With ticket sales being a huge income source for football clubs around the world, it’s no surprise to see that stadiums are getting bigger and generally better. Some supporters will pick out away games just due to the stadium, with some of the modern venues falling into this category.
However, while modern stadiums are generally of the impressive variety, some of the older venues out there simply have to be grouped in the elite bunch as well. Bearing this in mind, here are my top ten football stadiums in the world.
One of the most famous stadiums in the world, the Santiago Bernabeu is home to Real Madrid. Nowadays, it has a capacity of around 85,000, although there was a time when it was able to hold around 125,000 due to the leniency of terrace based stands. Anyone who is lucky enough to visit this stadium should also attempt to view the Real trophy room, with this regarded as one of the best attractions in world football.
On the field Barcelona and Real Madrid are bitter rivals and it could be said that their stadiums fall into this category as well. There is always a massive debate on which one out of the Bernabeu and Nou Camp triumphs although it can definitely be said that both hold their plus points. In relation to the former, the Nou Camp holds slightly more spectators with the figure being close to 100,000. This makes it the largest venue in Europe and judging by the presence of this stadium, this really isn’t a surprise. By standing at pitch-level, one will probably strain their neck by seeing just how high the top tier is. To see the arena in its full glory, it is most definitely recommended to go on one of the many tours that are arranged in Barcelona.
Yet another popular stadium in Europe, the San Siro is shared by both Milan teams. It could be said that the construction of this venue is massively different from both of the others mentioned previously and this makes it a completely different experience. Nowadays, around 80,000 people can fit into the San Siro and just like many of the other big teams in Europe, it also has its own museum attached which highlights the achievements of both clubs that are based there.
Based in Mexico City, this is a stadium that looks pretty dour when compared against some of the more modern arenas on this list. However, with Azteca capable of holding over 100,000, it simply has to be included. England fans certainly won’t have fond memories of this stadium following Diego Maradona’s Hand of God goal back in the 80s, but for everyone else Azteca holds a fantastic atmosphere and can prove exceptionally daunting for visiting teams.
It would be fair to say that Wembley differs enormously from the previous venue, with this classed as the ‘home of football’ and hosting some of the greatest matches the game has ever seen. The twin towers used to be the feature that made Wembley but since its major renovation programme in 2007, it’s now the arch that lifts over the stadium that makes it such a spectacle. Boasting a capacity of 90,000 it is also one of the largest stadiums around and is probably one of the few that is blessed with great history, but a modern structure at the same time.
This is one stadium on the list that not everyone might have heard of. At the moment, it looks like a building site, with Marcana being based in Rio and currently undergoing a wholesale rebuilding programme in a bid to be re-opened for the forthcoming World Cup. It was initially opened in 1950 and during the good old days of terraces, there were occasions when over 180,000 people flocked into the arena. Of course, with regulations now preventing such practice, those days are long gone. However, when the new venue opens it promises to bring just as much atmosphere as the old Marcana, with around 86,000 people being able to fit in.
The Emirates Stadium might hold very little history when compared to some of the other venues in this list, but there’s no doubt that it is one of the best in the world from a construction sense. Its total capacity, at just over 60,000, is fairly low, but everything about the Emirates has that wow factor. It’s based over three tiers and with spectators having perks such as cushioned seats, it’s no surprise to see that so many individuals are big fans of the venue.
Stade de France
The Stade de France is one of the stranger additions to this list as while it is fairly new following its construction in 1995, it still has plenty of history to its name. The French will probably point to the World Cup in 1998 which happened to the stadium’s first taste of the big time, while many seasoned fans will probably point to the fact that the Stade de France is one of the last venues to be built on traditional stadium principles. That means it doesn’t fall into the category of being a ‘atmosphere-less dome’ – which is the case with many of the modern venues around.
Atatürk Olympic Stadium
This is another massively unique stadium, with the Atatürk Olympic Stadium mainly benefiting from two sides. While its stands might circulate the whole playing area, there are just two along the side regions that are of architectural significance. This is a stadium that was constructed for Turkey’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games yet following the failure in that attempt, it could be said that it hasn’t really been utilised for significant means. Nevertheless, it’s the home of the Turkish national team, while Istanbul BB play there as well.
It could be argued that Westfalenstadion doesn’t benefit from as many architectural elements as some other additions to this list, with the home of Borussia Dortmund being quite basic in structure. However, it is plagued with history, while it also has a large capacity of 80,645. However, the main issue surrounding this venue is its standing facilities, with this being one of the largest arenas in the world that has designated standing zones. Admittedly, they cannot be used during international games and at such occurrences the capacity is reduced significantly down to 65,590. However, at most times of the year it allows spectators to step back in time and watch from the terraces.
Liam regularly writes sporting articles across the internet and also publishes betting promotions online at bonusbetting.org.uk.
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