Power-Ranking World Football's 50 Best Stadiums
The beautiful game has us all captivated when clubs such as modern day Barcelona are working the ball with class, or when the fan atmosphere is so great that you can even get drawn into the action from a seat on the couch.
But, where would these experiences happen without great venues?
The truth is that they would not happen. Even if they did, without a memorable location to have experienced it within in most cases the thoughts would be frustrated at best at times.
However, fortunately for us, we humans love to build big sports stadiums, and as you remember back to your favorite times at a football stadium, enjoy Bleacher Report's top football stadiums in the world.
The Float: Marina Bay, Singapore
Although Singapore's Floating Stadium doesn't have a permanent tenant, the stadium is one of the most interesting grounds in all of world football.
The venue is the only one that sees matches played while the pitch is surrounded by water.
Ullevaal Stadion: Oslo, Norway
Tenants: Valarenga IF and Norwegian National Team
Norway's most recognizable stadium, the Ullevaal Stadium has been hosting matches for nearly a century in Scandinavia and has no plans of closing its doors for a newer venue anytime soon.
Red Bull Arena: Harris, New Jersey
Tenants: New York Red Bull
Red Bull Arena is the premier soccer venue of the United States' Major League Soccer. The stadium opened in 2010 as one of a wave of new soccer specific stadiums that have been opening in the US, such as Livestrong Park belonging to Sporting Kansas City.
With the likes of big names such as Thierry Henry gracing the pitch for the Red Bull, the stadium is soon to make a name for itself.
Rasunda Stadium: Solna, Sweden
Tenants: Swedish National Team, AIK
Sweden's most famous Stadium, the Rasunda Stadium, is in the twilight of its time as there are plans to demolish it after 2012 (as announced by the Swedish Football Association back in 2006.)
The Solna-located venue is one of few stadiums to have hosted finals for both the men's and women's World Cups.
Red Bull Arena: Leipzig, Germany
Opened: Originally (1955) Renovated (2004)
Tenants: Red Bull Leipzig
One of three Red Bull Arenas in world football, the Leipzig German version is home to one of German Football's newest clubs, Red Bull Leipzig, founded in 2009.
Having already achieved promotion to the fourth division of German football, the club have plans to reach the Bundesliga within their first eight years according to Welt.
Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium: Athens, Greece
Tenants: Olympiacos FC
Completely renovated in 2004, Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium is one of the oldest football venues in Greece and Europe.
Olympiacos have been calling the ground home since 1925, and the Stadium is one of 13 Five Star rated UEFA Stadiums.
Mercedes Benz Arena: Stuttgart, Germany
Tenants: VfB Stuttgart
One of Germany's largest stadiums, the newly-renovated Mercedes-Benz Arena was one of the host venues for the 2006 World Cup in Germany and is the lifelong home of Bundesliga club, VfB Stuttgart.
Grand Stade Lille Métropole: Lille, France
Tenants: Lille OSC
The newest stadium in France, Lille OSC are certain to have a great new chapter in their club history under their new roof.
With a capacity only outmatched by two others venues in France, the club will also enjoy a great new inflow of revenue as well as they hope to be perennial powers in Ligue 1.
Juventus Stadium: Turin, Italy
Tenants: Juventus FC, 2014 UEFA Europa League Final
Turin's and Italy's most recent addition to the footballing stadium world, Juventus Stadium is still not quite a year old, but already has seen an Italian Scudetto enter its trophy cabinet.
The stadium's inaugural season in the Italian Serie A saw its club go undefeated in 38 matches to top the Italian footballing world for the 2011-12 season.
Vicente Calderon: Madrid, Spain
Tenants: Atletico Madrid
The home of Madrid, Spain's second club, Atletico Madrid, the Vicente Calderon is located near the heart of the city and will forever be the people's venue in the nation's capital.
Atletico's stadium was also the first Spanish Stadium to be ranked as a five star UEFA Elite venue.
Stadium of Light: Sunderland, England
Tenants: AFC Sunderland
One of England's top stadiums that at times are left slightly forgotten, the Stadium of Light is the fifth-largest capacity Stadium in English Football.
