Soccer, or football, as it is known to most other countries, is the most popular and lucrative sport in almost every country except the United States. However, more people become interested in the sport in the US every year. If you are one of those people trying to get into the hobby, here are five of the most popular soccer centers around the world that you need to be aware of to be a soccer fan.
1. Estádio do Maracanã
The Maracanã is situated in one of the most beautiful and recognizable locations in the world. It is situated in the same view as the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro. That means it is also a popular tourist destination. Aside from its beautiful location, it is also powered by solar panels, making it environmentally friendly. It was also home to an important match back in 1950. the stadium reached the, almost unimaginable, capacity of 200,000 fans. Unfortunately, Brazil lost to Uruguay, but it was still a match that the people there would never forget.
2. The Allianz Arena
The worst thing about scoreboards before they were digitized was how one side would always read “Home” no matter who the home team was. Computerized scoreboards have fixed this, but the Allianz Arena has gone one step further. The exterior of the arena can change color to reflect which team is playing since it is home to both Munich teams. It is one of the newest and most technologically advanced stadiums in the world. It is expected to make its mark on the sport in years to come because of that.
3. Camp Nou
Even though it cannot hold a candle to Rio’s massive stadium, Camp Nou is still the largest stadium in Europe. Its location in Barcelona means there are great weather conditions and great views all around it. Many say that it exemplifies the spirit of Barcelona perfectly. People are so drawn to it that it used to frequently be well over capacity until law enforcement had to step in and make sure everyone was following fire and public area codes. It is frequently the site of incredibly important matches, so be on the lookout for it when you decide to see a match for yourself.
Another one of the few stadiums with a capacity of over 100,000. Azteca is massive, which is fitting as it is located in one of the largest cities in the world, Mexico City. Azteca is currently the only stadium to have hosted two World Cup finals. It will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future. It was also the site of an event known as “The Hand of God”. Which was an infamous moment in 1986 when an Argentinian player made a seemingly impossible goal against England, winning them the game.
Without a doubt, Wembley is the most well-known stadium that has ever graced the sport of soccer. The original Wembley Stadium was opened in 1923 and was demolished in 2003. However, they rebuilt it on the same spot and reopened it in 2007. Since then, it has only exceeded expectations. It has become the de facto site for the most important events in the sport throughout Europe. Located in Wembley, just outside of London, it draws people in more than any other stadium there is. It has rightfully been given the nickname, “The Home of Football”.
Soccer, or football, is one of the most internationally friendly hobbies an American can take up. The United States has been notoriously bad at the game, and tensions between the supporters of each country often run high. But it is usually all in good fun. You might have to prove yourself worthy to international fans of the game. Once you learn to do that, they will accept you as one of them. You will have made some new friends.