They can travel thousands of kilometres and spend up to the thousands in euros, all to support their teams. Euronews chatted with an English superfan who is travelling from the US to root for his team.
World Cup superfans travel thousands of kilometres and spend up to the thousands in euros, all to support their national team.
Euronews chatted with some of the most dedicated supporters around Europe. They tell us why — and how — they always cheer on their teams no matter the distance.
We spoke to Dan Lawson, an England supporter based in the US, who can't stop going to the matches despite the long distance.
The English fan living abroad who keeps flying back to Europe
He’s the England superfan who claims to have clocked up tens of thousands of air miles following his footballing heroes from the US. Dan Lawson, who grew up in Farnborough, southern England, moved stateside six years ago. The 28-year-old began a new life in New Jersey as a football coach but has found it hard to give up the old habits of supporting England.
He’s flown back to Europe for around 15 games since 2014 before picking up the bug for following the team away at Euro 2016 in France. “I’d probably describe myself more as a stupid fan [than a superfan] because of the money and the travelling,” he told Euronews.
“I personally cannot give it up but my missus thinks I’m nuts and is begging me to save and buy a house and spend money on other stuff.”
Lawson said he will spend €5,700 on just getting to Russia for this summer’s football extravaganza.
“I don’t even like to think about it [how much all the trips to watch England have cost me].
“It’s because a lot of places are so difficult to get to. I’m planning this trip now I have to fly from New York to Copenhagen, Copenhagen to Latvia, Latvia to Moscow and then Moscow to Volgograd.”
So what motivates him to go to such lengths to support his national team?
“There isn’t an easy way to explain [what motivates me],” he said. “It’s just the buzz because generally, the football is not great. The football is generally the low points of these trips!
“I guess it’s experiencing new cultures and meeting other like-minded fans.
“My missus thinks I’m a weirdo. I have a couple of friends who are expats and I think they understand. Friends that I meet from the US, it’s foreign to them as it is, so they definitely don’t understand.
“I’ve regretted going plenty of times. More often than not. But I keep going back. I said it after the Euros that I wouldn’t go to Russia. But the closer it gets, it’s the eternal hope of an England fan that kills you every single time.”