With soccer being such a worldwide sport, countless stadiums around the world capture the essence of the game. Not all of them are huge, as they are built for the type of support they receive.
What are the best 15 soccer stadiums out there right now? While it is hard to come to a conclusion with a list like this, these 15 are definitely on the shortlist for anyone who wants to explore what is out there.
1. Wembley Stadium
- Capacity: 90,000
Since opening in 2007, the English National Team’s home has certainly been a place that every single soccer fan would love to check out. It took the place of the original Wembley Stadium that opened in 1923, and it has instantly become an electric venue for huge matches.
Whether it is the English National Team, the finals in the Champions League, or the Olympics, it is a place that every single person should have on the shortlist if they travel around and watch games in different venues.
2. Camp Nou
- Capacity: 99,354
As the official home of FC Barcelona, there are countless matches throughout the year that are very important. First opening in 1957, the stadium holds just about 100,000 people. In fact, it reached 120,000 people in the 1982 World Cup finals, but laws were put in place to prevent that from ever happening again.
With so much history at Camp Nou, many people like to make the pilgrimage there if possible. It is littered with history, both at the club and international level.
3. Santiago Bernabeu
- Capacity: 81,044
Staying in Spain, an even older stadium sits in Madrid. Founded in 1947, the slightly smaller home to Real Madrid packs in a ton of history. There have been many amazing matches play there, and as the official home of the Spanish national team, there is always a little bit of extra prestige.
Ever since it was most recently renovated in 2001, the stadium has really shown just how great it is at hosting soccer events. It seems like it is the home of Spanish soccer for long term, and one of the premier places in all of Europe.
4. Old Trafford
- Capacity: 76,000
Manchester United is considered by many to be the top team in English Premier League history. They have put together a very successful run for a long time, and they have one of the best home-field advantages in soccer today.
How are they able to win so consistently? Old Trafford helps out considerably. Even though it might show its age a little bit, there is no doubt that there is a built-in advantage every time a new team comes in.
Now that it can hold up to 75,000 people, it is the largest club stadium in England. It is almost always packed, and it can be one of the most hostile environments in all of soccer.
5. The Maracana
- Capacity: 78,838
There is one stadium that the Brazilian national team calls home in Rio de Janeiro. Opening in 1950, The Maracana is a historic venue when thinking about all the important matches that have been played there. Not only does Brazil host all of their home matches in the stadium, but there have been two World Cup finals and one Olympic final as well.
Brazil is one of the most decorated countries from a soccer perspective globally, so it is mind-boggling to think of how many great players have suited up at least once on the pitch. Anyone who makes it to Rio de Janeiro should check out the stadium at least once.
6. Allianz Arena
- Capacity: 75,024
Many would say that the most consistent club team has been Bayern Munich out of Germany in the last few years. While they might not get the same amount of fanfare worldwide as some of the other teams out there, they do have one of the best stadiums around. Opening in 2005, this arena has played host to not only Bayern Munich, but 1860 Munich as well.
It is pretty stunning inside, but outside it is just as surprising. It will light up red when Bayern Munich is playing, and blue when 1860 Munich is playing. With it being so modern, a lot of big matches have been played there already, including the 2012 Champions League Final.
7. Signal Iduna Park
- Capacity: 81,365
The largest stadium in Germany has been recognized as one of the best stadiums in the entire world since opening in 1974. Seating over 80,000 people, it was put to use right away when it hosted group stage matches in the 1974 World Cup. It was able to handle the same type of work in 2006.
Home to Borussia Dortmund during the year, it is instantly recognizable by the yellow wall inside. On the south part of the stadium, there is the largest free-standing grandstand in all of Europe. Just about 25,000 people fill this part of the stadium alone during home matches.
8. Stadium Giuseppe Meazza
- Capacity: 80,018
It is hard to find a better stadium in Italy, as both AC Milan and Internazionale call Stadium Giuseppe Meazza home. It has been around for almost a century, and they have been able to keep it lively by doing a few renovations here and there.
