These fans have displayed many creative ways of showing their love of the sport. We have gathered some of the best, most insane FIFA photos we could find, so get ready for the ride of your life. For some people, it’s not all about winning. It could just be for the love of the game.
World Cup Earrings
Believe it or not, this picture was taken in London in 1966. Featuring a fanatic football/soccer fan named Elaine Humby, the photo was taken by photographer Chris Ware. And truth be told, those earrings are iconic at first sight!
As you can see, Elaine is sporting World Cup earrings that are meant to show her support for the England team in the then-upcoming match between Uruguay and England that was held at Wembley. Of course, this would be the only time that the three Lions would go on to win the cup, and we're sure she would've been happy when everything was said and done.
Paraguayan Face Paint
Face paint is usually reserved for only two types of fans: Those who like the World Cup and those who are diehard KISS fans. As you can guess, this one is the former. But, with this white paint on his face, it could very well be that he is also paying homage to KISS; you never know.
This soccer fan is Paraguayan, and the picture was taken while he was watching his team playing against Slovakia in the 2010 FIFA WC that was held in South Africa. Paraguay somehow made it to the quarter-finals before eventually getting knocked out by the champions, Spain.
Taking It Too Far
If your first reaction to this image was to look away because you were terrified and appalled then we can't blame you. That was exactly our response. It took us a while to see that this creepy face is actually a face on a hat worn by a WC fan.
This photo was taken during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, as the crowd was watching the match between Switzerland and Honduras. If you ask us, we feel like this Switzerland fan took it too far. But we're sure he was happy when his team took on eventual champions Spain in the first game. They actually beat them!
Taking One for the Team
One of the greatest aspects of being a fan of anything is the ability to go all in, embracing the fact you might look a little bit (or very) silly. This definitely applies to the man in this photo. But it's nice to see that he's also showing some love to the rest of the competitors.
A prime example of raw inclusivity is this fan, wearing a helmet with a bunch of different flags on it, showing his love for the game itself rather than just a specific team. But his true loyalties shine through the face paint that is on his cheek. Another Swiss fan who probably liked what he saw during the early rounds of the 2010 World Cup.
The Roman Helmet
This fan attended the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa with a Roman helmet to signify his support for the Italian team. He was cheering his team while they were playing against Slovakia at Ellis Park Stadium in Johannesburg. Amazingly, Italy lost that game!
While the face paint does make him look a bit silly, his choice of an impressive Roman helmet reminds everyone that no one wants to mess with Rome. He was bound to have an egg on his face, though, when his team unceremoniously got knocked out of the tournament before even getting passed the group stages.
For the Love of Uncle Sam
There's a great joke that we know, which we feel is relevant in this case: How do you know if there's an American in the room? Don't worry, they'll tell you! We Americans are known for our patriotism and our love of the flag. We're not the most passionate generally when it comes to soccer, but it's definitely growing on us!
How else could you explain having the flag painted on your face while wearing a jacket with it, while also holding it? It seems a little bit of overkill, but let's face it; you can never be too patriotic at the World Cup.
Climbing Up the Goal
Well, well, well. What do we have here? The year is 1968; the time is right after a match between Italy and Yugoslavia. As you can see, the Italian fans are excited because of their team's victory, so they are climbing up the goal.
Is that safe? Probably not. But is it fun? We bet that it is. This picture truly captures the WC spirit. And amazingly, this wasn't even a World Cup match. It was the final of the European Championships, which is basically the World Cup, but only for European nations. So yeah, Italy won the final and the fans went nuts.
Fans of Orange
These guys are so orange we thought we were looking at Trump there for a second. But no, no former presidents of the U.S.A in this picture, just devoted FIFA fans. The picture was taken in 2010, during a match between The Netherlands and Denmark. The Dutch took full ownership of the color orange to display their patriotism.
These two Dutch fans are enjoying the full WC experience, wearing orange wigs and sunglasses to make sure everyone knows which team they're rooting for. They were sure happy that their team managed to make it all the way to the final.
That's What Dedication Looks Like
Truly rooting for someone, be it a person or a team, means being there for them, even if it's uncomfortable. This picture proves how dedicated WC fans can be, cheering for their team even while it's snowing outside!
Despite having to cover most of himself, he made sure everyone will still be able to tell which team he was rooting for — the American team, of course. You might be asking yourself, "isn't the World Cup usually in the summer?" Well, this photo was actually taken in one of the northern states during a WC qualifier. How can they do this to our fans?!
Muscles and Mohawks
A big part of what's fun about soccer is that you get the chance to have fun with your outfit! Why wait for Halloween when you can wear a funny costume with your friends to show your love for your team? Take these guys, for example, who came in full uniform and never looked back.
