This season’s best Champions League, Europa League tifos

With the group stages of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League coming to an end, we have just one round of matches left before the FIFA World Cup kicks off in Qatar on November 20th.

That means just one more week for fans from clubs across Europe to display their elaborate pre-match tifos, banners and general visual displays of support before the knockout stages of various UEFA competitions begin in spring.

Here’s a reminder of some of the most imaginative and impactful creations we’ve seen so far in continental competition for the 2022-23 season.

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Celtic fans announced their club’s return to the Champions League for the first time since 2008/09 by unveiling a large tifo at Celtic Park featuring a ‘fighting leprechaun’ brandishing a grenade behind the goal. They promptly lost 3-0 to the reigning champions. Welcome back!

To celebrate their first foray into Europe since 2001, Union fans put on a clever flight-themed tifo ahead of their Europa League group game against Malmö at the Stadion an der alten Forsterei. The caption reads: “Buckle up, Union plays in Europe!”

Nantes fans provided a historic scene for their Europa League match against Greek club Olympiakos at the Beaujoire Stadium, where Anna of Brittany and her knights ride into battle. The banner also features the Latin motto of the French region of Brittany: “death from shame”.

Pyrotechnics, flags and smoke combined to great effect as the PSG Ultras created an incredible riot of color and noise ahead of their Champions League group stage opener against Juventus at the Parc des Princes.

Rangers fans continued to roar from the stands, unfurling a fearsome red and blue lion rampant at the Ibrox to mark their return to the top of Europe for the first time since 2010/11. Shortly after, they watched their side be beaten 7-1 by Liverpool in the group stage of the Champions League – a game in which Mohamed Salah came off the bench and scored the fastest hat-trick in tournament history.

Benfica supporters produced a huge tifo throughout the stadium ahead of their group stage game against Juventus. Thousands of red placards filled the terraces of the Estadio da Luz, along with a simple message that read ‘We are One’.

RB Leipzig fans opted for a measured and civil protest against UEFA’s proposed overhaul of the Champions League format when Real Madrid came to town in the group stage.

A giant banner honoring the late Diego Maradona was passed around the stadium that now bears his name as Napoli fans prepared for a Champions League group stage game against Ajax. The message at the bottom reads “I love Diego 10” in reference to the jersey number worn by the Argentine legend during his time at the club.

Frankfurt fans, who have made a name for themselves for their fierce support away from home, banded together to erect a literal wall of scarves ahead of their Champions League group stage match at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

A simple comic-style battle cry appeared in the Curva Sud at San Siro ahead of Milan’s Champions League group stage clash against Chelsea. Unfortunately, it couldn’t prevent that Rossoneri from a fall to a 2-0 defeat.

Liverpool vs Ajax

Reds fans donned a nostalgic seam with a huge banner flying in the kop showing patchwork images of the club’s great European heritage, including the numerous trophies they’ve won and the legendary players and managers who have helped have to collect them.

Twente fans went all out with a brilliant tifo of a beer-waving astronaut ahead of the Conference League qualifier second leg against Cukaricki, along with the caption: “Come down to see European football back in our city.” It certainly worked as the Dutch team roared to a 4-1 win and secured a place in the actual competition.

Tottenham prepared for their Champions League home game against Sporting with a giant illuminated image of the club crest co-organized and partially funded by British rapper and Spurs fan AJ Tracey, along with donations from other supporters.

Real Madrid fans unfurled a far-sighted banner in Shakhtar’s away game to congratulate Karim Benzema on winning the 2022 Ballon d’Or. The French forward received the prestigious honor next week.

What would be a summary of European fan performances without the appearance of the famous Yellow Wall, who once again had a good voice as Dortmund secured their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League after drawing against Manchester City.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/blog-the-toe-poke/story/4782575/this-seasons-best-champions-league-europa-league-tifos This season’s best Champions League, Europa League tifos

Emma Bowman

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