Not a ton of huge matches have been held at the stadium recently, but it is still very well respected as an option for a European Cup and Champions League finals. Anyone who ever finds themselves in the area usually finds a way to watch at least one match, and with two teams playing there, it is never too far away that something is happening.
9. Estadio Azteca
- Capacity: 87,523
Most people internationally know that this is the stadium that the Mexican national team plays in when they have home matches. It is also well known for being one of the biggest stadiums in the world, capable of holding over 105,000 people.
That is part of the reason why it can boast that it has held not only the 1970 World Cup finals, but the 1986 World Cup finals as well. Many people were surprised by just how great both of those matches went, with the host playing a major role.
Fans from other countries usually try to make at least one trip there if they have their national team playing, but it is packed with locals for big matches. During the regular club season, Club America FC plays their matches in the stadium.
10. First National Bank Stadium
- Capacity: 94,736
The South African National Football Team has played their home matches in the stadium for quite a while. When South Africa was awarded the World Cup in 2010, there were significant renovations done so that it was ready and capable of holding such a prestigious event.
The 2010 World Cup final took place in the stadium, and with a capacity right around 95,000 people, it went off without any holdups whatsoever.
During the regular season, the Kaiser Chiefs play in the stadium. It has turned into a very proud piece of architecture for South African people, and they are hoping that future big events can make their way to the continent to show just how much soccer is a worldwide sport.
- Capacity: 53,394
Compared to most of the other stadiums on this list, Anfield seems a little out of place. Not only was it opened in the 1880s, but the capacity is pretty small as well. However, there is so much history and tradition in this stadium that it is impossible to leave it off.
Home to Liverpool, many people are surprised by the atmosphere in the stadium for every single match. No matter how great or poorly Liverpool is doing, there are loyal fans there every single match. When visiting teams make a pilgrimage, they are definitely in for a treat as the home fans trying to intimidate the opposition as much as possible.
There have been a few incidents here and there, but for the most part, it is all in the spirit of sports. It is almost a performance piece for the fans during matches with so many traditions during the game.
12. Estadio Centenario
- Capacity: 60,235
When it came time to host the 1930 World Cup, the brand new stadium was ready to go. It is unclear if anyone thought that the stadium would still be around 90 years later, but it is still the Uruguayan National Team’s home whenever they have a match.
It is one of the truly classic stadiums in the world, and they have the hardware to prove it. In 1983, FIFA listed it as a historical monument in world football. It is the only stadium to have that recognition, and people still love checking it out in person.
13. Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucci Liberti
- Capacity: 70,074
Home of both the Argentinian National Team and River Plate, this is another pretty old stadium that still holds up well as a great place to watch soccer. As the host of the 1978 World Cup final, it is the largest stadium in Argentina.
Many older people still remember the craziness of the 1978 World Cup final, as Argentina pulled off a bit of a surprise by beating the Netherlands and hoisting the trophy for the first time in the country’s history.
The stadium is looking a little rough around the edges in some capacity, but it is still one of the most revered in the world. When visiting teams play either the club team or the national team, it is definitely a crazy environment.
14. Celtic Park
- Capacity: 60,411
Much like Anfield, Celtic Park is one of those very old stadiums that is a marvel to see in person. Opening its doors in 1882, it has gone through a few renovations to get to where it looks current.
With the capacity of over 60,000 now, Celtic supporters are always packed in the stadium. They are not always playing the most important matches in the world, but they have some of the most loyal fans anyone can find.
15. Johan Cruijff ArenA (Amsterdam Arena)
- Capacity: 55,500
The official home of Ajax and the Netherlands national team is a relatively new stadium, opening in 1996. It was put to use almost right away as a host for the Champions League final and Europa League finals in the past.
In 2017, it was announced that the Amsterdam Arena would be renamed Johan Cruijff Arena, in memory of one of the biggest Ajax legends of all time, Johan Cruyff.
When they first built the stadium, it was pretty intriguing to see how they could carry over so much tradition from other locations. It has many modern amenities, but it still has that sort of history that so many people can get behind. It is a callous environment no matter who is playing in the stadium, as it feels much more intimate than the 55,500 people who can pack the stadium.