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Two stadiums football fans must visit

9th July 2021 Print

Football fanatics travel the globe to watch matches in the best stadiums the world has to offer. While the football matches themselves are the main appeal, the majority of tourists will also want to delve into the culture of the respective teams by exploring the surrounding cities and taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes that are unique to the venue's local area.

Two of the most iconic locations include Maracana (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany), renowned for their rich cultural and historical backdrops, as well as their array of local entertainment.

Maracana (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

Established in 1950 in the heart of Rio de Janeiro, the Maracana is one of the most famous stadiums in the world. Maracana's status as a stadium has been thoroughly cemented by a track record that includes playing host to two World Cup finals, the last of which was the 2014 contest when Germany narrowly defeated Argentina in extra time. It's a unique venue that has hosted the largest capacity in the history of the game when 199,854 spectators attended the 1950 World Cup final.

The greats of the game, Pele and Maradona, have graced the turf while representing Brazil and Argentina respectively. Modern greats such as Neymar, among the other leading lights of Brazilian football, aim to bring glory to the Selecao, although the capacity has been drastically reduced for safety reasons to around 80,000. The ground is also utilised by Brazilian football teams Flamengo and Fluminense.

Football is one of the main attractions, but the cultural delights of Rio are also a joy to behold. Whether it's the carnival or a visit to the Christ the Redeemer statue, there are artistic and historical sights aplenty to participate in and enjoy. All in all, it would be a memorable trip to Rio and the Maracana.

Signal Iduna Park (Dortmund, Germany)

Located in an industrial district of Germany, Signal Iduna Park, or the Westfalenstadion, is the home to Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. Die Schwarz-Gelben is one of the best teams in Germany and Europe, which is reflected by the fact they're 33/1 in the football betting odds to win the Champions League trophy for a second time.

Dortmund has arguably the most passionate support in Europe. They routinely sell out their stadium, which boasts a capacity of 81,365. The atmosphere inside the venue is second to none: a fever-pitch of noise greets players and spectators the second you enter the facility. 

This is aided by the Yellow Wall, aptly named after the wall of 25,000 fans that aren't divided by barriers in the South Stand. While other grounds across Europe adopt the standard approach in separating supporters by placing walls between sections, Dortmund's bold and unique stance has allowed them to enjoy an atmosphere that is the envy of clubs all over the world.

Even before you enter the stadium there is a great footballing environment to enjoy. Dortmund fans will often arrive at the venue hours before kick-off to have small games of football. If you're a football fanatic, there's no better place to visit.