When Fenerbahçe Celebrates Football...

Commentary  •  Author: Mehmet Pozam   •   Saturday, February 7, 2009 Picture

The following article was written by Adrien Godet, a postgraduate student in journalism coming from Grenoble, France but currently in Istanbul for his Erasmus exchange year. Two weeks ago, I took Adrien to the Fenerbahçe vs. Trabzonspor match, so this Paris St.-Germain fan could soak up the atmosphere of the Şükrü Saraçoğlu Stadium. It was an eventful match that unfortunately ended in a dismal goalless draw, but Adrien kindly wrote us an article and shared his Kadıköy experience with all Fenerbahçe Worldwide readers.

The biggest stadium in Istanbul for my first football match in Turkey... Something that surely thrills a football fan like me! First of all, nobody can deny that this stadium is absolutely impressive. It's about as big as the "Parc des Princes" in Paris and it's very electric. As usual, terraces wear colours of the club; navy blue and yellow for Fenerbahçe! All-in-all, a very modern stadium with a 10 out of 10 mark on FIFA standards, congratulations!

You can hear the club anthems from around the stadium even two hours before the match. They are recorded like professional songs which you listen to on the radio. In France, no team has a real anthem like that. The supporters are everywhere around the stadium and ready to warm up the atmosphere chanting to these anthems. You can also listen to the latest hit of David Guetta or Shantel coming from the loud speakers of the stadium, if you prefer. Supporters also have their own chants of course, that more or less everybody in the stadium knows by heart. According to a tradition, the most famous players in the team like Alex and Roberto Carlos recieve their first ovations as an encouragement during the warm-up exercises before the match. 

Now to speak about the match a little bit. Firstly, there is a big difference with France. The two teams and all the supporters in the stadium sing the national anthem all together. Maybe, this is the only time when supporters of both teams sing unanimously. The same tradition exists, for example, in every basketball game in the United States. You won't find the same spirit in France, however, as once the French supporters had whistled their own national anthem before an international match.

Anyways, the match I went to was between Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor; two of the four teams who have won the league championship in Turkey. The game was similar to what you usually see in the French league, a very organized play. But I should add that teams in the Turkish league play more offensive football. The first ten minutes of the match was totally crazy, almost a goal opportunity per minute! In general, I think that more goals are scored in the Turkish league than in Ligue 1. Defensive football is very traditional in France where a lot of trainers even believe that the best form of attack begins from the defence!

Finally, one word on the wonderful atmosphere between the groups of supporters. A real game exists when songs are chanted throughout the whole stadium. But some of my Turkish friends explained to me that football is such a big passion here that supporters sometimes go absolutely wild about it. Some of them, even, don't hesitate to fight for and defend the values of their clubs. Of course, you can't always understand every reaction, but this is what passion can lead to in sports.

To sum up, I was greatly impressed by Fenerbahçe, the stadium and its atmosphere. It'll defintely be the place to be if Fenerbahçe lifts the league trophy at the end of the season.

(Article written by Adrien Godet; Edited by Mehmet Pozam)

Comments (3)

Kozak • 15:05 • February 7, 2009
shame fenerbahce didnt win..he really only experienced half of the real thing.
mehmet • 16:22 • February 7, 2009
definitely.. i was gutted that Adrien didn't see any goals.. :(
macho-morten • 17:00 • February 7, 2009
This sounds pretty much like what I'm expecting. In only three weeks, it's my turn!
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