Football is the biggest sport in many European nations, with some of the biggest leagues in the world being located on the continent. This includes the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A, and the Spanish La Liga, where you will find many of the world’s best players.
The UEFA Champions League, which is the top-tier competition for European football clubs, is the biggest confederation competition in the world, with the final being watched by more than 500 million people every year. Top French teams like PSG are regularly in contention for this title.
As is to be expected, with some of the biggest leagues and most prestigious competitions in the world, Europe is also home to some of the best football stadiums in the world. Here is a selection of them.
Wembley Stadium is the home of English football and has played host to some major football games over the last few decades. Fans heading for games at Wembley can also enjoy the sights and attractions in London: from most popular landmarks like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace or Madame Tussauds museum, with life-size wax replicas of famous celebrities & historic icons, to nightlife like the Hippodrome Casino which hosts Texas Hold’em and Omaha tournaments, the two most popular variations of poker.
A new stadium was built in 2002, replacing the old twin-tower construction that had become iconic. It now has much more modern facilities, giving it a mix of footballing history and a 21st-century experience.
San Siro is very unique looking from the outside. With its red cantilever roof construction and spiral concrete pillars, make it look almost space-age despite being constructed almost 100 years ago. It has been extended upwards for the 1990 World Cup, allowing it to hold more than 81,000 fans.
Seating over 80,000 football fans, the Bernabéu is one of the biggest stadiums on the continent. It is the home of the legendary Real Madrid, who have played there since 1947. It is the second-largest stadium in Spain, and can be a daunting experience for away teams.
It has many striking resemblances to the San Siro, with a grey and brown, concrete exterior with spiral rams on each corner.
Beating the Bernabéu to top spot of the biggest stadiums in Spain, Camp Nou is also the largest on the Continent. It was once capable of holding 122,000 fans, although it has since been reduced to 99,000 after the standing spaces were removed.
While it’s impressive from the inside, it is not the best looking stadium from the outside. This is set to change though, with plans to undertake construction in the summer of 2020 that will increase the stadium’s capacity to over 100,000 again, while also adding a new roof to all four sides.
Camp Nou is a short drive from Barcelona city centre, meaning away fans have a great opportunity to do some sightseeing in the Catalan city.
Having been upgraded ahead of the Euro 2016 competition, the Stade Vélodrome is the home of Olympique de Marseille. It now sears more than 67,000 fans, up from the original number of 49,000 when it was first built in 1935. This makes it the largest stadium in the country.
The upgrade works also added a roof to the stadium, something fans had complained about for some time. It now has a very unique white structure that looks like it gently rests on top of the stadium.
Stade Vélodrome has seen a lot of action. In addition to hosting home games for Olympique de Marseille, it’s hosted rounds of the 1998 FIFA World Cup and the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
Anfield is one of the older top-flight stadiums still being used in Europe today. It first opened in 1884 as the stadium for Everton, but the team moved out shortly afterwards due to a dispute over rent.
This dispute was the reason Liverpool FC was formed, and it has played at Anfield ever since. Its size is constrained by the fact that it is built inside an old housing estate, meaning it has a capacity of just over 54,000. However, this gives it a bit more of an intimate atmosphere as even fans in the furthest away seats can feel close to the action.
Old Trafford is home to England’s biggest and most famous team. Manchester United is a brand that is known around the world thanks to a long record of success and a great marketing strategy.
Their home, Old Trafford was called “The Theatre of Dreams” by Sir Bobby Charlton since he described it as the place where you “follow your dreams, glory and happiness”. It certainly has been a place full of glory and happiness, with United winning more Premier League titles than any other team in history.
It was first built in 1909, but has been developed further since. It now has a capacity of over 70,000 and looks much more modern than you’d expect from a 111-year-old stadium.