Sunderland's home ground is one of two jewels of Northern England, the other owned by their rivals, Newcastle United.
Aviva Stadium: Dublin, Ireland
Tenants: Republic of Ireland National Team
One of Ireland's newest stadiums, the Aviva Stadium is a beautiful addition to the Dublin skyline.
Recently highlighted in 2011 as the host stadium for the UEFA Europa League final, there are plans to continue expanding the footballing events in the nation's greatest new venue.
Sports Direct Arena (St. James Park): Newcastle, England
Tenants: Newcastle United FC
The pride of the Geordies, the recently sponsorship-renamed Sports Direct Arena is the largest Stadium in the far reaches of Northern England.
While it will never be known as anything but St. James Park to many, the venue is known for its massive northern- and western-oriented stands that dwarf the southern and east sides of the stadium.
Estadio Municipal De Braga (The Quarry): Braga, Portugal
Tenants: Sporting Club de Braga
The smallest of three famous and unique Portuguese venues that opened its doors in 2003, Estadio Municipal de Braga has a fixture unique to any stadium in the world.
While the two massive stands that span the sides of the stadium have huge cables to balance their weight, one of the two open ends of the stadium is against a sheer rock face that hosts a massive jumbo-tron screen.
The rock face has earned the stadium is nickname of, "The Quarry."
Etihad Stadium: Manchester, England
Tenants: Manchester City FC
Home to the current English Premier League Champions, the once-titled City of Manchester Stadium is was at times forgotten as one of the best stadiums in northern England thanks to rivals Manchester United.
However, the club's recent return to success has seen the venue garner more praise as a top level venue in the world of football.
Donbass Arena: Donetsk, Ukraine
Tenants: Shakhtar Donetsk
A host stadium of the 2012 UEFA European Championship, the home venue of Shakhtar Donetsk is one of Eastern Europe's crown Jewels.
With an ever-improving club hosted by the venue, it is certain to continue to be recognized throughout the world.
Luzhniki Stadium: Moscow, Russia
Tenants: PFC CSKA Moscow, FC Spartak Moscow
Russia's largest stadium, the Luzhniki Stadium is the home of fierce rivals, CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow.
Stamford Bridge: London, England
Tenants: Chelsea FC
Home to the current UEFA Champions League title holders Chelsea Football Club, Stamford Bridge is one of London's longest-standing Stadium landmarks.
The venue is the eighth-largest in the English Premier League and it is still debatable as to how long the club can remain there without expanding to a larger venue or renovating.
Turk Telekom Arena: Istanbul, Turkey
Tenants: Galatasaray FK
Turkey's premier footballing venue, the Turk Telekom Arena is the new home to Turkish footballing giants, Galatasaray.
Although their previously-feared Ali Sami Yen Stadium is no more, the "Welcome to Hell," banners now hang from the tiers of their newest home which already holds a Guinness World Record as one of the loudest stadiums in the world.
Millennium Stadium: Cardiff, Wales
Tenants: Welsh National Team
The pride and joy of Wales' football stadiums, the Millennium Stadium was opened just before the turn of the century, hence it's name.
Located in Wales' capital city, Cardiff, the venue hosted many major events in English Football during the renovation of Wembley Stadium.
Olympic Stadium: Kiev, Ukraine
Opened: 1923, renovated 2011
Tenants: FC Dynamo Kiev, Ukrainian National Team
The Ukraine's premier and newly-renovated home to football, the Olympic Stadium hosted the final of the 2012 UEFA European Championship and is the new home to Dynamo Kiev.
Mestalla Stadium: Valencia, Spain
Tenants: Valencia CF
One of Spain's greatest football venues, the Mestalla is well known for its steep terracing that sees the fans kept up close and personal to the pitch.
The design of the stadium has seen it become known for one of the most intimidating atmospheres in Spain.
National Stadium: Warsaw, Poland
Tenants: Polish National Team
One of Europe's newest and most beautiful stadiums, the Warsaw located stadium hosted the opening match of the 2012 UEFA European Championship and will be the future home of the Polish National Football Team.
