Reuters Soccer Blog
World Soccer views and news
As I huddled deeper into my jacket at the Galpharm Stadium on Saturday, watching Huddersfield Town play local rivals Leeds United, I regretted having made scoffing remarks about the overhead heaters in the stands at the Bernabeu.
I’m lucky to be able to visit Real Madrid’s iconic arena regularly through my work, reporting on La Liga stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
I’ve joked to friends that the gas heaters in the roof add to a slightly surreal atmosphere there on chilly nights, when Japanese tourists in their replica shirts rub shoulders with cigar-chomping businessmen and fur-coated wives, while waiting to be entertained instead of getting behind their team.
A trip home on the weekend took me to a different planet in West Yorkshire, where, under lead grey skies and a steady drizzle, I watched two of the sides pushing for promotion from League 1 (the third division) roared on by passionate crowd.