Football: the most known, practised and followed sport in the world. Everybody on this planet played it at least once. It can be played everywhere, but the atmosphere that football stadiums are able to provide is something unique. Here it is the list of the best 20 football stadiums in the world, that every football lover should visit at least once in his life.
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1- Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
“Juve has always been a wonderful painting, and a wonderful painting needs a wonderful frame like this”.
A few significant words pronounced by Alessandro Del Piero, the day of the inauguration of this incredible stadium, a diamond among football stadiums. It hosts the home games of Juventus and every football lover should visit it.
Awarded in 2012 with the Stadium Innovation Trophy, Juventus’ new home is, since its opening, the twelfth man in the field for the Bianconeri. Here, Juventus hold the record of 57 consecutive games without defeats. Only SS Lazio, in October 2017, interrupted it after 782 days of unbeatenness.
A Walk of Fame honours the 50 most representative players of Juventus’ history. Juventus is also the first football team to have a dedicated docu-reality on Netflix, called First Team: Juventus.
Among the most heartfelt rivalries, we find those with Torino FC, ACF Fiorentina, AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano.
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2 – Vodafone Park, Istanbul, Turkey
If you think about Beşiktaş JK‘s Vodafone Park, one of the noisiest football stadiums in the world, the first thing that comes to your mind is the support of local fans.
It currently holds the world record of decibels produced during a game: 141. THIS noise IS even higher than that of an airplane during take-off.
For more information about this, ask Timo Werner, RB Leipzig’s striker. He asked to be substituted during a UEFA Champions League game due to the noise produced by the stadium.
Among the rivals, the main ones are Fenerbahçe SK and Galatasaray AŞ. These teams, together with Beşiktaş JK, represent the main clubs of the country.
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3 – Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay
Estadio Centenario is definitely one of the football stadiums that every football lover must visit. This name so particular comes from the fact that the stadium was inaugurated exactly 100 years after the proclamation of the first Constitution of Uruguay, which took place in 1830.
Nowadays it hosts the home games of Club Atlético Peñarol, the most important team in Uruguay.
Historically, this stadium hosted the 1930 FIFA World Cup Final, the first in history. Uruguay won 4-2 against Argentina.
10 matches out of 18 of the tournament took place in this stadium, including both semi-finals.
As evidence of its importance, in 1983, FIFA proclaimed this facility as a World Football Monument. There are no other football stadiums that received such award.
4 – Azteca Stadium, Mexico City, Mexico
Azteca Stadium, also known as Coloso de Santa Úrsula, pays homage to the civilization of the Aztecs. Among football stadiums, t is the only one, together with Maracanã of Rio de Janeiro, that hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals (1970 and 1986).
It is the place where Diego Armando Maradona scored, in 1986, the most beautiful goal in the history of football.
It is also the football stadium where The Game of the Century took place. Italy defeated West Germany 4-3 in the famous semi-final of the 1970 FIFA World Cup. Outside the stadium you may find a plaque commemorating this event:
“El Estadio Azteca rinde homenaje a las selecciones de: Italia (4) y Alemania (3) protagonistas en el Mundial de 1970, del “PARTIDO DEL SIGLO”. 17 de junio de 1970.”
(The Azteca Stadium pays homage to the National Teams of Italy (4) and Germany (3), who starred in the 1970 FIFA World Cup, the “Game of the Century”. June 17th, 1970.)
Nowadays, it hosts the home games of Club América and of the Mexico national football team.
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5 – Estádio do Sport Lisboa and Benfica, Lisbon, Portugal
This stadium is also known as Estádio Da Luz. It hosts the home games of SL Benfica, one of the most powerful clubs of the country, competing every year against FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal.
It opened in 2003, with a friendly game between SL Benfica and Club Nacional de Futebol. It was the stage of the 2004 European Football Championships Final and of the 2013-2014 UEFA Champions League Final.
Among the various awards, the readers of the French newspaper L’équipe voted it as the most beautiful among football stadiums in Europe, with 48% of preferences.