Emirates Stadium: London, England
Tenants: Arsenal Football Club
In order to replace a legendary ground such as Highbury, Arsenal FC needed a world class venue to relocate to in the mid 2000's.
The Emirates Stadium has been just that since it opened its doors in 2006 as one of the biggest stadiums in London and is also known as a journalists' favorite as it is said the Gunners know how to take care of the press when playing host.
Azadi Stadium: Tehran, Iran
Tenants: Iranian National Football Team, Persepolis FC and Esteghlal FC
Iran's premier football venue, the Azadi Stadium is one of the worlds largest Association Football hosts.
Home to the Iranian National Team and two local clubs, it is the best stadium in Western Asia.
Estadio Monumental: Lima, Peru
Tenants: Universitario de Deportes
South America's second-largest stadium, Peru's Estadio Monumental, is a massive footballing venue in the small country.
Home to Universitario de Deportes, the venue also hosts some of the Peruvian National Team's matches.
The Borg Al-Arab: Cairo, Egypt
Tenants: Egyptian National Football Team
Northern Africa's largest venue, Egypt's Borg Al-Arab is host to the National Football team and is the premier venue in the near Middle East.
The stadium is among the 10 largest Association Football stadiums in the world.
Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium (Fenerbahçe Stadium): Istanbul, Turkey
Tenants: Fenerbahce SK
One of Istanbul, Turkey's largest and best footballing venues, Fenerbahce Stadium is a five-star UEFA-ranked venue and recent ongoing renovations have seen the seating capacity continue to grow.
Estádio Do Dragão: Porto, Portugal
Tenants: FC Porto
FC Porto were not to be outdone by rival club Benfica as both entered new world-class stadiums in 2003.
The Dragao was built as part of the plans for Portugal's hosting of the 2004 UEFA European Championship.
Parc De Princes: Paris, France
Tenants: Paris Saint Germain
One of France's most historic venues, the Paris located Parc de Princes has been around as long many of the most famous British stadiums in the game.
Home to a newly-rich and rising club, Paris Saint Germain, it looks to be on the rise once more as famed stadium of choice in world football.
Estadio Da Luz (Stadium of Light): Lisbon, Portugal
Tenants: SL Benfica, 2014 UEFA Champions League Final
One of the three top stadiums in Portugal and the home of the nation's most successful club, Benfica, the Estadio da Luz is a marvelous venue for the world of football.
In the years to come it will continue to be a benchmark for many of the new stadiums that are being built throughout Europe.
Olympiastadion: Munich, Germany
The previous home of both FC Bayern Munich and TSV 1860 Munich, the Olympiastadion is one of the most unique in the game and its history is not yet complete in the world of football.
FNB Stadium (Soccer City): Johannesburg, South Africa
Opened: 1989 renovated 2009
Tenants: Kaizer Chiefs, South African National Football Team
The premier stadium from the 2010 World Cup in South Africa and home to Kaizer Chiefs Football Club, the FNB Stadium is one of the most beautiful footballing venues in the world.
With a massive capacity of nearly 100,000, if you can actually find a way to tone out the incessant sound of vuvuzelas it is a remarkable stadium to admire.
Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tenants: River Plate, Argentine National Team
The home of Argentina's most famous club (River Plate), as well as the nation's national football team, the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti is amongst the best venues in the world for the game of football.
Allianz Arena: Munich, Germany
Tenants: FC Bayern Munich, TSV 1860 Munich
The Allanz Arena is the only stadium in Europe that can change colors. The home of Germany's most successful club, Bayern Munich recently hosted the 2012 UEFA Champions League final.
Westfalenstadion (Signal Iduna Park): Dortmund, Germany
Tenants: Borussia Dortmund
Known also as Signal Iduna Park, Germany's Westfalenstadion in home to current back-to-back German champions Borussia Dortmund.
The famous venue is the largest ground in Germany and the sixth largest in Europe.
De Meer Stadion (Amsterdam Arena): Amsterdam, Netherlands
Tenants: Ajax Amsterdam, Holland National Football Team, 2013 UEFA Europa League Final
The greatest venue in Holland, the Amsterdam Arena is the home of famous Ajax Amsterdam and is the largest stadium in the country.
