10 Best Places to Watch Professional Soccer

  • Timbers Army in Portland

    Portland, Oregon

    If you want to experience the sights, sounds and general electricity in the air of a European match on American soil, head west to Portland, Oregon, home of the Portland Timbers. As Major League Soccer nears the close of its second decade, teams like the Timbers have gained a loyal following, and the Timbers Army are famous for their European-style fan section, where chanting, blow horns, team scarves and green colored smoke bombs are the norm.

    Photo courtesy of Blackedoutfriction

  • Ceiling of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

    Barcelona, Spain

    This season, two of soccer's best offensive players will take the field as teammates, Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. Barcelona fans are some of the most loyal and passionate around, making the team's home stadium – the Camp Nou – one of the most dreaded turfs for opposing teams. After the final whistle blows, you'll have all of Gaudi's masterpieces to appreciate in the Catalonian capital.

    Photo courtesy of SBA73

  • Tango dancers in La Boca, the neighborhood of the Boca Juniors team.

    Buenos Aires, Argentina

    South Americans take their fútbolvery seriously...nowhere more so than in Argentina, home of the great Lionel Messi. The capital city of Buenos Aires also hosts one of the biggest rivalry games on the continent during the Superclásico between local club teams River Plate and Boca Juniors. Just make sure to only here neutral colors to the game, as things tend to get heated.

    Photo courtesy of Brian Allen

  • Toronto's skyline behind BMO Field before a game

    Toronto, Canada

    Toronto FC became Major League Soccer's first Canadian team when they joined up in 2007. While the team has had its ups and downs, the fans are as loyal as they come, often traveling en masse to support the red and white during away games. Those who journey north of the border to see a match will find themselves in the middle of Canada's largest and most international city.

    Photo courtesy of ruffin_ready

  • Manchester United fans gather for a post-match drink

    Manchester, England

    Take a walk through the streets of Manchester, and you'll probably see the local slogan, "And on the sixth day, God created Manchester," written on a t-shirt or bumper sticker. This post-industrial hub-turned-modern city boasts not one, but two English Premier League teams, Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as an excellent National Football Museum.

    Photo courtesy of edwin.11

  • Sounders fans in Qwest Field

    Seattle, Washington

    The fans of the Seattle Sounders, another Major League Soccer favorite, rival the Timbers Army in terms of fervor, making the city one of the best in the United States for watching a live match, particularly when they're playing rivals Portland or Vancouver. You can even drag along your non-sporty friends on the promise of fresh seafood, good coffee and the stunning scenery of the Pacific Northwest.

    Photo courtesy of Luis Antonio Rodríguez Ochoa

  • Ronaldo and company take the field in Madrid.

    Madrid, Spain

    Love him or hate him, Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world's best – and he ain't bad on the eyes either. Fans some from around Spain and the world to pack into Santiago Bernabéu Stadium to see he and his Real Madrid teammates take the field. Madrid's a great European city and a great place to catch a game ... as long as you where white and don't mention Barcelona.

    Photo courtesy of Tsutomu Takasu

  • Sunny day in Munich

    Munich, Germany

    Good beer and good soccer ... what's not to like about a sports-centric visit to the Bavarian city of Munich. Even when you're not watching the German league champions Bayern Munich play at Allianz Arena, you'll find soccer fans tuning in to the latest match from Biergartens and bars all over the beautiful and historic city.

    Photo courtesy of digital cat

  • Soccer on Ipanema Beach

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Rio had soccer fever long before it was announced that Brazil would host the 2014 World Cup, and in the lead up to the big event, things are only getting better. You don't even have to enter Maracanã Stadium to see some soccer action; just head to the nearest beach, and you'll have no trouble finding some locals practicing their moves in the sand.

    Photo courtesy of Jimmy Baikovicius

  • AC Milan Ultras, the rowdiest group of fans

    Milan, Italy

    Even the most diehard soccer fans will find the experience of watching a game in Milan's San Siro overwhelming, whether it's Inter Milan or AC Milan kicking off. Italy's fashion capital is also a paradise for shopping, nightlife, art and architecture, and the resident football fans are some of the wildest anywhere in the world.

    Photo courtesy of olaszmelo

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