Europe is home to some of the world’s most exciting and emblematic sporting venues, and football is no exception. Prestigious, impressive and full of atmosphere, it’s not surprising that many European football stadiums tempt millions of people inside to discover the incredible settings of The Beautiful Game.
Read on for our bite-size guide to Europe’s three biggest football stadiums.
Top of the list is the incredible Camp Nou. Home to the world-renowned FC Barcelona team, it is a true icon of Catalonia. The blue, claret and occasional yellow seats of the stands welcome up to a staggering 99,354 spectators to sit down and marvel at the incredible Azulgranas as they play. Work began to build Barcelona’s Camp Nou, translated literally as “New Field”, in 1954, and the stadium was completed three years later, on 24th September 1957 – to the rousing sounds of Handel’s Messiah. Over 1.2 million visitors flock to enjoy the Camp Nou Experience each year; to discover the press room, step into the stands and overlook the pitch from the commentary box. Every time FC Barça play at Camp Nou, thousands head to see Carles Puyol and his team fight to keep their status as one of the best football teams the world has ever seen, and to cheer them on with the rousing words of El Cant del Barça.
A close second in the size stakes, England’s Wembley Stadium boasts a capacity of 99,000. It is the impressive home venue of England’s national team, and also hosts a selection of important matches, such as the FA Cup final. A relatively recent addition to London’s iconic architectural masterpieces, Wembley Stadium was officially opened on 19th May 2007 when Chelsea met Manchester United in the 126th FA Cup Final. The instantly-recognisable arch that curves up over the pitch is a vast architectural feat that, spanning 315 metres, is recognised as the world’s longest single-span roof structure. Wembley Tours invite football fanatics to “Follow in the footsteps of Legends” and enter the world within Wembley.
Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
Third on the list, welcoming up to 85,454 fans into the excitement, is the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid. Home to FC Barcelona’s arch nemesis, Real Madrid Club de Fútbol, it is a highly-acclaimed stadium named after the club’s former chairman, Santiago Bernabéu Yeste. Following its inauguration on 14th December 1947, the stadium has been improved, expanded and renovated on a number of occasions over the years. Visitors can participate in the stadium tour to marvel at the panoramic view, admire the extensive collection of trophies on display and imagine themselves a world-class footballer in the player’s tunnel and visitors’ dressing room before stepping out onto the crisp green pitch.
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