MasterCard has released its Fan Passion Report, a study into the passions of over 5,000 football fans, ahead of the UEFA Champions League final between Juventus and FC Barcelona on Saturday 6th June.
According to the report, fans in Italy (73%) have more superstitions relating to football than other nationalities in Europe, just ahead of Spanish fans. Nearly half (47%) of Italians wear a certain item of lucky clothing during a match, 20% insist on sitting in the same seat every game and 13% eat or drink a specific food item or beverage.
To some nationalities, football is seen as a religion that is lived and breathed on a daily basis. None more so than in Italy where 69% of fans have chosen to miss an important family event to attend a football match. The Spanish are not far behind with 60% choosing football over family, with France coming in at 52%.
Michael Ballack, MasterCard Player Mascot Manager for the UEFA Champions League Final in Berlin, commented: “Football without fans just wouldn’t be the same. They are the heartbeat of the game and their passion for football is unbelievable. When you walk out of the tunnel, the wall of noise they create hits you and gives the players a huge boost. The fans are priceless.”
There were 5,017 respondents across 11 European countries for the Fan Passion Report survey – England, Germany, Spain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Turkey, Russia, Sweden, Portugal and Hungary.
- Italian football fans are also the most likely to miss an important family event to attend a match with 69% falling into that category.
- England was the most popular country for away supporters to visit with 23% favouring a trip there.
- And football fans from every country polled named Lionel Messi as the best player in Champions League history with the exception of one – the people of Portugal standing by Cristiano Ronaldo
- Hungarian fans (69%) often make a longer trip out of away matches and stay for three or more days, while Portuguese (29%) prefer to visit for just one day.
- The survey found that fans in Italy (73%) have more superstitions relating to football than other nationalities in Europe, just ahead of Spanish fans.
- Nearly half (47%) of Italians wear a certain item of lucky clothing during a match, 20% insist on sitting in the same seat every game and 13% eat or drink a specific food item or beverage. [Source: FC Business / Sky]