These four Netherlands fans are all wearing some type of muscle suit, orange glasses, and mohawk caps. Why? You'd have to ask them why they went for this combo in particular but one thing is certain — they're having a ball. One thing's for sure: the opposition's fans were terrified.
Never Too Young
While some people discover their love of soccer later in life, others are born into it. These two little lads belong to the second category. We bet that they were already attending soccer matches before they could even speak. Now when they are already old enough to walk and talk, these two kids took to showing their team how much they care by painting their faces and holding flags.
It's just a shame that they were born in England. Because everyone knows that supporting the England national team is a real headache. After all, they haven't won anything in more than half a century!
It's World Cup 2006; there's a tense match between two teams: Spain and Tunisia. How will the Spanish fans show their team that they care? By wearing funny outfits, of course! Or, in this case, by not wearing that much at all.
Their outfit is compiled of red bikini tops and face paint. To finish off the look, they added a touch of green to their hair. We bet the Spanish players liked it! Of course, they would have to wait another four years before they could go all the way and lift the trophy for the first time in their history. But this was totally worth it!
The Sock Hat Fan
Sometimes showing everyone which team you care about is a lot more important than showing your actual face. This fan of the Nigerian team is wearing a green and white sock hat so that even the people way in the back will know he wants Nigeria to win.
Of course, he had to cut out holes in his eyes so that he could actually see who was winning! And, of course, it probably wasn't his team. Because Nigeria has been a notorious underachiever at the World Cup over the years. They are getting better, though - that's for sure! They just need to finally avoid Argentina in the group stage.
We thought we've seen it all before, but this fan really went all out. Wearing your team's colors? That's for amateurs! Full-blown customs with feathers, that's where it's at. This Peru supporter decided to dress up as a red vulture and dance for the success of his team. There's no way any fan of the rival team found a way to top that!
Of course, Peru hasn't exactly set the World Cup stage alight in recent memory - not since the glory days of Teofilo Cubillas, which was a very long time ago that this stage! But hey, maybe the Peruvian fans dressed as birds will have reason to flap their wings in the future.
The Hooligans Have Arrived
While most fans just want to have a good time watching the game and supporting their team, that's not the case for everyone. There's always at least one hooligan who's looking for trouble. At face value, this photo might look like a whole lot of fun, but context is everything.
Such was the case in June of 1981. After being defeated by the Swiss team, British fans decided to cause a commotion. Next time maybe just drown your sorrow at the bar? Also, fans were upset that they might not have qualified for the 1982 World Cup. But in the end, they did.
An Old Fan
If we asked you to imagine what the average soccer supporter looks like, who would you imagine? Probably a man in his thirties or forties. While many fans are exactly that, that doesn't mean they are the only ones who care about soccer. In this picture, for example, you can see an old woman celebrating the victory of her team, the Moroccan team.
Of course, Morocco has been very good on the soccer world stage recently, having reached the semi-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. This made them the first African team to get so far in the tournament.
It's Mexican, Not Mexican't
In 1986, the 13th World Cup was held at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Just before the opening ceremony was about to begin, an enthusiastic fan waved a sombrero. Luckily, a photographer caught this amazing moment on camera, and it makes for a great picture, one that captures the WC spirit.
Thousands of soccer supporters cheering together — that's what FIFA is all about. Amazingly though, despite hosting the World Cup twice already in their history, Mexico has never advanced further than the quarter-final stage. Maybe that will change when they host the tournament with USA and Canada in 2026.
Cheering for Japan
In the 2018 FIFA World Club Cup, Club Atlético River Plate of Argentina was up against the Kashima Antlers of Japan. The match took place in Abu Dhabi, but that did not stop the Japanese fans from coming all the way to the United Emirates to watch the game and support their team.
From the looks on their faces, we have a feeling they're not happy with what's happening on the field. Just to clarify, the World Cup and the World Club Cup are two different tournaments. The former is an international competition that takes place every four years, while the latter is contested annually between the best clubs in world soccer.
Just like in real life, the life of a fan is never just an upwards trajectory filled with victories. Sometimes, your team loses. There is no better time to be surrounded by loved ones other than when you are sad and dejected.
This family of fans is huddling together, trying to help each other through the disappointment of seeing their team lose it all. We have a feeling that this is when Al-Ain knocked out River Plate in the 2018 World Club Cup. To be fair, it was on penalties, and Al-Ain did have the home advantage. So this family's tears are justified.
Kiss of Death
Part of the fun of being a FIFA fanatic is not just cheering for your team, but also teasing and booing other teams! In a 2014 FIFA match between Costa Rica and England, some fans dressed up as grim reapers and held up a sign telling England that the end is near.
We can only hope the British fans know how to take a joke; otherwise, well, there's a chance this ended badly. And to be fair, England was already mathematically knocked out of the tournament and was purely playing for pride. Amazingly, Costa Rica went on to reach the quarter-finals!
