Fans march in the streets, ultras bring the madness and Fabregas vs Buffon: The unique experience of a Como 1907 matchday
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It’s not every day you get to watch Cesc Fabregas and Gianluigi Buffon do battle just a stone’s throw away from the idyllic setting of Lake Como.
But that’s what SPORTbible were recently treated to during a visit to the Italian city to shine a light on the excellent community work the Serie B side have embarked on to reunite the fanbase and club after the troubles of previous regimes.
And that much was clear from taking in just one game at Como’s Stadio Giuseppe Sinigaglia as Moreno Longo’s side came out 2-0 winners over Parma.
Upgrading their home is part of the grand vision to make this club a regular fixture in Serie A once more after but the matchday experience at such a nostalgic stadium was unique and unforgettable in equal measure. Watch the video below to get a flavour of our experience.
Matchday starts for us alongside the back of the Curva Como stand, which houses the ultras, as they line the streets to roll off pre-match anthem after anthem on their traditional march through the streets of the city to the banks of the lake on matchday.
One fan leads the march and helps whip up an impressive pre-match atmosphere outside the ground with a rallying cry to the other supporters before they join him in bellowing out chant after chant on their way to the bar where fans meet to have a pre-match pint or two as well as getting to watch the seaplanes land and take off from the lake.
Football might be the main attraction but the pre-match setting offers a good chance to get your picture for the ‘Gram sorted.
The sky is lit Como blue from the flares during their march to the stadium and, from there, we start to make our way into the ground.
A ticket in the Curva, which for an authentic fan experience is definitely the place to be, sets you back €10 if purchased online ahead of the game or €12 if bought on the day. Given what most second-tier matches in England would set you back these days, it’s great value and being tucked in alongside the ultras only adds to the appeal.
From well before kick-off the noise is deafening, flags across the entire stand are waved continuously and the atmosphere is complemented by the away fans’ own loyal following on the opposite side of the stadium. Too often in English grounds, away fans are crammed into an awkward area and it has a definite impact on the back-and-forth between home supporters and those on their travels.
The loudest pre-match cheers are saved for the arrivals of Fabregas and Buffon onto the pitch, with the two World Cup winners sharing a nice moment together ahead of the game as they embrace and are deep in conversation together as they prepare to take their positions.
Como start strongly from the first whistle and Alberto Cerri’s well-worked goal after just five minutes sends the Curva into raptures, with fans pouring down from the stand to race down as close to pitchside as they could get to celebrate. But at no point does any of it look like it might turn ugly. Some of the Curva ultras climb up onto the fences that surround the pitch but it is all under control and with them positioned on the opposite side of the ground to Parma’s travelling fans, there is no risk of antagonising the opposition.
Fabregas’ afternoon sadly lasts only 38 minutes before having to be withdrawn due to injury for Tommaso Arrigoni, who would eventually go on to settle the game in the second half with a second Como goal from a free-kick, with Buffon beaten more easily than we’ve been used to down the years. Fabregas’ early departure prompts cheers from all four corners of the ground but the best moment involves the fans themselves.
As the second half begins to peter out, kids from the local primary school sitting in the main stand start a chorus of ‘COMO, COMO, COMO’ and are joined by those in the Curva as the atmosphere remained throughout the full 90 minutes and beyond.
Como present themselves as a club that care deeply about their community at a time when they are trying to become a more appealing product globally. That much was clear throughout our time at the Giuseppe Sinigaglia. As part of their community pledge, local schoolchildren are invited to take in a game for free and they more than play their part in bringing the noise to an already atmospheric arena.
After a red card for Parma, the remainder of the game is played in second gear but the post-match scenes are epic, with all of the players joining arms and running towards the raucous Curva stand to bask in a massive win in scenes reminiscent of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side celebrating in front of the Kop.
There was a family-friendly nature to everything on the day but, at the same time, this felt like classic Italian football of the ‘90s and ‘00s in a picturesque setting with star names on show and backing from their supporters that feels like it would have been exactly the same even if they had fallen two goals behind themselves.
Visiting Lake Como probably appears on most people’s bucket lists - if it doesn’t, it really should, but while you’re there, make sure to get yourself along to a game. Sitting in the Curva will help give a true taste of what a real Como matchday looks and feel like.