Have you ever wondered about the world's largest football stadiums ever built? How they have been built? What are their capacities? And how much money was spent on the realization of their projects?
In this article, we'll be going through all the details about these magnificent masterpieces and exploring their promising future as the best sporting venues on Earth. We'll also highlight how these stadiums present a bridge between the love of football and the love of traveling, making thousands of people each year decide to have short breaks of their exhausting jobs, enjoy the games and experience amazing journeys.
Amazingly, these massive stadiums not only generate extremely high income through the matches tickets but also represent some important tourist gathering points where people like to take pictures and, most importantly, buy products of their favorite teams and clubs.
10. Estadio do Maracana
Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Built between 1948 and 1950, the Maracana's initial purpose was to host the 1950 World Cup in which Brazil lost to Uruguay in the last match of the final round in the presence of 199,954 spectators. Afterwards, the magnificent arena became home to four of Brazil's best clubs: Flamengo, Vasco da Gama, Botafogo and Fluminese.
The Maracana is currently undergoing a revamp as Brazil gears up for the 2014 World Cup. Although the stadium that will be hosting the Final hasn't been decided yet, it is thought that the Maracana is the one for the event. Overall, the 2014 World Cup promises an outstanding experience in and outside the pitch and the prospective spectators are already buying their flight tickets.
Furthermore, the history of the Maracana is highly engaging and, taking a look at Brazil's busy sportive schedule, its future will not be, in any means, less exciting. The country is about to host the world's two most popular events: the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio, one after the other. Therefore, the arena, historically associated to great players like Pele, Rivelino and Socrates, will surely be considered as a long lasting legend through the next generations of athletes and sport lovers.
9. Azadi Stadium
Location: Tehran, Iran
Built in the mid-1070s in order to host the Asian Games, The Azadi Stadium has become the home of Iranian football and to Persepolis FC and Esteghlal FC, the highest clubs in the Iranian football ladder. The arena has hosted a number of regional tournaments of which perhaps the Asian Club Championship and the West Asian Football Federation were the most important.
Moreover, the Azidi Stadium is the venue for the country's World Cup qualification games and the home of the Iranian senior team. And, despite the Iranian government's strict policy against the presence of women in football stadiums, the arena was first time filled in a qualifier against Japan for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
The stadium has been renovated about a decade ago in 2003, and is considered to be one of the best footballing venues in the whole Middle East, despite perhaps not housing the level of football a stadium of its magnitude deserves.
8. Wembly Stadium
Location: London, the United Kingdom
New home of the England national team and one of UEFA's Elite Stadiums, Wembley has become one of the most famous football stadiums in the world, with its weird distinctive arch already an iconic part of the London skyline.
The stadiums contains amazing state-of-the-art facilities making it one of the most advanced stadiums ever built besides being a potentially outstanding venue for some of football's most notable worldwide events.
The new Wembley continues to expand its popularity as it develops a character of its own and becomes a basic integral part of British and European football history as the game continues to evolve and grow over time.
7. Soccer City
Location: Johannesburg, South Africa
Besides being the home of the South African national football team, Soccer City has hosted a number of globally outstanding events of which the 2010 World Cup was the most important. The stadium was greatly prepared for the event and looks more impressive than it ever was.
Amazingly, the arena is designed in a way that makes the farther spectator of the match only 100 meters away from the pitch, the factor that helped attract thousands of enthusiast spectators to the stadium which capacity was expanded from 78,000 to 95,000 to match the seat demand.
6. Camp Nou
Location: Barcelona, Spain
The Camp Nou was opened in 1957 as a symbol of Catalan nationalism. The stadium is one of the most famous, most attracting venues in the world, thanks to the outstanding achievements of the football club team.
These amazing serial successes and successive titles added to the club's trophy room were the main attraction to the city. The club that raised players like Ronaldinho, Neymar and Messi is now growing and expanding at an exponential rate.
In 2007, Barcelona announced plans for the enhancement of the Camp in the stadium's 50th anniversary. The stadium's capacity is thought soon to reach over 112,ooo which will officially make the arena the world's largest football-exclusive.
5. Bukit Jalil National Stadium
Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium in Malaysia was built in 1998 in the goal of hosting the Commonwealth Games and has since gone on to become the home of the Malaysian football team.
Manchester United played at the stadium as part of their pre-season tour of Asia in the presence of 40,000 spectators. The team went up against a Malaysia XI in the Bukit Jalil, the Red Devils eventually emerging 3-2 victors with Michael Owen scoring the victory goal in the last minutes.
By welcoming such great teams, the Bukit Jalil is sure to gain a bigger recognition and earn a better reputation. Needless to say, a stadium of its size and elegance is not to be worried about, specially that the Indonesian government is valuing its importance.
4. Melbourne Cricket Ground
Location: Melbourne, Australia
The MCG's capacity is just over 100,000 making it the biggest in Australia. The stadium plays host to several matches of the Australian national football team every year. It has also played host to an important friendly match between Argentina and the Socceroos.
Despite the abscence of many of Australia's players, players like Lionel Messi, Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano were present on the other side giving the MCG a remarkable boost towards high reputation and credibility.
3. Estadio Azteca
Location: Mexico City, Mexico
The Azteca Stadium, home of the Mexican national team, is widely remembered for the 1970 and 1986 World Cups that it proudly played host to. It was also the stadium were Maradona scored his unforgettable hand goal.
The Azteca will always stay in the memories of all football around the world for the legendary events that it hosted and for the warm welcoming that it gave and still gives to its worldwide guests and visitors.
2. Salt Lake Stadium
Location: Kolkata, India
With a capacity of 120,000, the home of the Indian national team is said to generate an incredible atmosphere. the Salt Lake Stadium is used by four of India’s leading clubs: Chirag United Sports Club, Mohun Bagan, East Bengal Club and Mohammedan Sporting Club.
The arena is intensively taking its way to modernisation, a clear sign of the rapid improvement footballing facilities are making in India where the growth and development of the sports sector is thought to never stop.
1. Rungrado May Day Stadium
Location: Pyongyang, North Korea
Unfortunately, the arena is situated in one of the most isolated states, making the chances of it hosting major tournaments almost non-existent. And so the largest football stadium in the world becomes the most lonely.