As the Feyenoord squad took a stroll in the park in Istanbul ahead of Tuesday’s game, news reached them of an extraordinary train expedition undertaken by some of their diehard fans. A group of eighty or so supporters boarded the train in Holland hours after Feyenoord’s game at Roda JC Saturday for a rail journey the breadth of Europe, just to see the first half of the club's CL qualifier in Istanbul.

The devotion of the Legion clearly touched the hearts of the players. New man Anthony Lurling was amazed. ‘I’ve heard about how loyal Feyenoord fans are, but this is really unbelievable.’ The group followed the rails through west, central and southeast Europe in a non-stop adventure to the right bank of the Bosphorus to support their club in the quest for Champions League football. The fans almost ended up stranded in Romania however after falling foul to thieves in Bucharest. Although they lost their phones, walkmans and watches in the raid, ‘happily’ the Feyenoord supporters were able to hold on to their passports and money, allowing them to carry on their pilgrimage. On the advice of the local police, the group will hook up with the rest of the Feyenoord legion streaming into Istanbul by aeroplane to be safely escorted to the stadium by bus. This very special set of fans will be hoping extra hard for a Feyenoord blitz in the first half to break Turkish resistance. The group has to leave at the halfway stage to start their train journey to France, otherwise they will never make Monaco in time for Feyenoord’s Super Cup showdown with Real Madrid this coming Friday. It’s obviously not all ‘plane’ sailing for everyone.

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