Hampden Park: Glasgow Scotland
Tenants: Scottish National Team, Queens Park FC, 2012 London Olympics
Scotland's National stadium (and one of its most famous footballing venues), Hampden Park is one of six stadiums that will host matches during the 2012 Summer Olympic men's and women's football medal tournaments.
Old Trafford: Manchester, England
Tenants: Manchester United
The second-largest football stadium in England, Old Trafford is the home of the nation's second most successful club in history, Manchester United.
The famous ground has grown to hold a massive capacity of over 75,000 which is the most in all of the English Premier League.
Ibrox Stadium: Glasgow, Scotland
Tenants: Rangers FC
Although Rangers Football Club are going through the worst period in their history, their home, Ibrox Stadium is still an icon of footballing venues known throughout the world.
Anfield Road: Liverpool, England
Tenants: Liverpool Football Club
The legendary atmosphere of Liverpool Football Club's home stadium, Anfield is known throughout the footballing world.
Although it is not a giant in the category of stadium capacity, it is the historic value of the venue makes it one of the greatest in the world.
Celtic Park: Glasgow, Scotland
Tenants: Celtic FC
Celtic is the oldest of Scotland's three major venues when it comes to football. Celtic Park or Parkhead, is home to one of World Football's most-storied clubs, Celtic FC and continues to be a fan favorite.
La Bombonera: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Tenants: Boca Juniors
Argentina's most famous stadium, La Bombonera has all the makings of a ground that will never be forgotten.
The massive u-shaped stand highlights the lone vertical stand that has been known to shake when the club's ultra-fans reach full voice and create one of the most intimidating atmospheres in all of world football.
Estadio Azteca: Mexico City, Mexico
Tenants: Mexican National Football Team, Club America FC
The Estadio Azteca located in Mexico City, Mexico is perhaps the most famous football venue in North America.
Home of the Mexican National Team and one of the nation's most historic clubs, Club America, it is the fifth largest stadium in the world.
Estadio Guiseppe Meazza (San Siro): Milan, Italy
Tenants: AC Milan, FC Internazionale Milano
Italy's most famous ground, Estadio Guiseppe Meazza—known as the San Siro for short—is also the largest in the country.
Home to two of the nation's most fabled clubs, the San Siro continues to rise as a mecca of Italian football lovers around the world.
Camp Nou: Barcelona, Spain
Tenants: FC Barcelona
Opened ten years after their rival Real Madrid's famous Santiago Bernabeu, Barcelona's Camp Nou is the largest Stadium in Spain and the biggest in all of Europe.
The Blaugrana has plans to make the ground even bigger in the years to come and will hope to continue to keep putting on some of the best footballing displays in modern history.
Santiago Bernabeu: Madrid, Spain
Tenants: Real Madrid, Spanish National Football Team
Home of Spain's most famous club and one of the world's most well-known organizations in Real Madrid, the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is a landmark of the game.
Having seen some of the greatest teams in football history grace its pitch, the legendary venue is one of the largest in all of Europe.
Estadio Centenario: Montevideo, Uruguay
Tenants: Uruguayan National Team
Considered one of the classics in terms of world footballing venues, the Estadio Centenario is the only stadium to have been honored by FIFA as a monument of the game.
The Maracana: Rio De Janeiro Brazil
Tenants: Brazilian National Football Team, 2014 World Cup, 2016 Summer Olympics
The Maracana: The name alone calls for reverence at one of the most fabled grounds in football history.
In 1950 this was the site upon which Uruguay upset 1950 World Cup hosts, Brazil in the final 2-1 in front of nearly 200,000 fans.
Currently the stadium is under complete renovation as seen in the picture above as the nation prepares to once again host the World Cup in 2014. It is hoped that there is not another Maracana upset on the cards.
Wembley Stadium: London, England
Opened: 1923, 2007
Tenants: England National Football Team, League Cup Final, FA Cup Final
There could be no greater stadium than Wembley. The pride and joy of the creators of football, the biggest stadium in England continues to impress after its most recent renovation in 2007 which saw a massive redevelopment.
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