When you visit Estádio Da Luz, you must take a picture with the statue of the legend Eusébio, located outside the stadium. A whole section of SL Benfica’s museum pays homage to the Black Panther.
One of the peculiarities of this football stadium is that, before each game, an eagle,
symbol of SL Benfica, flies over the entire facility. Only SL Benfica and SSC Lazio have this type of ritual inside their football stadiums.
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6 – Anfield, Liverpool, England
Probably just a few people know that Everton FC’s rivals built Anfield, the stadium that hosts the home games of Liverpool FC. The Toffees played in this stadium from 1884 to 1892. Among the rivals, we find Manchester United FC, in the one that is called the North-West Derby.
Liverpool FC and Anfield are something unique. The journalist Federico Buffa says
“Anfield has the Kop that has been intact since 1928 when it was built. If you had been there in the Sixties and Seventies, even on non-game days there was a distinct smell of beer and onions. Liverpool FC fans are ahead compared to those of the other teams, especially from a musical point of view. they are used to associate famous songs to their players in order to support them”.
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7 – Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland
Since 1892 Celtic Park (also dubbed Parkhead or Paradise) hosts the home games of the glorious Celtic FC. It is a veritable monument of the British football that every football lover should visit. It is also one of the oldest football stadiums in the United Kingdom.
If you think about football and Glasgow the first thing that comes to your mind is the Old Firm. Played 411 times, it is much more than just a football game. it is the game between the white-green Catholics and the white-red-blue Protestants.
The religious aspect of Celtic FC is an important part of the culture of the team. Brother Walfrid, a religious, founded the club in order to collect money to help the poor people of the city.
Pride is the word that better represent Celtic FC, as evidenced Jock Stein, the coach who brought the club to conquer the 1966-1967 UEFA Champions League: “The Celtic jerseys are not for the second choices”.
Tradition, extra-football themes and pride, all of these things in one stadium: Celtic Park is a must for every football lover.
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8 – San Siro, Milan, Italy
Milan: city of the Duomo, of risotto with saffron and… of the legendary San Siro stadium. It hosts the home games of two of the most popular football teams in Italy: AC Milan and FC Internazionale Milano. Since decades, these clubs face each other in one of the strongest rivalries of the European football.
The newspaper The Times placed this facility, dubbed La Scala del Calcio with a strong reference to the historic Milanese theatre, in second standing in the ranking of the most beautiful football stadiums in the world.
“San Siro is la Scala del Calcio, Ancelotti told me at the debut that only the big ones play here and he is right. it is a stadium that gives you emotions. in the evening it is a show, it is stuff to play in tuxedos”
said Hernan Crespo, a striker who played for both the teams of Milan during his career.
The stadium was inaugurated in 1926 with a game between the two teams of the city. The Nerazzurri won with the result of 6-3.
San Siro hosted the UEFA Champions League Final four times, the last one in the season 2015-2016.
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9 – Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid, Spain
“The Real Madrid shirt is white. It can stain of mud, sweat and even of blood, but never of shame! Our titles give us our nobility”. Few words, but full of meaning, pronounced by Santiago Bernabéu, historical president of the Merengues. Real Madrid Club de Fútbol‘s stadium is dedicated to this historic figure of Madridism.
the museum is Absolutely unmissable. here, among Golden Balls and Golden Shoes, you can find the 12 UEFA Champions League that the club won.
The club makes tradition one of its strong points, but it also looks at the future. About this, it has been announced a 400-million-euro restructuring project of the stadium. Thanks to these works, Santiago Bernabéu will become something unique among football stadiums in the world.
Among the rivals, the main ones are FC Barcelona and Club Atlético de Madrid.
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10 – Old Trafford, Manchester, England
Old Trafford, home of Manchester United FC since 1910, is something that every football lover must visit. Sir Bobby Charlton dubbed it The Theater of Dreams. It is definitely one of the best football stadiums in the world.
Only for a short period of time, from 1941 to 1949, The Red Devils had to leave their stadium to move to Maine Road, which hosted the home games of the historic rivals of Manchester City. This happened because of the air raids of the German army during the World War II damaged heavily Old Trafford.
