Football, the beautiful game and a religion for millions, has always been played in spectacular locations around the world with thousands of fans screaming and cheering their teams along. Here is a look at the top 5 stadiums around the world:
Number 5: The San Siro Stadium – Milan, Italy
Officially known as Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, and nick named the “Scala” of football, this stadium is all about football and nothing else. Home to both AC Milan and Inter Milan, it started functioning in 1926. It is brilliantly designed and has undergone several renovations to make it one of the most beautiful stadiums around the world also attaining 5 star standard by the UEFA. The building’s structure was designed so as to allow for maximum visibility for each of its potential 80,000 spectators, as was the intricate lighting system. The fans make it even more special to watch a match and are some of the loudest in European football.
Number 4: FNB Stadium – Johannesburg, South Africa
Also known as “The Cabalash”, this is the largest stadium in Africa and one of the largest in the world with a capacity of 94000. This was the site of Nelson Mandela’s first speech in the city after his release form prison and also the venue for the 2010 FIFA World Cup final. The outside of the stadium has been designed to have the appearance of an African pot, making it a real treat for the eyes.
Number 3: Wembley Stadium – London, England
Originally constructed in 1923 and reopened in 2007, this is one of the most popular and celebrated stadiums in world football. With a capacity of 90000 spectators, it is the second largest stadium in Europe. It is home to the England National Football team and is owned by the English FA. It has hosted some of the most amazing games in European football and is also the venue for the 2013 UEFA Champions League Final. This stadium also includes a partially retractable roof and a 134 meter high arch known as the Wembley Arch. This is one of the most historic and beautiful stadiums in Europe.
Number 2: Estadio Centenario - Montevideo, Uruguay
FIFA has declared that this is the only historical monument of world football and the only building of its kind world wide. Home to the Uruguayan National Football team, it has a capacity of 63000 and is one of the most feared grounds in world football for visiting teams. The home team have won more than 80% of the games played here and even the Brazilian football team have won only 3 of their 20 games played here (only one of those 3 being official games).
Number 1: Estadio Azteca – Mexico City, Mexico
Opened in 1966, this 105,000 capacity stadium is one of the biggest and noisiest stadiums in the world. It is home to the Mexican National Football team and Club America, and is the only stadium in the world to have hosted two FIFA World Cup Finals. This is where Maradona scored both the “Hand Of God” goal and The “goal of the century”. It also hosted the “Game of the century” when Italy defeated West Germany. Also this is the stadium where two legends Pele and Maradona lifted their trophies for the last time. With so much history and sensational incidents, this stadium has automatically made its way to the top of this list.
Also read: 10 Biggest football stadiums in the worldPublished 21 Jan 2013, 22:26 IST