The World Cup is a global event that brings together the best players in the world to compete for the most coveted prize in football. Every four years, viewers from all over the world tune in to watch some of the best matches of their lives. Over the years, some stadiums have been more memorable than others. Here are five of the most iconic stadiums from past World Cups.
Top 5 Iconic World Cup Stadiums
Here are the top 5 most iconic world cup stadiums:
5. Stade de France (Saint-Denis, France)
The 1998 World Cup required the construction of the Stade de France. The largest modular stadium in the world, with 25,000 of its 80,000 seats moveable, is this work of modern architecture. By allowing for multiple seating arrangements, this modular component makes the stadium multipurpose and adaptable enough to hold a variety of different events. This was the first of its kind when it was erected.
In fact, because of its unique construction, it is one of the few stadiums in the world to have held both a rugby and a football World Cup final (in 1998). (2007).
The stadium gained popularity as the site of the France national team’s first-ever World Cup victory. When France defeated Brazil 3-0 in the championship match, they were crowned both the tournament’s winners and the 1998 World Cup hosts.
The Stade de France, which seats 80,698, continues to be the largest stadium in France and the location of the French national football team’s most significant home games.
4. Wembley Stadium (London, England)
Wembley Stadium, one of the athletic world’s wonders when it was constructed in the 1920s, has been properly referred to by Pelé as “the cathedral, the capital, and heart of football.” No little claim when you consider its significance as the most well-known stadium in England, the nation where the modern game of football was invented. The old and the modern may be used to tell the story of this magnificent structure.
England overcame their main rival West Germany in the original Wembley, which was constructed in 1923 for £750,000, cementing its claim to icon status. The 1966 World Cup was England’s first and only major international championship, which they won 4-2 in the extra period. About 98,000 individuals made up the joyful crowd.
Geoff Hurst’s hattrick, the first ever in a FIFA World Cup Final, and the contentious third goal awarded to England by referee Gottfried Dienst and linesman Tofiq Bahramov, among other events, made the legendary game renowned. Additionally, with 32.3 million views as of July 2018, it is the most viewed event in British television history.
On October 7, 2000, the old arena was shut down, and in 2002, demolition work started. In 2007, the brand-new stadium was inaugurated on the location of the previous arena. With a capacity of 90,000, the new Wembley Stadium, which cost £789 million to construct, is the largest stadium in the UK and the second-largest in all of Europe. The 134 m (440 ft) high steel structure that frames the new stadium gives it away.
During demolition, the two towers of the previous Wembley Stadium were taken down. It marked the end of an era for many. The towers were a landmark whose silhouette is inextricably linked to the sport of football. At two English rural estates, the towers’ unique crowns are still there.
3. Estadio Centenario (Montevideo, Uruguay)
The Estadio Centenario was constructed in the 1930s so that Uruguay could host the World Cup. The Estadio Centenario is still in use and maintains a very unique place in people’s hearts because it was the site of the inaugural World Cup football competition, which has taken place there several times over the last almost 100 years. The only building of its kind in existence, the structure is now classified by FIFA as a historical landmark of World Football.
The stadium was initially intended to host every match of the first 1930 World Cup. However, because of the persistent rain, the building wasn’t finished in time; it wasn’t ready until five days after the tournament’s scheduled start date. Instead, the first few games were held at the close-by Estadio Pocitos and Estadio Gran Parque Central venues.
When the arena was finished, it did house every team in the tournament as well as the semifinal and championship matches of the World Cup, in which Uruguay defeated Argentina 4-2.
FIFA has recognized the stadium as a classic football stadium. Juan Antonio Scasso designed it, and it cost $1 million to construct. In the 1930s, it was regarded as the best football stadium ever constructed. It was the first-ever reinforced concrete stadium built in Latin America and was constructed in four parts. With three levels of tiers inside each of its four parts and an elliptical shape of geometric continuity, it was designed to host up to 100,000 spectators.
However, the original plan was changed, and only one portion of the stadium now has the third deck that was originally planned. As a result, the capacity decreased to roughly 70,000. Its design nonetheless served as a model for other venues in the future.
2. Estadio Azteca (Mexico City, Mexico)
To give Mexico a premier stadium for the 1970 World Cup, Pedro Ramirez and Rafael Mijares built the Estadio Azteca. On May 29, 1966, a friendly game between the Mexican team Club América and the Italian team Torino was held there. There were 107,494 fans in attendance.
The largest stadium in Mexico is Estadio Azteca, albeit, in recent years, its capacity has somewhat declined. Initially, it could fit 115,000 people in the seats. However, capacity was lowered to about 100,000 in the early 2000s in order to adhere to safety regulations. In 2016, 84,000 tickets were available while the stadium underwent extensive renovations to provide more VIP amenities.
Estadio Azteca, which is in Mexico City, made history by being the first venue to hold two FIFA World Cup Finals. In fact, it is the only location where two of the greatest players in history, Diego Maradona (1986) and Pele (1970), both lifted the World Cup trophy.
The stadium was also the location of Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal against England in the World Cup quarterfinal on June 22, 1986. The unlawful handball goal ought to have been nullified, but as the referee failed to see it, it was permitted.
A decision that may have denied England a spot in the championship game. The memory of this contentious affair still lingers for England supporters. However, the game and the stadium remain significant parts of one of the greatest football victories for the Argentinians, who went on to win the World Cup that year.
1. Maracanã Stadium (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
The Maracan Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, which is debatably the most well-known football stadium in the world, was constructed after Brazil was awarded the privilege to host the 1950 FIFA World Cup.
With 199,854 fans in the stands, the stadium—which is owned by the state of Rio de Janeiro—holds the unquestionable record for the biggest crowd for a single game. The World Cup match in question happened in 1950 when Uruguay defeated Brazil 2-1 to win the title of world champions.
The Maracan Stadium underwent renovation in 2013, and it served as the venue for a number of games at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, including the championship game between Germany and Argentina. The stadium’s capacity was reduced to approximately 79,000 in time for the 2014 competition, making it the biggest in Brazil but only the second-biggest in all of South America after Estadio Monumental in Peru.
Before the 2013 renovations, the arena held 26 events with 150,000 or more people. The last time these many people were at the stadium was on May 29, 1983, when 155,253 people witnessed Flamengo defeat Santos 3-0 in the Brazilian Championship final. The stadium has welcomed audiences larger than 100,000 more than 280 times, which is equally amazing. The Maracana Stadium has been a titan in its day.
The World Cup is a global phenomenon that is watched by billions of people around the world. As excitement for this year’s tournament builds, we take a look back at some of the most iconic stadiums in World Cup history. Whether it’s because of their location, architecture, or role in key moments in the tournament, these stadiums have left an indelible mark on football fans everywhere. Do you have a favorite stadium from World Cup history? Let us know in the comments below.