It has been a month since I bought the dream ticket and traveled to Spain to watch Semifinal match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid at Calderon Stadium in Madrid.
Here I have 10 tips if you like to attend a Champions League match.
It has always been my dream to attend a high quality and crucial UEFA Champions League match in stadium. So, in this year’s Champions league games, when my favourite teams, Arsenal and Barcelona were knocked out,there was only Atletico Madrid left that I liked cheering for. Thats when I quickly bought the ticket, and arranged a last-minute trip with my great friend to Madrid.
10 tips to consider when going for a Champions League match:
- Ticket: Return-leg match is always a more important and intensive match to watch. If you have that flexibility, choose a return-leg match to watch in stadium.
- Location: Location, location, location. One of the most important factors is the host city of that game, the stadium and the hospitality of people in that city. Also, the beauty and entertainment of that city is important. Considering the match only lasts 2 hours, a city with deep football culture, many sightseeing and friendly people would feel very different than a city that its people aren’t too friendly, don’t care much about Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich of football. For Semifinal and Quarterfinals, the location depend on teams that go head-to-head, so you may need to wait longer to find out. But Final of Champions league is always set about a year beforehand. For instance, we know as of now that Kiyev, Ukraine is set to host Champions League Final match in 2018.
- Make sure you have a favourite team you’re rooting for; It makes a huge difference for your match experience at the stadium, if you are rooting for one of the teams and you are not neutral.
- You get better price if buying from UEFA in advance, or you know a certain team can make it to Quarter Final or Semifinal. Check http://www.uefa.com/tickets/ and compare the price in UEFA vs online marketplace.
- If you’re buying online from marketplace, check the reviews, and choose email/print at home. Then don’t stress further. Many people at the stadium had bought tickets that way. I personally bought it through Viagogo website, but there are many other options too. Also, the way these online ticket exchange website work is that the prices change every moment or so, based on demand. Similar to Ticketmaster. Naturally, the demand is high as soon as the Draw results are announced for Champions League knock-out stage, and when fans know their favourite team’s opponent. So keep checking their website in off-hours, before the Draw, or after first-leg games. Some fans, after a disappointing first-leg put their tickets up for sale in return-leg match.
- You can always travel to the host city without match ticket and watch in pubs, but its never the same feeling of being in stadium.
- Make sure you buy the souvenir of that champions league match. You’ll always treasure it and you’ll be reminded of the memories of the match.
- Make sure you take the Stadium tour, before or after the match. While you are in the city to watch the game at that stadium, why not take the stadium tour and know more about that stadium, take pictures and learn about trophies that team has won? These are the things you cant experience by watching the game on TV.
- Arrive early; As in at least 30 minute before the match, to take in the exciting atmosphere of rivalry between the fans and their slogans. Also, to find your seat while having time to buy a snack if you need to, before the match. There is always a long line-up for snacks before the match. None of the ushering officers will help finding your seat. They’ll tell you whereabouts of your seat, and then you need to find it. Make sure you are at your seat before the match begins.
- Make sure you record a lot of videos, and take many pictures. Its best if you take the pictures before or after the game, so you can focus on watching the game. Plus if you want a picture of yourself in the stadium, either ask one of the fans before or after the match, or resort to a selfie. Because, to be frank and its completely understandable: None of the passionate football fans of teams would accept taking your picture in the midst of the champions league game, where they could miss a call for a free-kick, or goal, any minute! So consider the timing.
Here are the pictures of Atletico Madrid – Real Madrid Champions League match that I attended. It was an amazingly exciting match to watch, at a venue that due to its small size and passionate fans, made the game even more enjoyable to watch in-person.