Worth every cent!

As we say in America, Chelsea's victory over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday was ‘awesome’.

It was arguably one of the best performances and results in our European travel history. After going nearly two decades without seeing us play away in Europe, I picked the right contest to renew the acquaintance! The last time I was at a Champions League fixture on the road was in April 2000 against Barcelona, this week's display and the last-gasp winner to claim the three points made it worth the wait.

In most professional sports in the USA there is little culture of an ‘away’ support. Earlier this month in the NFL, the New England Patriots came to the Superdome to take on the New Orleans Saints and hundreds of Patriot fans were dotted through the crowd in little clumps of ones and twos. Usually in the States there is no away section and the visitors don't get an allocation. The huge distances in North America mean that following your team ‘home and away’ would be impractical and very costly.

Some of my mates pick one Saints away game out of the eight scheduled and make a weekend of it to Minneapolis, San Francisco or wherever. They wear Saints jerseys, pick up tickets on secondary sites, and sit among the home fans without any problems. I've a friend (flying into London for their game at Wembley on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins) who took a season ticket at the Washington Redskins while at law school in DC and wore her Saints shirt to every game.

It's different over here in Europe. My friend and I had seats in with the Atletico support. The Madrid fans were fantastic, but to avoid being antagonistic we didn't wear Chelsea colours. But it was obvious to those around us that we were Blues fans because we were speaking English and not to mention our reaction to our two goals.

The game was cracking, the atmosphere electric, the stadium impressive and the result superb. It was a fantastic night in the Spanish capital.

The original flights we bought were cancelled and we had to rebook a journey from London to Munich, to Madrid to London via Zurich. We clocked up more than 2,000 miles across four different countries in the space of 24 hours to watch 90 minutes of football.

Whether you pay it in euros, dollars, or pounds, it was worth every penny. Or cent!