For Manchester United FC players and coaches are not just people, but men who sometimes remain in the legend and that, when this happens, are properly celebrated.
Among the others, imprinted in the myth of The Red Devils, we find Sir Matt Busby and Sir Alex Ferguson (a stand of the stadium has also his name). To them, we add Sir Bobby Charlton (another stand of the stadium has his name), George Best and Denis Law. Together, these three last legends compose The Holy Trinity.
The statues of all these men surround the sports facility, signifying the importance they had in building the halo of legend that characterizes Manchester United FC.
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11 – Allianz Arena, Munich, Germany
Among the other things, 2,760 diamond-shaped cushions cover the outer wall of the stadium. Together, they form the world’s largest membrane cladding, covering an area of 66,500 m². The colour of the coating changes according to whether team is playing in the stadium: red for FC Bayern München, blue for TSV 1860 München and white for the Germany national football team.
this football stadium has a brightness so strong. on cloudless nights, it can be spotted from a distance of 80 kilometres.
A unique record also regards the turnout during the Bundesliga home games. Starting from the season 2007-2008, the Bavarian facility has always been sold out. This is a record that other football stadiums cannot claim.
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12 – La Bombonera, Buenos Aires, Argentina
“La Bombonera no tiembla. Late” (“Bombonera does not tremble. Pulsate”). This phrase well expresses the spirit of La Bombonera, the nickname of Estadio Alberto José Armando, where Club Atlético Boca Juniors play their home games since 1940.
Inspired by Artemio Franchi stadium of Florence, the nickname “La Bombonera” has undoubtedly a particular origin. It is due to José Delpini, one of the designers of this football stadium. Once the construction work had finished, he compared the facility he made to a box of “bombones“, like those he received as a gift the day of the inauguration.
the museum, located inside the stadium, is absolutely unmissable. Here you can find the Hall of Fame of the club and a mural depicting Diego Armando Maradona.
To the historic Diez of the Argentina national football team is dedicated a statue inside the museum, as well as to other legends of the club like Martin Palermo, Juan Román Riquelme and Guillermo Barros Schelotto.
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13 – Wembley, London, England
Inaugurated on the ashes of old Wembley, new Wembley, despite its young age, has already a lot to say for every football lover. It opened in 2007 and cost 918 million euros. Among football stadiums in Europe, it is the second largest after Camp Nou of Barcelona.
It holds every year The FA Cup, League Cup and Community Shield finals. Moreover, it is the stadium of the English national football team and, for the season 2017-2018, it hosts the home games of Tottenham Hotspur FC.
The symbol of this stadium is the steel arch built over the North Stand. This arch is 133 meters high and 315 meters long and has significantly changed the skyline of the city of London.
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14 – Emirates Stadium, London, England
For a football lover, the stadium of its own team is a sacred place. This also applies to Arsenal FC supporters, who have struggled to greet Highbury. It will be forever the spiritual home of The Gunners, that now play their home games at Emirates Stadium.
In 2009, in order to bring the fans closer to the new stadium, the Arsenalization process of Emirates began.
Among the various initiatives, one of the most important was the construction of The Spirit of Highbury. This shrine depicts all of the players to have played for Arsenal during its 93-year residence at the Highbury. Moreover, 8 murals, each of which depicts four club legends hugging each other, surround the outer wall of the stadium. Altogether, these 32 legends create a huddle embracing the whole stadium.
Among the rivalries, the strongest ones are with Tottenham Hotspur FC, Chelsea FC, West Ham United FC and Manchester United FC.
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15 – Lužniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
Lužniki Stadium is located in the city of Moscow. It is a stadium that every football lover who visits the Russian capital cannot miss. Theatre of the Lužniki Disaster in 1982, in which 66 football fans of FC Spartak Moskva died for safety reasons, this stadium hosted the 2007-2008 UEFA Champions League Final.
Among the football stadiums of the next FIFA World Cup, this will be the main stage of the tournament.
