Top 5 Football Stadia for Fan Atmosphere in World Football
There are few greater sights in sport than a capacity crowd roaring on their beloved heroes in unison.
The world game has an impressive collection of footballing cathedrals, bastions of the game’s purity and prestige, venues built to amplify the spectacle centred upon one ball, two goals and 22 men.
From dilapidated old grounds in need of a makeover to refurbished state-of-the-art venues, this article considers the various qualities of top-end arenas for fan atmosphere.
Read on—and don’t hesitate to comment below and let us know which venues would make your shortlist.
The traditional pre-match rendition of Gerry and the Pacemakers’ classic “You’ll Never Walk Alone” is an assault on the senses like no other in football.
To witness a city and its fans pour their hearts out in such a stirring show of unity and cathartic expression of mourning is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Few clubs have been through more than Liverpool FC, and this is evident before each and every home game.
The 45,525-seater stadium is the perfect venue to host a rendition of such a haunting, moving canticle—truly one of the most atmospheric sporting centres in the world.
Next time you visit Barcelona, make at least two trips to the Camp Nou.
Certainly, head there for a game and see the arena bedecked in the colours of Catalonia—the shades of secession—and the fervour of a club that is more than merely itself.
However, also go there when the place has fallen silent. Rarely do buildings possess quite as much silent gravitas as an empty football stadium, but the Camp Nou is the Giza Pyramid of football stadiums.
Empty and silent, it is one of the most imposing, breath-taking structures in the world.
Fortunately, the good people of Catalonia have their passion and perspiration rewarded by one of the finest football teams the world has ever known.
Truly, this is a stage fit for the actors whom perform upon it.
Few matches last season presented a finer example of a city’s passion for their club than the Champions League clash between Celtic and Barcelona in Glasgow.
The home side’s support that evening was phenomenal, with a tidal wave of noise accompanying the Hoops’ every touch and euphoria that had built to a crescendo greeting the players on the final whistle.
If it is emotion and pure passion that you’re after, then there is nowhere finer the 60,832-seater home of the Bhoys.
Not to be outdone, Ibrox, the home of Celtic’s cross-city rivals Rangers, is also a raucous venue. Despite their slide down the Scottish league, the 51,000-capacity arena can generate a phenomenal noise.
Turk Telekom Arena
When a stadium wins a Guinness world record for volume, you know you are talking about a venue where the atmosphere is pretty special.
Back in March 2011, the club’s new Turk Telekom Arena saw a crowd roar which reached 131.76 decibels as home side Galatasaray took on old rivals Fenerbahce.
Gala fans routinely create a furious cauldron of electric energy and intimidating ferocity whenever they welcome guests, foreign or domestic.
While some fans feared that the club would lose some of their infamous atmosphere with a move away from the iconic Ali Sami Yen Stadium. The switch appears not to have dampened enthusiasm at all—and the record-breaking roar should help kick off an exciting era.
Surely running Galatasaray close in the sound stakes is the Maracana—the emotional heartland of Brazilian football.
Few stadiums have witnessed more heartbreak and anguish than the Rio de Janeiro arena's experience on July 19 1950—the day that football died.
Needing only a draw to be proclaimed world champions for the first time, 200,000 fans saw Brazil unexpectedly lose 2-1 to tiny neighbours Uruguay—and a nation went into a period of mourning it has barely recovered from despite five subsequent World Cup triumphs.
Brazil's goalkeeper that day, Moacir Barbosa, was blamed for letting the winning goal in at his near post and haunted by the moment until his death.
Yet despite this tragic chapter in the history of the Brazilian game, the Maracana remains a venue where the beautiful game can be appreciated at its finest.
The new, redeveloped arena demonstrated its capacity for an engrossing and thoroughly enchanting fan experience in the recent Confederations Cup, while it will have the ultimate chance to show its worth next summer as one of the key venues for the World Cup itself.