With the 2018 World Cup in Russia just a few months away, we look at the some of the best stadiums on the planet to have hosted a World Cup game.
Maracana Stadium (Brazil)
The Maracana Stadium is one of the best and most historic stadiums in the world. Located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the stadium hosted the final of the 2014 World Cup between Germany and Argentina. The Maracana has undergone renovation on more than one occasions in recent decades and can accommodate over almost 80,000 spectators. The stadium now, though, is in a state of ruins by old standards.
Stade de France (France)
The Stade de France is known all over the world and is the sixth-largest stadium in Europe. Located just north of Paris in the commune of Saint-Denis, the Stade de France has a capacity of over 80,000. The stadium hosted arguably the greatest football match in France’s history - the final of the 1998 World Cup. Les Bleus defeated South American giants Brazil 3-0 in front of 80,000 fans, thanks to goals from Zinedine Zidane (two) and Emmanuel Petit.
Luzhniki Stadium (Russia)
The Luzhniki Stadium will host the final of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Located in Moscow, it is one of the best and most modern stadiums in the world. Able to accommodate over 80,000 fans, the Luzhniki Stadium played host to the Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea. World Cup odds are not in favour of Russia, who are below the likes of Colombia and Chile, but perhaps if they are in a favourable group and get lucky in the initial knockout stages, then the Russian fans could be treated to something special at the Luzhniki Stadium.
Stadio Olimpico (Italy)
The Stadio Olimpico in Rome is another historic stadium that is also the home of two of Italy’s biggest clubs. Both AS Roma and Lazio use the stadium regularly for their home matches, meaning that this is one of the very World Cup stadiums that are used almost every week. Although there is a running track around the football pitch, the atmosphere is electric during the Rome derby. Stadio Olimpico hosted the 1990 World Cup final between (West) Germany and Argentina, which the European side won 1-0.
Estadio Azteca (Mexico)
Estadio Azteca is one of the most iconic football stadiums in the world and the first one to host two World Cup finals. The first time was in 1970 when there were just over 107,000 spectators for the game between Brazil and Italy. The second time was in 1986 when there was a crowd of just under 115,000 for the encounter between Argentine and (West) Germany. The stadium’s capacity is now 87,000, and it also hosts the games of the Mexico national football team.
The other World Cup venues that should be considered as among the best are the Olympiastadion in Munich, the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti in Buenos Aires, and the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Spain.