Europe is gripped by football fever every year between September and May: bars show matches, huge arenas host games, kids play football in the streets, overweight adults play football on pitches in pub teams. However, what sets Europe apart in footballing terms from the rest of the world is the sheer quality of their leagues which are head and shoulders above those from elsewhere around the world.
Per head of population, it has the highest number of football supporters (those who actually attend games) of any country in the World. While clubs in Scotland sometimes struggle to attract World-class players due to the proximity of the much more affluent English clubs, the standard of football compares well with other European leagues. This is borne out by the successes of Scottish clubs in European competitions from the 1950s to the present. Indeed, Celtic were the first club from any country other than Italy, Spain or Portugal to win the European Cup (now known as the UEFA Champions League)
Compared to neighbouring England, Welsh Premier League stadiums are small, and attendances are low. In South Wales, the popularity of Rugby Union and the presence of the large exiled clubs, Cardiff and Swansea, conspire to keep attendances down. In North and Mid Wales, the proximity of the glamourous Premiership teams in the English North-West and West Midlands means that many football fans prefer to journey across the border rather than watch their local teams. This often means that attending matches can be a fairly relaxed activity, with a strong community feel at clubs. Tickets are fairly cheap, there is usually a small clubhouse for a drink before and/or after the match, and visitors will generally be made to feel welcome by the locals. Violence between fans is very rare, though bad feeling between fans of Rhyl and Bangor City can sometimes go too far.