Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughBetween a rock and a hard place - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Between a rock and a hard place - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Between a rock and a hard place

There is always a certain allure of that associates itself with European football. The prospect of seeing your team coming up against the best opposition across the continent is a guaranteed appeal to even the staunchest of football fans, while the chance to travel across Europe is one that draws in the supporters from all quarters of their club.

The opportunity to following the team abroad is one that I have never turned down and with it; the best away trip I have ever been on. Cast your thoughts back to 2007 and Tottenham Hotspur had been drawn against Portuguese outfit S.C. Braga in the UEFA Cup, now the Europa League.  

I had heard stories of the Estadio Municipal de Braga, but seeing it first hand was a sight to behold. Constructed in 2003, it is a stadium that possesses just two stands, connected by dozens of steel strings, a design inspired by South American Inca Bridges.

The home of Braga was carved from the adjacent Monte Castro quarry, with tens of thousands of tonnes of rock being excavated from the quarry in order to build the Estadio Municipal de Braga. Unsurprisingly, the stadium was named best new global design in 2006, while the architect, Eduardo Souto de Moura, won the Prtizker Prize in 2011.

The stadium itself may only hold around 30,000, paling in comparison to the Estadio da Luz, Estadio Jose Alvalade and Estadio do Dragao, but the architecture and uniqueness of the location and the stadium renders it one of Europe’s finest.

The backdrop of the quarry at one end and the town of Braga at the other is an epitome of the city itself, with one of the major industries being construction. The night in Portugal will forever live in the memory, not because of the football on show, but rather the Estadio Municipal de Braga; a stadium that any football fan must visit.