One of the greatest pleasures of being a supporter of a team is that you can think of new and creative ways to express your devotion. This fan wanted everyone to know she's rooting for Denmark but probably came to the realization that face paint can feel kinda tacky and unflattering.
So, she opted for a lot of small stickers of the Danish flag. She added purple eyeshadow and earrings, and the result is a look that shows who she's rooting for without compromising her style. This photo was taken at the 1986 FIFA World Cup, a tournament that Denmark didn't do particularly well in.
A Fan Hack
For the fan who is too lazy or maybe not talented enough to use face paint, they have invented this good old method. First, get your hands on a huge flag of your desired team. Second, you must find a way to rip a hole in the middle. The third step is sticking your face in it.
This makes for a great way to support your team while watching the game without having to wash your face for hours afterward. Romania didn't do amazingly at this tournament, which took place in Italy in 1990. Four years later, though, they managed to go one step further, reaching the quarter-finals in USA '94.
A Brazillian Loss
This picture was taken during the 2014 FIFA world cup, held in Rio de Janeiro. This fan was watching a game between Brazil and Chile. By looking at his face we bet you can tell it didn't turn out that great for the Brazilian team. The fan was caught crying and holding on to his prayer beads, hoping god could somehow help his team.
What's funny is that this guy had a lot more to cry about a week or so later when Brazil got beaten 7-0 by Germany in the semi-finals - one of the most humiliating defeats in the history of soccer.
True fans always enjoy learning more about the history of the WC. Well, look at this piece of history — a picture from the 1954 Soccer World Cup! But it's not even the oldest one; the first WC ever was held in 1930.
The 1954 tournament was held in Basel, Switzerland. This photo was taken right after the German team won the semi-finals. This was the first time the German team ever made it to the WC final, so it was a big deal. Germany has since gone on to win the trophy a whopping four times, making them one of the most successful soccer nations.
The Scots Are Celebrating
The 1974 World Cup was held in West Germany. The Scottish team was competing against Zaire. Zaire who, you ask? The Republic of Zaire was a state in Central Africa that no longer exists. The young country, which was only three years old when the match was held, had no chance against the experienced Scots.
In the picture here, you can see them celebrating their team's victory. Since then, Zaire has evolved into DR Congo, and its national team also goes by that name. Truth be told, they're not the worst African soccer nation. But also, they're not the best.
In 2018, the 21st FIFA World Cup was held in Russia. Between June 14th and July 15th, fans of the WC from all over the world gathered in Russia. English fans couldn't believe that their team of youngsters managed to make it all the way to the semi-finals of that tournament.
In the picture, you can see English fans walking around in the fan zone while their team is playing against Panama. The two are wearing matching white shirts with red crosses on them, representing the British team's flag. We're sure they were pleased after this game. England won 6-1!
Finally, we get to see some face painting in action! These two fans of Chile's national team are getting ready for the game. The one we can actually see in the picture is getting his face painted by the one who is outside of the frame.
The teenage supporter is also wearing a red shirt, as well as a flag as a cape, so no matter where you look, you'll be able to tell which team he is rooting for. This was most likely during Chile's glory years when they won the Copa America twice and got out of the groups at the 2014 World Cup.
All Together Now
There's just something incredibly striking about watching thousands of people together, all shouting the same thing or doing the same gesture. In this case, an army of fans is raising their hands together while watching a match between France and Denmark in Moscow.
Seeing as most of them are wearing the same color, it makes for an even better, more touching picture. Of course, France went on to win the competition, so we don't the Danish fans were going to be that happy for much longer. In fact, the two teams ended up playing each other again in the World Cup four years later.
Like Father, Not Like Son
The father and the son seem to have completely different experiences of the game. While the father seems to be enjoying himself, maybe because he gets to share his love of the game with his son, the kid looks unhappy.
Maybe he finds the face paint uncomfortable, or maybe the other fans are making too much noise, but whatever it is, the son is just not having it. There's a great chance he'll be telling his therapist about this terrible WC trauma in the future. And what's funny is that it probably had nothing to do with how England performed at the World Cup!
We bet that there's an entire industry that is built on making silly little WC props and outfits. How else could you explain so many curly wigs with the German team colors on them? Is it a fashionable, stylish look?
No. Does it achieve its job of telling us these young fans are willing to do anything for their team? Yes. It's common knowledge that Germany is one of the most successful nations in the history of soccer. So it makes perfect sense that their fans are always excited whenever the World Cup is around the corner. And we're sure there's more success to come.
The 2006 World Cup was held from 9 June to 9 July in Germany. The Germans won hosting rights in 2000. In this picture, we can see a Trinidad and Tobago fan showing her love for her team without compromising her sense of style.
