The World Cup of 2006 was hosted in Germany and a big reason for the now four-time winners' bid succeeding was that they already had a number of great stadiums to use for the event. This saved valuable time and money when it came to the planning stage, and the Germans were able to showcase real-life stadiums as opposed to artist impressions and models that some other countries had to use.
The Allianz Arena in Munich is one of the most memorable stadiums from the 2006 World Cup, and pictures of it being lit up with team colours were shown worldwide after each game. The stadium was built prior to the 2006 World Cup, following years of discussions on whether Munich as a city actually needed a new stadium, or if renovation work on the old Olympiastadion would have sufficed.
The Allianz Arena was the venue for the first game of the tournament, a six-goal thriller between Germany and Costa Rica. That game got the tournament off to a great start, as well as being a great moment for the new stadium, and its first venture into the world spotlight.
Photo: Zairon (cc: by-sa)
Another place that will remain in Germany footballing history, but unfortunately for the wrong reasons in 2006, is the Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund. This old stadium is full of character, something that it has managed to maintain despite various rounds of restoration and improvement work. However, it was the venue where Germany were knocked out of their home tournament by Italy at the semifinal stage.
The Italians had a great team during the 2000s and the 2006 World Cup saw them crowned them as champions of the world, their fourth victory on the world stage. Their famous trio of Gigi Buffon, Christian Vieri and Filippo Inzaghi stole the show and were fantastic throughout the tournament, and they quickly became the standard bearers for Italian football. Anyone who wanted to buy those three superstars in their peak would have to pay a hefty price, so much so that the lotto jackpot of £125 million won in Italy in 2010 would be required to purchase them. The three of them together brought home an Italian World Cup victory, so in the eyes of many Italians, they were simply priceless and their efforts will never be forgotten.
The Frankenstadion was the smallest of all the World Cup stadiums in 2006, holding just 41,000 people. Despite that though, they still hosted five games and the final game they hosted will prove to be a memorable one for anyone in attendance. The game was a last 16 game between Portugal and the Netherlands, with Portugal eventually winning the game 1-0.
Alongside a fantastic atmosphere in the stands, the game will also be remembered for being an extremely feisty affair. The game had four red cards and 16 yellow cards, and while we didn’t see the game of football shown in the best light that night in Nurnberg, it is certainly a game that those in attendance will never forget about. Perhaps not a highlight of the 2006 World Cup, but certainly a moment you will never forget if you saw the game.