Despite the many differences between the cultures in Europe and the United States, one thing that unites us all is our common love for anything to do with sports. Needless to say, the sports that really get us dancing around the living room or crying into our scarf differ, but the truth is that sport becomes the universal language whenever we meet our brethren from across the water. The following is a list of the most spectacular sporting events from the United States and Europe that any sports fan should go all out to attend when on a trip in foreign lands.
1. El Clasico
Whether you prefer to call it soccer or football, when the world’s two richest teams come head to head, there are usually fireworks. Real Madrid and F.C. Barcelona are the fiercest of rivals on the pitch and pull no punches as the fight it out with skills performed at breakneck speed to be the champions of Spain’s primary football competition. Although the numerous foreign players that take to the pitch no longer need special permission to reside in Spain, you will need to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver scheme to enter the E.U. from 2021. A good ETIAS guide can inform you as to whether you meet the requirements.
2. The Ashes
Although the game of cricket is not everyone’s cup of tea, the atmosphere of the Ashes series every two years or so when England welcomes the Australian national team to its shores is electric. The pace of the famously difficult-to-understand game might be relatively pedestrian, but cricket stadiums across the land are the stage for some of the most intense scenes in sports at the end of a five-day test match.
3. The Six Nations
The Six Nations is an annual rugby union tournament contested by England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, France and Italy which takes place every spring. The tournament is full of grudge matches between regular rivals that generate stadium atmospheres that are unlike any other. The rugby is frenetic and full of large hits that would have even the toughest NFL player wincing.
4. Old Firm Derby
Scotland may not be home to the best association football players or teams, but when it comes to sheer bite, the derby match between the biggest teams in both Scotland and Glasgow is as bitter as you will see anywhere else in the sporting world. The undercurrent stems from a difference in the religious persuasions of both sets of fans (Celtic is supported by Catholics and Rangers is supported by Protestants). Be careful not to be wearing the wrong colors on the wrong side of the stadium.
1. World Series
Baseball’s World Series is, without doubt, one of the most important sporting events in the U.S. sporting calendar. The champions of the two elite divisions face off in a seven-match play-off to determine who will claim the bragging rights as the best baseball team in the world for the next year. A great event to take the family to although the tickets certainly do not come cheap.
2. Stanley Cup Final
The pace of an ice hockey game can take the first-time viewer by surprise. The NHL’s flagship annual best-of-seven-game play-off is the pinnacle of the sport where the finest players clash to decide which team lifts the sport’s biggest trophy, the famous Stanley Cup. Ice hockey is not for the faint-hearted, and fist-fights are a common occurrence that many of the sport’s advocates will tell you actually enhances the spectacle.
3. Super Bowl
The grand final of the NFL season is the most eagerly anticipated sporting event of the year. Friends and families around the country gather in one place for a one-off match between the two best teams in the country. The sporting action comes first, but not far behind is the famous halftime show. If you want to attend the match, you will need both a ticket and check out whether you are eligible for the visa waiver scheme in a trustworthy ESTA guide.
4. NBA Finals
Giants among men, the names of the NBA stars Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Michael Jordan echo through the annals of time. The best place to catch their contemporaries at the top of their game is at the annual NBA Finals. The pure athleticism of the player is truly a sight to behold and will give you a respect for the game that you were perhaps not able to appreciate before.