The World's Top 10 Stadiums

It would be hard to pick the world's 10 most iconic soccer stadiums. Don't worry, we've done the work for you.

As we approach the finals for Europa League, FA Cup, Champions League and the World Cup, one thing that is certain is the stages that these games will be played on are grand. That got us here at The18 thinking, what are the best stadiums in the world for footy fans to catch a game? The criteria we decided on are atmosphere, visual appeal and tradition. Here we go. (Sorry in advance if your favorite didn’t make it! And, if you're a stadium lover, check out our photo gallery of 18 Stadiums That Will Take Your Breath Away.)

10. Estadio Azteca- Mexico City 

Estadio Azteca

(Photo: Estadio Azteca | Facebook)

The 105,064 person Estadio Azteca is one of the most intimidating places to play a futbol match. The site of the 1970 and 1986 World Cup finals has seen legendary performances such as Diego Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal and Italy’s 4-3 extra time victory over West Germany which is regarded to some as “The Game of the Century.” When it is filled to capacity, Azteca is right up their as one of the most iconic stadiums in the world. 

9. Celtic Park- Glasgow, Scotland 

Celtic Park

(Photo: Zhi Yong Lee  | Wikipedia Commons)

The oldest and largest stadium in Scotland is a must see for any futbol fan. What is commonly known to Celtic supporters as "Parkhead" or "Paradise" is rarely not filled to capacity. The fans are regarded as some of the best in the world, and even Andres Iniesta said, “I have played many games for Spain/Barca but I’ve never heard fans like celtic, they were amazing, not quiet for a single second.” 

8- Allianz Area- Munich Germany

Allianz Arena

(Photo: Richard Bartz  | Wikipedia Commons)

One of the coolest, most modern-looking stadiums in the World, Allianz Arena opened just 9 years ago and hosted the 2012 Champions League Final, matches at the 2006 World Cup, and is home to both Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich. Fans enjoy being much closer to the pitch and it is the only stadium in Europe that can change colors on its exterior. During matches the stadiums turns blue for 1860 Munich and red for Bayern Munich. Though its pages in the history books remain relatively blank, Allianz Arena will surely have chapters of history in the coming years. 

7- Old Trafford- Manchester, England

Old Trafford

(Photo: Andre Zahn  | Wikipedia Commons)

“The Theatre of Dreams,” home to Manchester United, is the second largest stadium in England. Holding just over 75,000 people, Old Trafford is home is one of the most prestigious soccer teams in the world and fans from all walks of life will always want to experience the magic of the stadium. Whether you hate Man U or not, catching a game at Old Trafford is surely on plenty of soccer fans bucket lists. 

 6- Stadio Giuseppe Meazza- Milan, Italy 

San Siro

(Photo: Oscar Federico Bodini  | Flikr) 

Italian heavyweights AC Milan and Internazionale call “San Siro” home. The Italian soccer mecca  hosted a couple of European Cup Finals, World Cup matches and a plethora of Serie A showdowns.  Along with gracing some of the greatest footballers to ever live, the stadium aesthetically resembles a fortress, with 11 cylindrical towers surrounding the stadium and a a overhang that covers all 80,074 seats. 

5-Santiago Bernabeu- Madrid, Spain 

Santiago Bernabeu

(Photo: Vinicius Tupinamba  | Shutterstock.com) 

Home to Europe’s most successful club, Real Madrid, the Bernabeu is one of the most prestigious grounds in Europe. Hosting almost every single type of final, the Bernabeu screams history. With a current capacity of 81,044 and elite status in Europe, club president Florentino Perez is looking to expand his prestigious grounds to 88,500 with a retractable roof. He is seeking to sell the naming rights and find a sponsor for the $400 million project. But the home to greats such as Ferenc Puskas, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and Cristiano Ronaldo will always be known as the Bernabeu. 

4-Maracana- Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Maracana

(Photo: Daniel Basil  | Wikipedia Commons) 

Stationed in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, the Maracana could be the most notable stadium in the footballing community. The stage for the 1950 World Cup Final where 199,854 people witnessed Uruguay beat Brasil 2-1, will now hold just under 80,000 for the 2014 World Cup. It’s perfect circular formation doesn’t have a bad seat in the house and with an extended roof that covers 95% of the seats, acoustics will only have one place to go to exit, the pitch. 

3- Camp Nou- Barcelona, Spain 

Camp Nou

(Photo: Usuario Erminameraz  | Wikipedia Commons) 

The largest stadium in Europe, home to FC Barcelona is most likely to be on every football fan's list. Across the street from the prestigious academy, “La Masia”, future Barcelona players stare at what will one day be their home as they go into training. Home to greats such as Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho, Camp Nou and Barcelona motto of “mes que un club” (more than a club) is iconic throughout the footballing world. The Nou Camp’s size and atmosphere is second to non in Europe. 

2-Anfield- Liverpool, England 

Anfield

(Photo: Sanjiva Persad  | Wikipedia Commons) 

It may not be the biggest stadium, but the epic atmosphere at Anfield is known throughout the world. Originally home to Everton back in the 1880s before a dispute over rent, Anfield has almost become a folklore. The world famous Spion Kop, also known as “The Kop,” on the right end of the pitch is regarded as creating the most intense atmosphere in english football. Some say the Kopites can almost suck the ball into the net. From the “This is Anfield” sign hanging in the tunnel, to a night of singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with passionate supporters, Anfield holds its spot as one of the best atmospheres in the world to see a football match. 

1- Wembley Stadium- London, England 

Wembley

(Photo: Lewis Clarke | Wikipedia Commons)

The new Wembley was built on site of the 1923 Wembley Stadium and the term “Wembley” is iconic to every football fan. The new Wembley did get rid of the famous Twin Towers, but in their place is the Wembley Arch. The grounds, old and new, have been home to the most prestigious events in European and international football.  Now, with its gorgeous design, 90,000 seat capacity, and unparalleled history attached to the name and grounds, Wembley Stadium is the most prestigious, gorgeous and historic stadium in football. 

Honorable Mentions: 

Estadio Alberto J. Armando- “La Bombonera”- Buenos Aires, Argentina

Olympiastadion- Berlin, Germany 

Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica- "Estadio da Luz"- Lisbon, Portugal 

Juventus Stadium- Turin, Italy 

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