They can travel thousands of kilometres and spend up to the thousands in euros, all to support their teams. Euronews chatted with a French superfan who is travelling to Russia
Football superfans travel thousands of kilometres and spend thousands of euros, all to support their national team.
Euronews chatted with some of the most dedicated national team supporters around Europe. They tell us why — and how — they always cheer on their teams no matter the distance.
Fabian Penfeuntun, an ultimate fan of France, tells us why his love for Les Bleus runs deep.
Meet Fabian Penfeuntun
For Fabian Penfeuntun, his earliest memory as a football fan was the exhilarating 1993 France-Bulgaria game. A goal by Kostadinov in the last seconds of the game robbed France of a spot in the 1994 World Cup. "I was young, but I remember crying after the game," he said.
Years later, he is now part of the official "Les Bleus" fan club, Les Irrésistibles Français (the Irrestibles French) and has already flown thousands of miles to cheer for his team.
"I find every trip fascinating," said the 32-year-old, who first attended games in Ukraine during the 2012 Euro. He later spent 15 days in Brazil during the 2014 World Cup.
In Brazil, he was struck by how was different football culture was there compared to France: "The day of the game, everyone is wearing yellow, and everyone, young and old, watching the game."
However, Fabian's best memory as a supporter of Les Bleus is a home game. In November 2013, the French team needed a 3-0 win against Ukraine to make it to Brazil the following summer and the miracle happened, in a Stade de France raptured by joy. "It was incredible, an atmosphere like never before."
For Fabian, France is among the handful of teams with a clear chance to win this year. "We have a young team, but we have the experience of the 2016 Euro in France too."
He hopes France reaches at least the semi-finals after beating big teams. "So that no one after can say we had it easy."
He is confident in the team assembled by Didier Deschamps, the French coach. "I play football too. [Deschamps] knows the players inside and out, he knows the group. I trust him."
Fabian takes off to Russia on June 14.