There are many things that make UEFA Europa League be special, but one of the best things about the competition is the great variety of cultures and environments offered in each and every season.
The weird, quirky and wonderful vibes on display are the theme of the Breakfast Show de la UEFA Europa League This week. Presented by the official tournament partner That, this week’s program features the announcer Ben Haines, who took a walk down memory lane to offer stories of some of his favorite life experiences from the Europa League.
Let’s take a look at his five wildest memories from the Europa League.
Most teams in Europe do what they can to build tension before their Europa League matches, 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 of You never walk alone or a Portuguese concert with an eagle flying in front of your eyes, it’s safe to say that you never know what you’re going to find in the Europa League.
Walking through a tunnel is a part of daily life in football, but the Red Star likes to do things a little differently.
The one-minute walk through the Rajko Mitic Stadium tunnel prepares teams for war by forcing them to walk through a bomb shelter-like tunnel filled with armed riot police, graffiti and the echo of chants from the Red Star fans.
It could hardly be more different from a field like Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, which has a VIP room separated by glass. Two different worlds.
There is something about the Europa League crowd that sounds different.
Some of Ben’s best fan memories have come from this competition, where groups singing for teams like Frankfurt, Olympiacos, Marseille, Tottenham and Sevilla have taken support to a whole new level.
Even outside the stadiums, you will meet thousands of fans supporting their teams. The public takes over the cities and treats each match as a final. Is something special.
Sometimes those crowds go a step further. The standard party atmosphere can be replaced by a once-in-a-lifetime hybrid full of intensity, passion and love for the game.
For Ben, those unique atmospheres come from dark corners of Europe. Teams like Ostersunds, Molde or Astana have left lasting impressions with the sheer ferocity of their fans.
For some of these teams, the Europa League may be the pinnacle of their season, and their fans clearly want their journey to be memorable.
The 2019 final might not be contested by multiple 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 had traveled to one of the continent’s biggest events, the 2019 final offered the kind of atmosphere that no London derby has ever experienced.
With a nod to the welcoming folks from both UEFA and Baku itself, the 2019 final was something else.
For the past three seasons, Kia has rewarded its UEFA Europa League customers and fans with exclusive content about the competition, while also providing vehicles to tour the iconic trophy across Europe alongside football legends who have already won it, as part of the UEL Trophy Tour.
This partnership with The Breakfast Show means that Kia will continue to ensure access to exclusive content and online player reactions and celebrations. Fans of the show will also have direct access to more exclusive content from the Kia pages.