Tour of duty

The other day I just happened to be in Milan – as you do.  There wasn’t a game on but it had been a while since I had been to the stadium so I thought I would pop along and have a sneak look at the stadium.  I have fond memories of the games I have seen in the San Siro, which include the 2001 Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Valencia, as well as a storming 6-0 win for AC Milan in the derby game in the same season.

The San Siro

I was shown round by Pepe, who answered my questions in a very knowledgeable way, but made a fundamental error.  Pepe claimed that the stadium was the 3rd biggest in Europe behind the Nou Camp and the new Wembley Stadium.  My facts and figures have never suggested that the ground could hold more than 81,000 but he claimed it could hold 85,000.  So we had a little €1 bet on it and I agreed to publish my findings here.  And I am pleased to say that my intimate knowledge of European stadiums has seen me win the bet.  According to all the sources I can find, including the official San Siro website the stadium currently holds 80,074 (For the 1990 FIFA World Cup it did indeed hold 88,500).

So that got me thinking about the other “top 10” stadiums and my trips there.  According to the most reliable source in the world, aka Wikipedia, they are as follows:-

  1. The Camp Nou – Barcelona – 98,772
  2. Wembley Stadium – London – 90,000
  3. Croke Park – Dubin – 82,300
  4. Twickenham Stadium – London – 82,000
  5. Stade de France – Paris – 81,338
  6. Signal Iduna Park – Dortmund – 81,264
  7. Estadio Santiago Bernabau – Madrid – 80,354
  8. Stadio Guiseppe Meazza aka “San Siro” – Milan – 80,074
  9. Luzhniki Stadium – Moscow – 78,360
  10. Old Trafford – Manchester – 75,957

So hands up who has seen a football match at all of the above?  No one – exactly!  Because as far as I am aware, Twickenham has never been used for a football match, and as of August this year when the Avivia Stadium opens in Dublin, nor will the magnificent Croke Park again.

Many readers are still to experience some of these stadiums, so what we have done is but a little slideshow together of them, including some behind the scenes footage from a couple.

So what is your favourite stadium of the 10?  We are all going all X-Factorish giving you, the reader, the chance to vote…

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