Among other games, the opening one of the tournament between Russia and Saudi Arabia will take place here and the same for the final of the of 15th of July.
All the fans around the world hope that, at the end of this day, the anthem of their national football team will resonate above Lužniki Stadium.
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16 – Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain
Més que un club, more than a club. Any football lover knows that these four words represent the identity of FC Barcelona. This team is more than just a football club. It is the symbol in which all the inhabitants of a region, Catalonia, identify themselves. A team that is més que un club can only have what we could call more than a stadium: Camp Nou.
It is a true temple of football, the largest among football stadiums in Europe, with a capacity of over 99,000 seats.
Inside the stadium, you cannot miss the museum, which is the most visited museum of Catalonia.
Among the rivals, the main one is Real Madrid Club de Futébol, in a game dubbed El Clásico. The atmosphere that surrounds this football stadium during this game is something unbelievable. During El Clásico Camp Nou is something absolutely worth to visit.
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17 – Maracanã Stadium, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Perhaps Maracanã is the most famous among football stadiums in the world. But probably there are not many people who know that the official name of this stadium is Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho. This to thank the columnist who campaigned hard for the building of the stadium against serious opposition.
This facility holds the record of attendance for a football game. during the last game of 1950 FIFA World Cup official attendance was listed as 199.854 (standing), but actual attendance was estimated at closer to 210,000.
This game went down in history as the Maracanaço. When the game ended the then president of FIFA, Jules Rimet, said, “everything was planned, except for the triumph of Uruguay”. But what happened? It happened that the Celeste graduated as world champion at the expense of the Brazil national football team. At the triple whistle of the referee, a surreal silence enveloped the stadium. In the stands, tens of people were seized with a heart attack and some sources spoke of at least ten people died.
Renewed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it was the stage of the Final of the aforementioned tournament.
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18 – Soccer City, Johannesburg, South Africa
The 2010 FIFA World Cup: the first one hosted by an African country, the first one that saw the triumph of La Roja, the Spain national football team.
Among football stadiums, Soccer City (officially FNB Stadium) was undoubtedly the main one of this event. It hosted the inaugural game and the final one of the tournament.
Another nickname with which this stadium is known is The Calabash, because of its resemblance to a typical African pot.
For this reason, panels cover the external wall of the stadium. They make up a mosaic of warm colours, at the base of which there is a ring of lights that simulate a fire that heats the pot.
Some of the seats inside the stadium form 10 black stripes. Each of them looks towards the other 9 stadiums where the games of the tournament took place, plus one revolt towards the Olympiastadion in Berlin, home of the previous Final in 2006.
19 – Parc des Princes, Paris, France
The Parc des Princes, in its current version, was inaugurated in 1972 and represents the third version of the stadium. The first one dates back to 1897, while the second to 1932. In both cases, they were mainly used as velodromes. This stadium has been hosting the home games of Paris Saint-Germain since 1974.
It could be defined as “the football stadium of the first times”.
Here the inaugural game of the 1938 FIFA World Cup, between Germany and Switzerland, took place. In addition, it hosted the first UEFA Champions League and European Football Championship Finals , respectively in 1956 and 1960.
Paris Saint-Germain has become, with 27 titles, the most titled club in France, outranking its biggest rival, the Olympique de Marseille.
20 – Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, Athens, Greece
Inaugurated in 1895 as a velodrome for the 1896 Summer Olympics, the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium hosts the home games of Olympiacos FC.
The stadium pays homage to a military commander who, during the Greek War of Independence, died near the area where the stadium is located.
In this football stadium the Karaiskakis Stadium disaster, also known as The Gate 7 Tragedy, happened. Here, in 1981, 21 fans died during a football game. In memory of this event, twenty-one seats are black coloured instead of red, shaping the number “7”. On the eastern side of the stadium, a monument pays tribute to those people.
We hope you enjoyed this list with the best football stadiums in the world. It was very difficult to choose the stadiums. Moreover, we hope that reading this article you discovered at least one thing that you did not know before. We are sure that now all of you want to go visit these football stadiums, to find other interesting things we did not talk about.