Photos: Finnish Susijengi Fans Take Over Bilbao in Basketball World Cup 2014

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Finland has had hardly any success in team sports excluding the exotic ice hockey. It’s quite rare to wear team colors and its pretty quiet in the matches that are mostly played in small arenas with plenty of empty seats.

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But for one week basketball’s World Cup was dominated by the 8000 Finnish Susijengi (wolfpack) fans who had travelled to Bilbao, Spain to the other side of Europe.

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Two successful European Championship tournaments had attracted so much people that there was always a Finn around the corner between the old town…

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…and the Guggenheim museum.

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Local papers wrote lots of articles about the Susijengi fans who “brought warmth to Spain from the cold North.”

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There are two lines in the Bilbao subway system…

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…the other went to the basketball arena…

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…and the other…didn’t.

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Huge good-humoured white-and-blue crowd of all possible ages gathered near the arena before the games…

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…and after the games.

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Despite big expectations and good preparations…

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…Susijengi finished 6th or last in its group. Traditionally Finns would love to keep telling about the bitter last second defeats to Turkey and New Zealand…

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…but this time the stories are about the huge fan group that never stopped supporting. A new culture is being born and not just in basketball.

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