Wearing a red beret, a red and white bag, and adorned with temporary tattoos of her team's flag, this girl is ready for what is about to come. Of course, this would be the first time that this Caribbean nation would appear at the FIFA World Cup. They were a real surprise package, that's for sure.
Sweating for Your Team
Taken on July 2018, this picture shows a young fan who is using his team's flag to wipe his sweat. We can't blame him; we bet it's incredibly hot out there with so many people standing together. On his left cheek, there's a little blotch of white face paint, which he probably put on before the game started.
By the end of the game, though, it seems like most of it is gone. England really gave it their all during that World Cup. But they simply came unstuck against a really strong Croatia team, who managed to reach their first-ever World Cup final. Absolutely incredible.
Face Paint — Out, Glitter — In
You gotta appreciate a fan that knows how to use glitter! Is it practical or comfortable to wear glitter on your face? Probably not. It is super pretty? Yes! For this 2018 match between Brazil and Belgium, one Brazilian fan knew where it was really at and covered his entire face with glitter.
It probably took him ages to remove it all, but we bet he felt like it was totally worth it. He probably messed up the makeup with a stream of tears after the game, though. This is because Belgium managed to get the better hand on Brazil, beating them 2-1.
Getting to the Bottom
Most fans just go for the usual stuff, putting face paint on and maybe a shirt in their team's colors. But only true fans would wear underwear with the team's name on them and then show said underwear to everyone at the game!
Is it the most tasteful way to show which country you're rooting for? Most likely not, but it is a fun way of doing it. These young women simply wanted to enjoy themselves at the World Cup. And if your country is hosting the darn competition, we don't see any reason why you shouldn't! Shame they didn't win, though.
The blurred lights almost make it seem as if a fire is coming out of the fans' hands, and there's a great chance there's some brilliant metaphor hiding here somewhere. It's almost like they wish they could burn their opponents.
They all look like they are about to cause a commotion, but the truth is they are just celebrating a goal their team scored during the 2010 World Cup. There wasn't much to celebrate, though; Brazil ended up getting knocked out by the Netherlands in the quarter-final round. This became a regular pattern for the Selecao for years to come.
To the Moon and Back
When it comes to soccer and to the WC, face paint is already a tired cliche. But one Tunisian fan was determined to find a way to make his face paint stand out. We don't really know why soccer fans do this. Is it to intimidate the opposition? We might never know.
He opted to draw the Tunisian FIFA flag on his face in a clever way, adding the moon and the star at the center of his face, just next to his nose. The result is an awesome-looking face! Shame that Tunisia couldn't actually benefit from these face paint antics on the field. They didn't do particularly well at all.
So Many Flags!
Of course, a great deal of enjoying the WC is all about being proud of your country, which is why so many flags are involved. During the 2006 FIFA World Cup, which was held in Berlin, Germany, you could see thousands of proud fans waving the German flag.
The patriotic crowd is cheering for their team, hoping they'll be able to witness a magnificent victory. We're talking about this like it hasn't happened yet. The reality is that Germany went pretty far in that tournament. However, they ultimately came undone against a really strong Italian side that would go on to lift the trophy.
Well, well, well, what do we have here if not a bunch of Croatian soccer fans celebrating by jumping into a fountain in the middle of the night? Taken in 2018 in Zagreb, Croatia, this photo is just another one of many that show how dedicated fans honor their chosen team.
Would we want to get wet in the middle of the night because someone won something? Probably not, but then again, we guess that just means we're not as loyal and true as these guys! We'd also be acting this way if we had a team full of great players like Modric, Rakitic, Perisic, Mandzukic, and all the "itches..."
When these three friends realized they were going to attend a WC game in 2006, they knew they have to do something special. Now, while we are not huge fans of the look, you do have to admit it doesn't get more special than seeing three adult men wearing diapers out in public.
We're not sure what it's meant to communicate, but at least they've added the letters on their chests so that we'll know which team they are actually rooting for. Ultimately, dressing up as man babies made no difference in USA's dismal performance at that World Cup. They've improved since then, though.
We've heard it said somewhere that good things come in sets of threes, and looking at this adorable picture we think we get why! These young brothers are all sporting matching soccer tops and bandanas. While on three adults, this would have read as tacky, these little guys totally pull it off, almost making us want to become WC fans as well.
We have no idea which national team these babies follow. If the colors are anything to go by, we would guess that green, red, and white, well...those are the colors of pizza, right? Yeah, green is basil, red is tomato, and white is, yes...mozzarella! They're Italy fans!
For a moment there, these two creepy faces scared us straight to hell and back. But, after we got to catch our breath we realized these are just your regular, run-of-the-mill FIFA fans wearing a matching set of spooky face masks. And usually speaking, Brazil fans are some of the warmest individuals in the world!
