Italy: San Siro or Giuseppe Meazza?

source:; author: Kuba Kowalski

Italy: San Siro or Giuseppe Meazza? On the occasion of the Champions League semi final two-legged match between Milan and Inter, an unusual situation is taking place. This is because both matches will be played at the same stadium, the name of which has been debated for a while now. What's the matter with the name of Milan's legendary arena?


A stadium that unites and divides

The idea for the arena was the work of Milan's president at the time, Piero Pirelli. The stadium's original name, San Siro, came from the park that is located near the venue. This is also the name of the Milan neighborhood where the arena is located. The Rossoneri were the first owners of the facility, and after a period of construction that lasted from 1925 to 1926, they played their inaugural match there. The game took place on September 19, 1926, and Milan's opponents were... Inter. The derby turned out to be a great spectacle, with as many as nine goals scored. However, fans from the red and black part of Milan were not too satisfied after the match, as they lost 3:6.

In 1947, it was decided that games at the San Siro would be played by both Milan and Inter. Since 1980 the stadium has been named after Nerazzuri player and, in later years, Milan as well, Giuseppe Meazza, the 1934 and 1938 world champion. However, the arena's original name, San Siro, is most often used. The venue is one of the largest stadiums in the world and can accommodate about 85,000 fans. The traditional section for AC Milan fans is the "Curva Sud" (South Corner), and for Inter fans is the "Curva Nord" (North Corner). San Siro is one of 27 European stadiums rated 5 stars by UEFA, which means the highest class.

San Siro in 1926San Siro in 1926

Nearly 100 years of San Siro

In 1926, the venue held about 10,000 spectators and reached its 55,000-seat limit only after the 1939 expansion. In the mid-1950s, it entered the elite group of 100,000-seat venues and stayed there for another 30 years. At the beginning of this period it was able to accommodate as many as 150,000 spectators. Modernization, which had a huge impact on the stadium's capacity and appearance, took place before the 1990 World Cup. At that time, 11 massive columns with spiral entrances for fans were added, and four of them also became the main supports of the canopy. It is based on giant trusses hanging over the field. The number of seats in the stands was also reduced by 15,000. The appearance of the facility, which was achieved at that time, with minor adjustments has survived to the present day.

Dark clouds loomed over Milan's giant stadium some time ago, and it's still uncertain what will happen to it in the future. Inter and Milan are working on two different projects for a new stadium, and the Rossoneri seem determined to build their own arena without Inter at the La Maura site, not too far from the current facility. Meanwhile, Inter is still hoping that Milan will agree to build a new stadium with them at San Siro. Opposed to building an arena near La Maura are the residents, who even protested in the streets of Milan. More than 3,000 people took part in the march. What future awaits the legendary stadium? Will it make it to its 100th birthday?

San Siro now© Chindea Ciprian Emil