Best fans in the world? Why Celtic supporters won FIFA award

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What makes Celtic Park one of the most spectacular venues to visit in Europe? Ahead of Tuesday's clash with Bayern Munich,Goal takes a closer look...

Celtic may not quite be the continental force they once were, but one thing is certain: they officially have the greatest supporters in the world.

That's according to FIFA anyway, who ratified the Scottish club's fans as 'The Best' at their awards ceremony in London earlier this month.

Celtic 15/2 to beat Bayern Munich

"Congratulations to all the Celtic supporters on receiving the very prestigious FIFA prize for being the best supporters," enthused Bhoys manager Brendan Rodgers. 

"It's an honour for us to play in front of you and we really appreciate the great support we have for every single game. Let's keep winning together!"

Celtic fans beat competition from the supporters of Borussia Dortmund and FC Copenhagen for the coveted accolade, but what is it that makes them so special?


CELTIC FANS' LISBON LIONS TRIBUTE


The show of support that won Celtic fans recognition at FIFA's The Best awards was their stunning 360-degree stadium display in their final league outing of last season.

The game, which was against Hearts, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the club's European Cup triumph in Portugal in 1967 and Hoops fans transformed the whole of Celtic Park into a remarkable green-and-white sea in order to pay tribute to the famous 'Lisbon Lions'..

You can check out the amazing coordinated effort in the video above.


UNIQUE & COLOURFUL DISPLAYS


Celtic fans v PSG Champions League

The vibrant coordinated displays of Hoops fans are not confined to special occasions, though they usually make an extra effort to mark milestone events in style.

At nearly every game, particularly at Celtic Park, one is almost guaranteed a splash of green and white, with ultras groups such as 'The Green Brigade' leading the way.

They even caught the attention of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight champion Conor McGregor during a Champions League qualifier against Astana, with a tifo that was inspired by the Irishman.

As they prepared to reach the group stage of the tournament, the fans appropriated McGregor's now famous cry that the Irish were not in the UFC to take part, but rather there to take over.

"Celtic Football Club STAND UP!!!" an approving McGregor wrote on Twitter. "This is what die hard support from your fans looks like! What a sight! What a team!"

That being said, certain displays have occasionally landed the club in trouble with UEFA, with overly provocative images or messages yielding fines and warnings.


'YOU'LL NEVER WALK ALONE'


As well as their penchant for their brilliantly choreographed tifo displays, Celtic fans are also known for supporting their team in full voice.

While Liverpool are synonymous with 'You'll Never Walk Alone', Celtic supporters do a fine rendition of their own, an example of which came at the 2017 Scottish Cup final (above).

The Irish folk song 'The Fields of Athenry' is another anthem that regularly rings round Parkhead.


AFFINITY WITH BARCELONA & OTHER CLUBS' FANS


Camp Nou Barcelona Catalan flags

While Celtic share a number of intense rivalries, particularly with Rangers, they have also fostered warm relationships with several clubs, leading to remarkable shows of mutual respect.

The affinity shared between fans of Barcelona and Celtic is one recent example due to the regularity of their meetings in the Champions League.

Indeed, the atmosphere generated by the Bhoys in the terraces of Celtic Park has earned admiration from the likes of Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta.

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