A stadium is not just a place where a club plays their games, it’s their home; a home that the fans dream to visit. A football stadium isn’t considered iconic just because of its size or architecture but also due to the glories and the memories that it shares over the years.
Even if you are not a football fan, you can visit these stadiums to see their architectural beauty and learn about the glorious past of the iconic moments these wonderful stadiums have enjoyed.
All major clubs organize stadium tours and if you are visiting that particular city you must have these stadiums on your visiting list as they are certainly the pride of the city they are in. So let us look at the top 5 stadiums in the football world.
Rungrado May Day Stadium, Pyongyang, North Korea – 150,000
Although North Korea has largely been snubbed by the international sports community due to its political conflicts and governance, the country is home to the largest football stadium internationally. The Rungrado May Day Stadium, with a spectator capacity of 150,000, has been designed beautifully with a scallop-shaped roof, which looks like a magnolia flower. The roof has 16 arches, arranged in a manner so as to form a ring. The stadium pitch covers an expanse of 22,500 sq. m. It has eight floors and the roof is situated at a height of 60 m. The stadium has also been the venue for a number of diplomatic meets and other events.
Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain – 99,354
The Estadi del FC Barcelona was renamed to Camp Nou in 2000. The second largest football stadium in the world is, very fittingly, home to the second richest football club in the world, FC Barcelona. Accommodating a staggering 99,354 spectators, the stadium has been the venue for a number of historic football tournaments, like the 1989 as well as 1999 EU Cup finals, UEFA Cup finals, and Copa del Rey finals, among others. Its doors were opened to the public in 1957 and was built jointly by Francesc Mitjans and Josep Soteras, in consultation with Lorenzo García-Barbón. It has undergone a number of renovations that have greatly altered its seating capacity since its initial construction.
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico – 95,500
Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico – 95,500 Every football fan is familiar with Maradona’s “Hand of God” miracle, and it took place right here in Estadio Azteca. It can accommodate 95,500 people and is the national stadium of Mexico. It was christened as such in remembrance of the country’s cultural connection with the Aztecs. It is located 7,200 feet above sea level and was opened in 1966. It has, since, witnessed a number of significant matches in football history, such as the 1968 Summer Olympic football matches, the 1970 World Cup Finals, and the 1986 World Cup Finals. Apart from its association with football, the stadium has also been the venue for a number of political and religious events and ceremonies too.
Azadi Stadium, Tehran, Iran – 95,225
With a capacity of accommodating 95,225 people, the Azadi, formerly Aryamehr, Stadium was opened to the public in 1973. It is situated within the Azadi Sport Complex, which also has swimming facilities, football fields, provisions for rowing, and other such facilities within its premises. A series of renovations since 2002 has significantly reduced the seating capacity of the stadium. However, it has often been noticed that the stadium is occupied beyond its capacity during significant matches. While the Azadi Stadium has received a bad rep due to the country’s ban on women in and as spectators in sports as well as its political unrests, the stadium continues to hold an important position in international football.
FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa – 94,736
The First National Bank Stadium, more commonly known as Soccer City, came into the spotlight in 2010 after it hosted the World Cup. It has the capacity to host a whopping 94,736 spectators. Its nickname, “The Calabash” was obtained from the fact that it roughly resembles the African-origin fruit of the same name. Indeed, much of its design has been thought of keeping in mind traditional African patterns. Care has been taken to ensure that the lines of sight of the spectators are completely unobstructed, and as a result, the audience gets to sit within 100 meters of the playing field. Before the renovations for the World Cup, it had a capacity for 80,000 people.