Istanbul – part 3 – Colored in yellow and blue

PicMonkey CollageThey say that in every Turkish city there is at least one monument of Atatürk. Well, I dont know about that, but certainly in every Turkish city you can see the national flag on the balconies. In Istanbul, along with the Turkish flag hoisted on the buildings, you can see the flags of the famous football clubs – Galatasaray, Fenerbahce and Besiktas. Turkish people love to watch football. And like all southern nations they put a lot emotions in it. Once wathing football was emotional for me too. I was drinking my morning coffee, whitle reading the sports news . I knew every player, what salary he gets, how man strippers he ordered for his last birthday. Gradually, my love for football gave way to my other hobbies. But even if I do not watch the games as often as before, football is still a big part of my life. Therefore, during my trips, I often include a tour of some famous stadiums. With Vesi even tried to watch Juventus game during our visit of Turin, but the date of the match was changed at the last minute and we could not go. Actually watching a football game in Western Europe is not easy – the tickets are expensive and they sold out quickly.

969600_10201943675539496_556666075_nAnd what is the chance to be in a foreign city and to just happen on that exact day two of the bigger European teams to play against each other?

Fenerbache – PSV Eindhoven,  friendly game . Ticket price: 30 liras .

Thanks to a few Turkish friends I quickly got a ticket – behind the net, in the heart of the sector with yellow- blue supporters. By happy coincidence, we were staying in the Kadıköy district, just five minutes from the stadium of Fenerbahçe. The facility is named after the former Turkish Prime Minister Şükrü Saracoğlu and is one of the best stadiums in Turkey. Here in 2009 was held the final of the UEFA Cup, which will go down in the history as the last final before the tournament to be renamed UEFA Europa League.

The game started at dusk, but during the whole day we could see in the streets of Kadikoy  dozens of fans to wear the team colors. As if the whole neighborhood was colored yellow- blue …

IMGP0073On the entrance to the stadium there was chaos. The street in front of it was blocked by the crowds, there was police in every hundred meters. Thousands of fans were screaming and pushing to pass through the narrow doors. Being poked in the ribs at least several times was as normal as welcome greeting. Our Turkish friends assured us that the situation was under control : “- Its summer, many people will not watch the game cos they are out of town, or it would be really crazy here”, there were saying. Actually, it was quite crazy already. The Dutch in the company were stunned, they were not used to the Balkan sports atmosphere: “- In Netherlands you cant see such a thing . ” I smiled, I felt like home. With the sole exception that the size of the stadium and the number of the fans were different. The stadium capacity was 50,000 people, more than our national stadium Vasil Levski. And although it was not full to the end, the atmosphere was incredible. While the players were preparing to go out on the field, some glorious moments in the history of the club rotated on a big screen. The fans were already singing club songs. It was this emotion that once drew me to the stadiums. I sitll can feel this emotion. Because football is more than a sport. Football is love.

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