a full-fledged Scottish light show before a performance by You will never walk alone or a Portuguese concert with an eagle flying before your eyes, it’s safe to say you never know what you’re going to find in the Europa League.
Walking through a tunnel is part of everyday football life, but Red Star likes to do things a little differently.
The one-minute walk through the tunnel at Rajko Mitic Stadium prepares the teams for war by forcing them through a bomb shelter-shaped tunnel filled with armed riot police, graffiti and repeated chants of the red star fans.
It couldn’t be more different from a pitch like Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which features a glass-walled integrated VIP club. Two different worlds.
There is something about a Europa League crowd that is just plain different.
Some of Ben’s best fan memories have come in this competition, where fans singing for teams like Frankfurt, Olympiacos, Marseille, Tottenham and Sevilla took support to a whole new level.
Even outside the stadiums, you will find fans flocking by the thousands to support their teams. They take control of cities and treat public practices like finals. This is something special.
Sometimes these crowds go even further. The standard party atmosphere can be replaced with a unique hybrid of intensity, passion and love for the game.
For Ben, these unique atmospheres came from dark corners of Europe. Teams like Ostersunds, Molde and Astana have all left lasting impressions with the ferocity of their fan base.
For some of these teams, the Europa League may be the pinnacle of their season, and it is clear that their supporters want to make their trip a memorable one.
The 2019 final may not have been contested by various teams – Chelsea and Arsenal became the first teams from the same city to meet in the final – but the hosts in Baku, Azerbaijan made sure it was something special.
With such a wide mix of cultures, stories and memories from fans across Europe who made the trip to one of Europe’s greatest occasions, the 2019 final provided the kind of atmosphere that no London derby has ever known.
With a nod to the welcoming folks from UEFA and Baku itself, the 2019 final was something else.
Over the past three seasons, Kia has rewarded its UEFA Europa League customers and fans with exclusive content from across the competition, as well as providing vehicles to the final and touring the iconic trophy across Europe. alongside former winners of the coveted trophy, such as the UEL Trophy Tour.
This additional media partnership for The Breakfast Show means that Kia will continue to grant exclusive access to its content and online player celebrations; and viewers of the show will also have direct access to other exclusive content on Kia’s own pages.