Who knows, maybe it helped them distract the opposing team? Brazil did win that match, so maybe it was thanks to these two? Probably not. After all, Brazil is historically one of the best teams in world soccer. With five World Cups? They're definitely the most successful!
The Kids Are Alright
OK, it wasn't from a World Cup match, but close enough! In 2016, a UEFA EURO Championship Qualifier was held at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin. This group of young Irish fans from Wicklow was on their way to the game against Gibraltar when this picture was taken.
They are all wearing matching wigs in their country's colors, and they all seem incredibly excited about the fact they're going to watch the game live! We'd like to think that the luck of the Irish was on their side. But let's face it; the green boys aren't the best when it comes to soccer.
Eye See What You Did There
Today, makeup has become more than just a way of hiding your flaws, but a way of expressing what you're really excited about. Just take a look at so many different makeup influencers on TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram who have made a career out of showing everyone how to use makeup creatively.
In 2014, this fan was ahead of the trend, using face paint as eye shadow and drawing on the flag of the two different countries that were competing. We have a feeling though that this person needs to wipe the makeup off one of her eyelids after the game finished 7-1!
Fans of the Beach
The best thing about this picture is that you can simply see what these people are going through just by looking at their faces and bodies. This dynamic shot was taken in 2014 on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. And it was the moment that Argentina fans realized that their team was going to the World Cup quarter-finals.
Argentina fans have all gathered around on the beach to celebrate their team's victory over Switzerland. The couple hugging in the middle is just overcome with joy! While they didn't end up winning the tournament, they eventually did eight years later.
This is definitely the type of picture we could imagine seeing in a museum. Either that or a post-apocalyptic movie where a soccer match marks the beginning of a zombie apocalypse. In 1997, Polish soccer fans gathered to cheer for their team, which was competing against England.
While the game was held in Poland, it was actually the Brits who won 2-0. The Polish fans then took to the streets, holding up flares to maybe try and lighten the atmosphere a little bit. We hope it worked. But we know it didn't. Poland actually hasn't won any major international trophy in their history. That's gotta sting.
The 1998 World Cup was held in Paris, France, between June and July of that year. This picture shows soccer supporters standing at the city hall as a match between Brazil and Scotland is taking place. First and foremost, have you ever heard of a more bizarre matchup in the history of international soccer? Neither have we.
The pavement is riddled with trash, and the fans who are caught in the rain are trying to use their country flags as umbrellas. Not to mention the fact that the Scottish fans are totally iconic wearing their kilts to and from the soccer match.
Made in Brazil
Taken in Brazil in 2014, the photo depicts the future generation of WC fans. This pregnant woman took to using skin-friendly paint to write a slogan on her belly, letting everyone know that her baby was made in Brazil. We bet that now, years later, the mother still has this picture framed and sitting on her desk.
We hope this little gesture made other fans smile as they were watching their team compete against the Colombia team. Thankfully, the baby wasn't technically alive to experience the moment that Brazil was unceremoniously vanquished by the Germans. He has his entire life for his beloved national team to redeem things.
Modeling WC Spirit
This photographer captured an incredible moment, showing enthusiastic fans screaming and yelling as they are watching the 2010 World Cup match between Paraguay and Spain. Now, Paraguay doesn't often qualify for this tournament. So the fact that they managed to reach the quarter-finals is a massive achievement for this soccer nation.
At the front of the picture, a Paraguayan model named Larissa Riquelme is shouting in excitement. Behind her are some rows of fans; some seem grateful, while others seem disappointed. Grateful to have reached this far but disappointed to have narrowly lost to the eventual champions. This picture truly captures the WC spirit.
The 22nd World Cup
The decision to host the 22nd FIFA World Cup in Qatar has caused quite a controversy, but at the end of the day, FIFA is about soccer, and the game must go on. Truth be told, it was actually a really entertaining tournament, and most people were very happy that Messi got to lift the trophy.
Pictured here is a young fan of Qatar cheering for his team. Complete with white and red face paint; the kid is thrilled to see WC games held in his own country, which is hosting the WC for the very first time. To be fair, Qatar didn't really do so well as a team in the tournament. They didn't even get out of their group.
Pillar of Victory
It was a long time coming for Lionel Messi and his squad when they brought back with them the World Cup trophy to the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires just a few days before Christmas! As you can see, here is an aerial view of the iconic obelisk, surrounded by tens of thousands of Argentine fans.
It was a truly unforgettable time for the people of this incredible country; a victory parade like no other as their most beloved sportsman finally got his hands on the most coveted award in all of world soccer. People were celebrating on the streets of Argentina for many, many weeks to come.
So Close, Yet So Far for Team US
Here, we can see a bunch of soccer fans coming together to watch the round of 16 match between the USA and Belgium at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. These fans were living it up in front of a projected screen beneath the Manhattan Bridge, of all places. Specifically, they were in the Dumbo neighborhood of New York’s Brooklyn borough.
