Ranking the Top 15 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football

Mikhail Turner@MikhailTurnerContributor IIIMarch 9, 2012

Ranking the Top 15 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football

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    World football has some iconic stadiums throughout the world.

    While there are certainly some obvious candidates for a list like this, it is still somewhat difficult to do this without leaving off some stadiums that are special to a set of fans.

    Stadiums are a major part of any sport, and those that appear on this list have all had their special moments in world football history. Things that contribute to a stadium's impact include: its importance in the world game, most notably through history; the team that calls the field its home; and, of course, the fans and the atmosphere.

    Here are the 15 Most Iconic Stadiums in World Football.

15. Rasunda Stadium, Solna, Sweden

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    This stadium makes it on FIFA's list of classic stadiums. It was the place where Pele was first introduced to the world as a 17-year-old.

    It is the current home of historic Swedish club team AIK and the home venue for Sweden's national team in most games.

14. Parc De Princes, Paris, France

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    Parc De Princes is the home to PSG and was originally opened in 1897. Since then, two other versions have been made, in 1932 and 1972. It has a capacity of around 48,000.

    While it is by no means a mammoth in terms of capacity like many of the other venues on this list, Parc de Princes has some great traits.

    The fan atmosphere in this stadium is among the best in the world. The venue has also been host to some great games, like the 1981 European Cup final between Liverpool and Real Madrid, as well as France's European Championship victory over Spain in 1984.

13. La Bombonera, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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    La Bombonera opened in 1940, has a capacity of about 50,000, and is home to one of Argentina's greatest clubs, Boca Juniors.

    The unique feature in this stadium is that one side is flat, which is said to have increased acoustics and helped create one of the world's best fan atmospheres.

12. Olympiastadion, Munich, Germany

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    Germany's Olympic Stadium in Munich was opened in 1936 and has a capacity of about 70,000.

    This stadium has seen some fantastic moments in German football, but possibly none more important than the 1974 World Cup Final.

    It is was the former home of Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich.

11. Westfalenstadion, Dortmund, Germany

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    Home to Borussia Dortmund, the Westfalenstadion was opened in 1974 and has a capacity of 80,000.

    Dortmund is a club rich with history. The fan atmosphere, as well as the pedigree of the club, makes this a fantastic stadium.

    It was host to a number of games in both the 1974 and the 2006 World Cups.

10. Estadio Azteca, Mexico City, Mexico

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    Estadio Azteca opened in 1966 and holds 104,000 people at full capacity. The stadium is the home venue for the Mexican National team.

    It was the venue for the 1970 World Cup final, the "Game of the Century," the "Goal of the Century" and the "Hand of God."

    Right place, right time for the Azteca, I guess.

9. Anfield, Liverpool, England

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    Anfield is home to one of the greatest club teams in English history. Opened in 1884 and with a capacity of around 45,000, this stadium has seen some very memorable moments.

    Liverpool remained undefeated at this ground during several seasons. Various greats like Ian Rush have sung the club's anthem, "You'll Never Walk Alone," led by fans in the Kop end.

8. Estadio Centenario, Montevideo, Uruguay

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    The Estadio Centenario was the first place that a World Cup trophy was ever lifted. It was built for the first World Cup in 1930, when Uruguay beat Argentina.

    With a capacity of 73,000, the stadium is the home ground for the Uruguay national team, as well as one of South America's greatest clubs, Penarol.

7. De Meer Stadion, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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    Amsterdam Arena is the pitch where Total Football was first displayed to many. That alone is reason enough to put it on this list.

    Still, the fact that a great many fantastic players, like Johann Cruyff, and some fantastic Ajax teams also graced this stadium helps, too.

    It was opened in 1934 and has a capacity of about 20,000. Ajax played some of its biggest European home games at the Olympic stadium due to its greater capacity.

6. San Siro/Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy

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    Home to two of Italy's greatest teams Inter Milan and AC Milan, the San Siro stadium was opened in 1926 and has been renovated a few times since.

    This venue has seen a vast amount of historic events considering the pedigree of the two clubs that call it home. The San Siro stadium can hold about 80,000 fans when at full capacity.

5. Estádio Do Maracanã, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

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    Brazil's most iconic stadium, the Estádio do Maracanã, originally opened in 1950 and is currently being renovated for the 2014 World Cup, when it will probably host the finals.

    The same year the stadium opened, it was the venue for the 1950 World Cup final, where Brazil lost— inexplicably, in many Brazilian's eyes—to Uruguay.

    Flamengo, Vasco Da Gama, Botafoga and Fluminese have all called this stadium home at various times, and great players like Zico and Garrincha have played there as well.

    This stadium was where Pele scored his 1000th goal.

4. Old Trafford, Manchester, England

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    Old Trafford, also known as the "Theatre of Dreams," is Manchester United's home ground and was opened in 1910.

    This iconic stadium has seen the best of George Best and many other greats of the game. Old Trafford was also home to the "Busby Babes" and their leader, Matt Busby.

    It has a capacity of over 75,000 spectators and the ever-famous Stretford End.

3. Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain

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    The Nou Camp (or Camp Nou) opened in 1957 and is one of the largest stadiums in Europe and the world with a capacity of just under 100,000.

    This stadium is currently home to possibly the greatest club team ever and certainly has seen its share of great players and teams.

    The Catalonia National team plays its home grounds there.

2. Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain

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    The Santiago Bernabeu, home to Los Merengues, was originally opened in 1947. Its full capacity is about 85,000. The stadium was renamed after possibly the club's greatest president, Santiago Bernabeu Yeste.

    Some of the game's greatest players—like Alfredo Di Stefano and, more recently, Zinedine Zidane—have displayed their skills at this stadium.

    The Bernabeu has hosted many major finals and has been the home to one of the greatest club teams in world football history during the 1970s.

1. Wembley Stadium, London, England

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    This is a picture of Old Wembley stadium, and there really isn't much that can be said about this venue.

    Wembley Stadium is considered the home of football and has seen some of the game's greatest moments. Such moments include England's 1966 World Cup victory, Manchester United's European cup victory over Benfica and Germany's 1996 European Championship victory, which saw the first Golden Goal in history.

    It is also the annual venue for one of football's oldest competitions, the FA Cup.