A Fan’s Guide To European Soccer Etiquette

Heading to Europe with your team, friends, and family to watch a soccer game?

Soccer, or football, is a European staple, drawing millions of fans to stadiums, televisions, and sports pups every season. Whether you are catching a stop on one of the Portugal soccer tours or catching a heated game in Spain, be sure to follow these basic etiquette guidelines. These will help you fit in and enjoy the game like a local.

  • Avoid wearing the visiting teams jersey.
    When attending a game in Europe, it is usually best to wear the home team’s jersey or colors. Local fans have serious pride, so wearing opposing colors will make you stand out amongst the crowd. It is usually best to blend in as a traveler anyway, so opt for being safe.
  • Show some enthusiasm.
    European soccer fans are not short of excitement, so don’t be afraid to jump out of your seat and shout “gggoooaaaalllll” along with them. Watching the game in the stadium will be a vastly different experience than watching it at home, so be sure to make the most of it.
  • Keep your temper in check.
    While it’s always fun to show your pride and cheer on your team, try not to get angry and yell. Even if you see local fans doing this, know your place and try to keep your cool.
  • Read up on local soccer ahead of time.
    Soccer in Europe differs from soccer in the United States. You may already be familiar with the local style of play from catching games on TV, but be sure to know about any differing rules. This will keep you in the loop when the referee makes calls.
  • Try the local food after the game.
    Once the game is finished, check out a local restaurant to celebrate a victory or chat about a loss. This is also a great way to continue learning about the local culture.

According to Sports Travel Magazine, 27% of all 2012 trips were to attend a sporting event, and 90% involved sports in some way. If you have dreamed about following one of the famed Spain, England, or Portugal soccer tours, it’s time to book that ticket and be ready for the game of a lifetime.