As you can see, the fans had just seen their team miss a golden chance. Unfortunately, it wasn’t close enough as Belgium knocked out the Americans to move on to the quarter-final stage. But since then, Team US has been getting stronger and stronger with every tournament.
Blossoming Success for the Welsh
This photo was taken during a World Cup qualifying match between Wales and Belarus. While it wasn’t the most enthralling spectacle of a match, many of the fans were properly suited and booted for the occasion. A perfect example was this guy in the middle. He perfectly encapsulated the Welsh spirit, a nation of people who are passionate about their nature.
Out of the two teams, Wales managed to qualify for the tournament but failed to make much of a splash when the occasion came around. It did not help that they were grouped with their fellow British nation, England.
The 1990 World Cup wasn’t a particularly memorable one for either Scotland or Costa Rica, who were competing against each other when this photo was taken. As you can see, though, the fans of the former team came ready to support their team with passion and dedication.
For some reason, one fan decided to dress up as a, well, we actually have no idea who he’s supposed to be. He resembles Uncle Fester from the Addams Family. But we don’t really know what connection he has to Scottish soccer. Sometimes, the best World Cup costumes out there are the ones that are the most random.
The Hosts With the Least
Another soccer nation that has been improving as each tournament has passed is undoubtedly South Korea. With iconic players like Park Ji-Sung and Son Heung Min in their ranks, they have had plenty of talent to take it to even the best teams. These fans got behind their nation as they waited to see who would actually host the 2022 World Cup.
South Korea placed a bid for the tournament but ultimately was beaten to it by Qatar. To be fair, the Koreans already co-hosted the World Cup with Japan back in 2002. For these fans, though, one World Cup just wasn’t enough.
Italian Hosting Pains
Hosting a World Cup is one of the strangest feelings. On the one hand, you’re extremely proud that the tournament is happening in your country. On the other though, there is a huge expectation for you to have the home advantage and go all the way.
So imagine how these Italian fans felt when they were knocked out by the previous champions, Argentina, on home soil. Not to mention the fact that Diego Maradona had already been a legend in a specific part of Italy – Naples. Argentina didn’t even win it in the end – West Germany came to spoil the party.
Smile When You’re Losing Too
Mexico has arguably been one of the most underachieving soccer nations in World Cup history. When you think of the fan base this sport has in this country, it’s amazing to think that they’ve never reached further than the quarter-finals. In fact, both times that they reached this stage was when they hosted the tournament – first in 1970 and secondly in 1986.
This photo was taken in 1998 during a match between Mexico and the Netherlands. Despite their poor history, this fan was all smiles and was just enjoying herself. The Stade Geoffrey Guichard might have never seen such a happy fan in its entire history.
A Historical Moment for Qatar
The construction of the FIFA World Cup 2022’s stadiums in Qatar was certainly not without its fair share of controversy. With that said, the end results were absolutely spectacular and provided some of the most beautiful backdrops for soccer on the grandest stage. This photo was taken during the inaugural match at the Khalifa International Stadium on May 19, 2017.
Amazingly though; the match wasn’t even contested between two soccer nations. It was the Emir Cup final between Al Sadd and Al Rayyan. At least the stadium had been completed five years before the tournament, giving the organizers plenty of time to prepare.
History Made in Tehran
It is game day in Tehran, and one stylish Iranian woman is ready to cheer on her team! Dressed in vibrant national colors, she’s at the Azadi stadium for the World Cup Qatar 2022 Group C qualification match between Iran and Cambodia. For the Islamic Republic, it's a historic moment for women's rights.
For about 40 years, Iranian women have been banned from attending soccer and other sports events. The decision was based on the belief that women should be protected from the rowdy, manly atmosphere and the sight of half-naked athletes. But thanks to serious pressure from FIFA, female fans are finally free to enjoy the game in person. Game on!
Batistuta — Our Lord and Savior
Soccer players are often deified by their fans for reasons that are far beyond our comprehension. But we’re not criticizing anyone for that, wherever you are in the world. During one of Argentina and Nigeria’s many World Cup matches (yes, we don’t understand why they keep getting drawn together), a Japanese couple picked a specific Argentine player to root for.
While Gabriel Batistuta was a terrific goalscorer in his heyday, he wasn’t exactly Maradona or Messi. So it seems like a strange choice, especially when you had Brazilian Ronaldo banging in the goals at the same time. The heart wants what the heart wants.
A Diamond in the Rough
Get ready for some serious soccer action! In 2019, the Al Janoub Stadium in Doha, Qatar, hosted the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup Qualifier match between the host nation, Qatar, and their Gulf neighbor, Oman. This was an exciting moment for soccer fans, and a young Qatari supporter was captured on camera soaking in the atmosphere.
