The modern football stadium has become much more than beers, tifos pies and that all important home ground advantage. It’s where the hardcore supporters make their weekly pilgrimage to watch their heroes in action. Here is Premier Sports Memorabilia’s list of the 11 best stadiums in the world;
11 – De Meer Stadion – Amsterdam, Holland
It is better known as the Amsterdam ArenA and is home to the Dutch national football team as well as Ajax FC. Opened in 1996 and after a couple of years it was already providing the venue for the 1998 Champions League final. It is one of a few stadiums that have a retractable roof that enables the pitch to be playable no matter what the weather conditions are. It is only one of two stadiums in Holland that has been rated 5 stars by UEFA, the other being the Feijenoord Stadion.
10 – Estadio Da Luz – Lisbon, Portugal
The 2014 Champions League final was held at Benfica’s stadium, the biggest match hosted here since it’s opening in 2003. The Estadio Da Luz is very similar in structure to the Emirates of Arsenal FC and may have a large contribution to the factor it was designed by the same architectural firm, Populous. It hosts 65,647 and has a unique design in the factor that it was built purposely to use as little as electricity as possible. The polycarbonate roof is focused to let light through as opposed to using primarily floodlights.
9 – Old Trafford – Manchester, England
Old Trafford is arguably England’s most reputable stadium for a domestic club. Manchester United has been tenants of Old Trafford since 1910 and has seen a hatful of memorable football incidents. In comparison to the hundreds of millions stadiums cost to construct now, Old Trafford cost £90,000 in 1909. The United fan base refers to the stadium as the Theatre of Dreams and a number of footballers believe they’ve reached the peak when they’ve played at Old Trafford.
8 – Estadio Azteca – Mexico City, Mexico
One of the largest stadiums in the world, The Estadio Azteca boats a massive 105,064 capacity. The Mexican National team play their home fixtures here and Mexico’s most illustrious domestic side, Club America play here also. The Azteca was also the venue for one of football’s most iconic incidents, the famous hand of goal by Diego Maradona in the 1986 World Cup finals.
7 – Signal Iduna Park – Dortmund, Germany
It is arguably the stadium which creates the best atmosphere. Dortmund has the pleasure of fulfilling their home fixtures at the hostile Signal Iduna Park where the fans are exceptional. Dubbed ‘The Yellow Wall’, they’ve seen their club reach to new heights and the Signal Iduna Park has been fortunate enough to be crowned Bundesliga champions on 5 occasions. It is also the largest stadium in Germany with a capacity of 80,645 and was opened in 1974.
6 – Allianz Arena – Munich, Germany
One of most recent stadiums to be constructed is the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich. The unique design of the Allianz Arena allows the stadium to change colour to demonstrate which respective team is playing inside, red for Bayern and blue for 1860. The stadium was built because a number of fans complained about the fact that the Olympiastadion restricted the fans to being too far away with the pitch because of the Olympic track surrounding the pitch.
5 – San Siro – Milan, Italy
The San Siro has one of the most fascinating designs. It has 11 concrete towers around the stadium as the main structure with one in each corner which support a roof with red girders that give a very attractive look. It is also one of few stadiums that is shared by two major football clubs: AC and Inter Milan. It is largely known as the San Siro to many Europeans but to the hardcore supporters of Milan, the stadium is actually known as The Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, named after Giuseppe Meazza who starred for both AC and Inter.
4 – Santiago Bernabeu – Madrid, Spain
The Santiago Bernabeu is one of the most attractive looking stadiums and is home to Spanish giants, Real Madrid. Although the capacity has always been overshadowed by that of its Spanish rivals, the Nou Camp, the Bernabeu is looking to increase its capacity to 90,000 in the upcoming years which is estimated to cost 400million Euros. One of the most prestigious stadiums and a host of lucrative players have featured at the Santiago Bernabeu for Real Madrid: Ronaldo, Zidane, Luis Figo, Ferenc Puskas and Cristiano Ronaldo to name a few.
3 – Nou Camp – Barcelona, Spain
The wonderfully designed Nou Camp is home to FC Barcelona. It was opened in 1957 and holds 98,757 spectators. It is the biggest stadium in Europe and has had some of the best footballers in the world grace the pitch on a weekly basis. Diego Maradona of the 80’s and now the Nou Camp crowd have the pleasure of watching Lionel Messi work his magic on the hallowed turf. The stadium did used to hold 120,000+ people but was reduced due to the laws and regulations regarding stadiums.
2 – Maracana – Rio, Brazil
It was opened in 1950 to host the 1950 World Cup. It has undergone three recent renovations: 2000, 2006 and 2013. The Maracana is used by the Brazil national team and has been used by a number of domestic clubs (Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco de Gama) of late. It hosts 78,838 spectators and back in 1950 when it was used for the World Cup, it managed to cram just under 200,000 people in to watch the group stage game between Brazil and Uruguay.
1 – Wembley Stadium – London, England
The home to the England national football team is an extremely iconic venue. It seats 90,000 spectators and was opened in March 2007. It took five years to construct and cost just over £750million. Wembley is also host to a number of domestic finals, the FA Cup, Carling Cup, Johnstone’s Paint Trophy as well as the play off finals for the Championship, League 1 & 2 and Conference National. It has also hosted the UEFA Champions League final in 2011 and 2013 as well the Olympic Finals at London 2012.
So who do you think of our list of the 11 best football stadiums in the world?
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