The Top 5 Stadiums in World Football


Every football fan has their favourite stadium, and for different reasons.  It might be the immense atmosphere it creates, the sheer size and intimidation of the stadium and of the fans, the feel of being the twelfth man or simply the memories and history they hold.

But, what IS the best football stadium in the world?  How can one clearly define this?                

Surely someone, somewhere, votes on naming the greatest footballing arena, anywhere in the world to play host to the beautiful game?

UEFA have an official ranking of five star, elite football stadiums, but it includes the obvious suspects; Old Trafford, Wembley and the San Siro.  Also, UEFA is the European football governing body not FIFA, so the likes of the 96,000 capacity Maracana stadium in Brazil, doesn’t get a fair mention.

Every fan has an opinion; one thing you can rate a stadium on is how intimidating or tough it is for an away team to play.  Here are my top five, toughest places to visit:

5. Turk Telekom Arena – Galatasaray FC

‘Welcome to Hell’ – The home supporters are one of the most passionate and hostile bunch in the world, so much so, the stadium is ranked as the loudest in the world.

4. The Maracana Stadium – Brazil

The Maracana famously staged the 1950 World Cup final between Uruguay and hosts Brazil, where over 200,000 supporters, legally and illegally, watched on as Uruguay upset the favourites.  This figure represents the largest crowd ever to attend a soccer match in history. After the game, desperation ruled all over the country and several people even committed suicide!

3. Celtic Park – Celtic FC

The 60,000 seater deep in Glasgow’s east end has a noisy, spine tingling, atmosphere that rivals few when it comes to European nights.  Barcelona lost 2-1 back in November 2012, with Gerard Pique saying “no words can describe the atmosphere at Celtic Park”.

2. The Nou Camp – Barcelona FC

Not only is it one of the most awe – inspiring stadiums in the world, with an unforgettable ooze of Spanish culture, it showcases the best team on the planet.  Try staying focused with 90,000 Catalans throwing severed pigs heads onto the pitch, and the best player on the planet running rings round you, scoring a hat trick if he can be bothered!

1. LA BOMBONERA – Boca Juniors

Visit this place when Boca Juniors play arch rivals River Plate (arch rivals is a nice way of putting it) dealing with the intensity of the noise, coupled with the heat and some of the world’s most passionate fans. The stadium actually trembles as fans pound their feet and jump together.  Boca Juniors’ fans are so passionate that La Bombonera features an on-site graveyard where die-hard fans can be buried.  Just imagine the horror of entering this stadium as an opposing player or fan.

Mike Anscombe