The first World Cup set in the Arab world was just a couple of years away from this point. It was the first-ever World Cup that took place during the Winter, and it sure did not disappoint. Where will this tournament be in the future?
The Greatest Match of All Time
In what many believe is the greatest World Cup final of all time, reigning champion France took on an Argentina team determined to bring home the trophy to cap Lionel Messi’s incredible career. This photo was taken on December 18th, 2022, in Madrid, Spain.
Here, you can see a battalion of French fans shouting down some Argentinians. It was a real war on and off the field, as the match finished 3-3 after extra time, and Argentina narrowly edged France on penalties. A true spectacle for the neutral; soccer fans around the world will probably never witness anything quite like it ever again.
The Checkered Sheikhs
What made the FIFA World Cup 2022 so special was that fans from all over the world could integrate themselves into a completely unique culture for the duration of their visit to Qatar. As you can see here, a duo of Croatians made their own Arab attire for the occasion, adorning it with the iconic checkers of their national jersey.
Croatia pushed well above their weight in world soccer, having reached the final of the 2018 World Cup and finishing in third place in 2022. Luka Modric has truly been the key driving force behind this small nation’s international success.
When it comes to the fans, not many soccer nations do it quite like Argentina. This photo was taken after the South American team defeated France on penalties in the World Cup final in 2022. In Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain, fans were dressed in the traditional sky blue and white colors.
Their faces were covered in paint as they chanted the classic national anthems and watched Messi and company finally lift their third trophy in their illustrious history. It might be a long time before they win their fourth, but this incredible victory should keep them singing for a long, long time.
All I See Is Soccer
Talk about a die-hard soccer fan! At the 2002 World Cup in Daejeon, South Korea, a supporter of the U.S. soccer team made a statement with their unique fashion choice: soccer ball contact lenses. Yes, you read that right!
These lenses gave the impression that their eyes were miniature soccer balls — now that's some serious dedication to the beautiful game. We can only imagine the reactions of the players and other fans at the stadium. It just goes to show that soccer fandom knows no bounds. Who knows what kind of creative displays we'll see from fans in the next World Cup in America?
The Bangladeshi Messi
Do you know what’s amazing about soccer? You can basically root for any team in the world, and it doesn’t really matter where you come from. This especially applies to fans from the countries that didn’t actually qualify for the tournament. After all, only a select number of teams actually qualify. Take this guy from Bangladesh, for example.
He’s wearing his flag on his head with pride while also displaying his love for Messi and Argentina in the form of body paint. He was rooting for them from the comfort of his hometown of Dhaka. That’s the true power of soccer, right there.
Can’t Look Away
England fans have been waiting for a long, long time since they last won a major international soccer trophy. The last time was all the way back in 1966 when they won the World Cup final on home soil in a 4-2 classic against fierce rivals, West Germany.
Since then, England has suffered a lot of close calls and bad luck. This photo was taken during the World Cup 2022’s round of 16 when they easily vanquished Senegal in a 3-0 victory. Then, in the following round, they came unstuck against an incredibly confident France team. Fans like this one just don’t know when their luck's going to come.
We Can’t Believe Our Eyes
It was a nail-biting moment for South Korean soccer fans on June 22, 2002, when they watched their team take on Spain in the World Cup quarter-final match. The tension was high as the match went into a penalty kick shoot-out. But their team prevailed, winning 5-3 and securing a spot in the semi-final round, where they would face Germany.
This historic win made South Korea the first Asian nation to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup. You can imagine the excitement and pride that must have been felt by those passionate soccer fans as they cheered their team on from their televisions.
Italian fans were in absolute jubilation all the way back in 1982 when they managed to win the World Cup in Spain. Here’s a terrific photo of a young Italian couple proudly waving the flag as they push their baby down the road in a stroller.
Of course, they had to wear light blue attire to support their Azzuri heroes. That Italian team was full of them: most notably Paulo Rossi and Marco Tardelli, whose famous celebrations after scoring in the final filled Italian hearts with joy and tears. Since then, Italy has won the World Cup another time (in 2006) and the European Championship in 2021.
High Flying Argentines
Sometimes, all a nation needs are its team to win the World Cup to bring the country back together again. That was exactly the case when Argentina lifted the trophy for the third time in 2022. Back in Buenos Aires and across the country, fans went into hysterics, partying on the streets and kissing each other in pure elation.
It didn’t matter what your religious beliefs were, what gender you were, who you supported politically, or even what age you were, as demonstrated in this photo. World Cup triumphs are a sheer example of what a country is capable of when it is united.
