Top 5: European Stadiums
From the great yellow wall of the Westfalenstadion to the home of the Grobari in Partizan, we look at the best stadiums Europe has to offer.
5. Stadio Luigis Ferraris
Another one of those shared Italian grounds, the Stadio Luigis Ferraris was built back in 1911 and is home to both U.C Sampdoria and C.F.C Genoa. With neither club bringing home the goods since Vujadin Boškov led his dogged Sampdoria side to a Scudetto back in 1991. Although the Blucerchiati now have veteran marksman Fabio Quagliarella in their ranks, the thirty-five-year-old journeyman is a far cry from goal machine Gianluca Vialli.
The Stadio Luigis Ferraris is famous for its alluring motifs and it’s rampant evening games, where the two sides from Liguria often tussle with the big names from Milan and Turin. Despite not being the most well recognised European stage, the Luigis Ferraris has certainly held some great nights and with the tireless nature of the Sampdoria and Genoa faithful, there is no doubt that there will be more to come.
This old place was always going to feature on my list. You may be surprised at how low down it is, but rest assured, I have my reasons. There may be the spine-tingling renditions of Never Walk Alone and the recently inducted ‘Allez Allez Allez’ but Anfield has been often become a library of sorts, especially in recent years with dire results and a lack of silverware coming to Merseyside.
Nevertheless, the home of the Reds has become synonymous with grand European nights, and nothing was more special than their 3-0 triumph over star-studded Manchester City last campaign. When the Kop gets going and the flags are out, there is no more daring sight in football.
3. The Mestalla
The ageing home of Valencia CF has always been one of Europe’s finest. Built like a bull-ring, steep stands rise up almost on top of the pitch, giving viewers of Els Tarongesa an audacious experience.
With no trophies since the days of Argentinian wizard Pablo Aimar back in 2003, last season showed glimpses of a return to ‘normality’ with the Spanish sleeping giants of sort coming back into fruition. After leading the league for a long time, they eventually gave up to the ‘dominant’ three: Atletico, Barca and Real Madrid, but still held an impressive fourth place. With Champions League football next season, the Mestalla will surely be back into its full use in no time.
Another mainstay in many people’s ‘top 5 stadiums’ is the Westfalenstadion (also named Signal Iduna Park). The great yellow wall is the largest free-standing stand in Europe, holding just under 24,500 BVB faithful and making a racket week in week out.
The astonishing attendance records are what makes the Westfalenstadion special. Every game is full to the brim of BVB faithful and has certainly had a hand in the Yellow’s successes in recent times.
1. Türk Telekom Arena
It may be a new home for Turkish side Galatasaray S.K but it is a cauldron nonetheless. The Türk Telekom Arena holds one of the highest decibel levels ever recorded for a football match, picking up a reading of just over 131 decibels in a game against arch rivals Fernabache.
To put it into context, the noise created was louder than a gunshot and was only a few decibels away from needing to wear ear protection. The fervour around big games at the Türk Telekom has often frightened even the greatest of opponents into submission including Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid, who lost 3-2 back in 2013.
That’s my list. Feel free to let me know where I have gone wrong!