Top 10 Best Stadiums In The World

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From Piraeus to Johannesburg, soccer or football as it is known throughout much of the world, is truly a global game.

As such, there are many legendary pitches that can make a ‘best of’ list. But what truly constitutes a “good” stadium?

Is it the home-field advantage that its club objectively derives from it? The number of classic games it has hosted? Or how good the beer served at the concession stands is?

A quick Google search of ‘Best Soccer Stadiums’ will bring up plenty of lists. Most of these will simply be listicles of the most famous stadiums in the world. This is not that.

From our own first-hand experience attending games, that of our close friends, and some serious Red Bull-fueled late-night research. Here are the “5 best soccer stadiums in the world,” objectively speaking, based on the following set of criteria:

🙌 Fan Experience: 10 Points
🏟️ Atmosphere – Home Field Advantage: 7 Points
♻️ Quality of the Pitch: 5 Points
🏅 Prestige: 5 Points
💺 Size – Seated Capacity: 3 Points

The 10 Best Soccer Stadiums

One name consistently kept coming up for me “everywhere I looked,” and that name was Camp Nou.

From its enormous size – it is “the largest stadium in Europe,” with a seating capacity of nearly 100,000, to its seating being just above pitch level, amplifying the thunderous chants of the crowd. You aren’t going to a game when you go to the home of FC Barcelona, you are having an experience.

The stadium has undergone several upgrades since its completion in 1957 and now boasts an expansive Wi-Fi network, public areas, and is set for further renovation after this season.

It has hosted World Cup matches, Champions League games, and it is the home of the El Classico, Barcelona versus Real Madrid matchup.

Camp Nou should be on the bucket list of every fan of the beautiful game.

Total Score: 29 Points

🙌 Fan Experience: 8 Points
🏟️ Atmosphere – Home Field Advantage: 9 Points
♻️ Quality of the Pitch: 4 Points
🏅 Prestige: 5 Points
💺 Size – Seated Capacity: 3 Points

Picture this: It’s match day, nearly 75,000 fans from all over the country and beyond are pouring into a brightly lit stadium, whose red exterior lighting emanates as far as Austrian mountain tops and matches the jersey color of the home squad – FC Bayern Munich.

Once inside the stadium, the roar of the crowd is unmatched, as is the experience.

Allianz Arena is the newest stadium on our list, hosting its first match only 17 years ago.

But don’t let the posh surroundings and leather luxury box seats fool you. “The Bavarians,” which is the name Bayern fans are commonly known by, are some of the rowdiest in all of soccer.

Everyone I know that’s attended a game at the “Schlauchboot” and reviewers online all rate the experience highly.

Total Points: 25

🙌 Fan Experience: 8 Points
🏟️ Atmosphere – Home Field Advantage: 8 Points
♻️ Quality of the Pitch: 5 Points
🏅 Prestige: 2 Points
💺 Size – Seated Capacity: 2 Points

SSC Napoli may not be the biggest name in Italian soccer, but it does have one of the “largest fan bases,” and that’s what makes going to a game at the storied Stadio something you need to experience.

With a capacity of nearly 60,000 and a legacy that includes the stadium’s namesake leading the home side to its only two Serie A titles. The atmosphere for a derby contest is irreplicable.

What the stadium lacks in on-site amenities and modern comforts (the stadium was constructed in 1959 after all), it makes up for its atmosphere on game day, fan experience, and the prestige of its pitch.

Total Points: 22

🙌 Fan Experience: 6 Points
🏟️ Atmosphere – Home Field Advantage: 7 Points
♻️ Quality of the Pitch: 3 Points
🏅 Prestige: 4 Points
💺 Size – Seated Capacity: 2 Points

The first three names on my list were admittedly a little predictable.

So I’m gonna switch it up a bit and include two spots you aren’t going to see on any other stadium ‘best of’ list. Starting with La Bombanera.

The Alberto José Armando Stadium is famous or rather infamous for helping its squad, Boca Juniors have one of the best home pitch advantages in all of soccer.

According to some eyewitness accounts, the stadium ground literally shakes like a mini earthquake when the 50,000 plus in attendance turn up. No other sporting event in existence can lay claim to this except for a 2016 Leicester City game.

The stadium is such a prized jewel that it has been declared “of public interest” by the Government of Buenos Aires.

We should all put it on our list of world heritage sites to visit.

Total Points: 20

🙌 Fan Experience: 7 Points
🏟️ Atmosphere – Home Field Advantage: 6 Points
♻️ Quality of the Pitch: 2 Points
🏅 Prestige: 3 Points
💺 Size – Seated Capacity: 2 Points

No credible stadium list would be complete without a pitch in the country of soccer – Brasilia.

Officially named the Estádio Jornalista Mário Filho, the nearly 5-acre, 80,000-capacity grass field is a public stage, as much as it is a soccer stadium.

Recently re-renovated in 2013, the new Maracanã is one of the most structurally modern and efficient in the world, as evidenced by its LEED certification.

Its circular design with fans in every corner of the stadium also makes it one of the loudest venues to perform in – just ask any player that has taken to the pitch in one of the many World Cups or Copa America Cups that have been hosted here.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in Rio during one of these international competitions or travel to one, put the Maracanã at the top of your list, like I did.

Total Points: 19

🙌 Fan Experience: 4 Points
🏟️ Atmosphere – Home Field Advantage: 5 Points
♻️ Quality of the Pitch: 3 Points
🏅 Prestige: 4 Points
💺 Size – Seated Capacity: 3 Points

Love it or hate it…like most English fans certainly will. This list is meant to be debated, discussed, and shared. So do your thing while I end things off with some honorable mentions:

Wembley Stadium, London

My weak attempt to placate English fans by giving a tip of the hat to the “world’s most famous stadium.”

Karaiskakis Stadium, Piraeus

Home to the Red-Whites of Olympiacos FC. What the venue lacks in size at a capacity of only 32,000, it makes up for in atmosphere and overall fan experience.

Estadio Azteca, Mexico City

Boasting more than 800 executive suites and a total capacity of over 87,000, the Azteca is Mexico’s largest stadium.

It is also home to the New York Yankees of the Liga MX – Club América. Whom are currently the subject of a Netflix docu series. Una buena mirada!

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan

“The most titled stadium in the world” is a soccer temple.

It was aptly inaugurated on September 19, 1926, with a Milan-Inter derby and it remains Italy’s largest stadium to this day.

Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, Madrid

Our list ends right where it started, in España.

The home of Real Madrid is one of the most accessible facilities to fans, with its dressing rooms, trophy room, and the dignitaries box all regularly open to visitors for tours.

James Cunningham
James Cunningham
James lives in Chicago with his wife and three daughters. Originally from the UK, soccer has allowed him to travel the world. Now a youth coach, he fully enjoys teaching others about the game that he loves so much. His favorite team is Manchester United.