Flying Without Wings
At this point, an American fan going to a soccer match dressed up as an eagle is just as cliched as an Irish person going dressed up as a leprechaun. We can’t help but roll our eyes and applaud this fan in equal measure. This photo was taken at the round of 16 matches between the USA and the Netherlands at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Unfortunately, Team US was in store for a rude awakening when the Dutch made pretty light work of them and knocked them out of the tournament. This guy seemed to have a good enough time, though. We take it he wasn’t flying away, though, with his own wings.
Things Are Getting Out of Hand
Sometimes, World Cup celebrations can get way out of hand. And sometimes, the fans and the players can get a little bit too close for comfort. Take this photo, for example, which saw the Argentina national team on their victory bus ride through the streets of Buenos Aires.
They had just come back from winning the World Cup in Qatar and were absolutely bombarded with love from the locals. One guy even landed on the team’s bus from above them. We’re not entirely sure what happened next. Did the team kick the guy off the bus? Or did they let him celebrate with them? Your guess is as good as ours.
The Tooth Hurts
There are many sights of soccer fans that are bound to be pretty undesirable for spectators. Look, the crowd at a match isn’t exactly a catwalk. You are going to get people from all walks of life and varying levels of attractiveness at a game.
This guy has had his fair share of dental issues. But that’s not going to stop him from attending a soccer game at the FIFA World Cup in Germany back in 2006. This is just a happy German who was excited to go and watch Costa Rica play against Poland. Just let the guy enjoy himself!
He Got No Satisfaction
Hey, did you know that Mick Jagger was in the house during the 2006 FIFA World Cup match between England and Portugal? Yup, the Rolling Stones frontman was spotted in the crowd wearing an England jersey and rooting for his team.
Unfortunately, things didn't go as planned for Mick and the English side, and they lost 3-1 on penalties to Portugal. But hey, at least Mick got to soak up the World Cup atmosphere and show off his soccer fandom. It was a pretty cool moment seeing the rockstar legend in the stands, rocking out to the beautiful game. Maybe next time, Mick!
Fountains of Destiny
Even back in the 1960s, soccer fans were celebrating World Cup victories in weird and wonderful ways. In 1966, England won their first and only major international trophy, beating West Germany 4-2 at the old Wembley Stadium.
In this photo, a bunch of excited England fans couldn’t help themselves as they took to Trafalgar Square in London, specifically the fountains, to get cool on one of the hottest days of the year. Look, when you don’t win much as a nation, we think it’s perfectly justified to behave in this kind of way. Also, it was against West Germany! So there’s that.
Watch Your Head!
This is one of those soccer matches that was pretty ugly from a sporting perspective. West Germany against the Netherlands was always bound to be a tense occasion. Also, a couple of the players actually spat at each other! Obviously, we would never condone such disgusting behavior.
The fans, on the other hand, were behaving pretty well and also dressing up in some truly beautiful ways. Take this old German couple, for example. Just look at those awesome hats that they are wearing. Come on; they actually have a soccer ball and a globe of the world glued to them!
Double the Liberty
On paper, a match between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Iran is bound to be a tense affair. Politically, it sounds a lot worse than what actually went down during the match. Thankfully though, the fans were very pleasant and just had a lovely time at the Al Thumana Stadium during the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Also, there were a couple of Team USA fans dressed up as a pair of statues of liberty. Now, if that’s not going to put a smile on your face, we don’t know what will. Heck, they’re even holding some miniature World Cup trophies!
What a Costume!
Japan really captured the imagination of millions of soccer fans around the world during the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Not only did they actually play really attractive soccer, but they managed to cause a massive upset by beating Germany during the group stage.
By the time the round of 16 came along, fans were rooting for them when they came up against the mighty Croatians. However, they ultimately came unstuck against Modric and company. Thankfully though, the Japanese took it well, and their fans, like this one, are some of the best in the world. How can you not love these guys?
Girls Do It Better
Soccer is a funny thing. For most of its history, the men’s game has dominated the public consciousness. It’s only recently that the women’s game has developed a pretty large following, and it’s only getting bigger as each year and tournament passes. That doesn’t stop young ladies from following the men’s game with plenty of passion.
Take this little girl, for example, who is standing on top of a car as she celebrates her beloved Argentina after they brought home the trophy from Qatar in 2022. Buenos Aires was absolutely rocking around this time! And this triumph definitely inspired many young ladies in the country.
We’re Not So Happy Right Now
In soccer, things are really good when you’re winning. But when you’re losing? Forget about it! Senegalese fans were pretty upset when their national team went up against England in the round of 16 matches at the FIFA World Cup 2022.
After an impressive group stage, the West African nation was brought back down to reality by a ruthless England team, losing 3-0 in the process. This pair of fans were so dejected not even their impressive body paint could salvage the moment. Ah, if only Sadio Mane, their best player, had not gotten injured just before the tournament started, maybe things would have been different.