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05 July 2013

Football Stadium Hopping on Google Earth

This post contains pictures of some of world football’s more renowned arenas, captured from Google Earth with 3D buildings turned on where available. This means that in some pictures, the stadia will appear slightly slanted to give the impression of being three-dimensional.

The choice of stadia to include in this feature is strictly personal; albeit most will be familiar to football fans the world over.

For better contrast and clarity, I have taken liberties with the pictures and processed them using graphics editing software.  Click on each picture to enlarge.

Allianz Arena

The Allianz Arena in Munich is used as home stadium by two German football clubs, the world renowned Bayern München and its less illustrious neighbours TSV 1860 München. The two clubs used to play at the Olympic Stadium in Munich but have played their home games at the Allianz since season 2005-2006. The stadium seats as many as 71,437 spectators for club matches and 67,812 for international matches.

Amsterdam Arena

Opened in 1996, the Amsterdam arena is the largest in the Netherlands with a seating capacity of 53,052 spectators. The stadium is used by the famous former European Champion club AFC Ajax Amsterdam. It has a retractable roof to protect spectators from the wet during adverse weather.

Anfield Stadium

But of course, because I am a Liverpool fan, you did not really expect to find Old Trafford here, now did you? Anfield is actually the name of one of the streets that flank the stadium, which is the home ground of Liverpool FC. It seats 45.522 spectators and is five minutes walk across Stanley Park from Goodison Park, home stadium of city rival Everton.

Camp Nou

The Camp Nou, or New Field, is the home field of former European champions Barcelona FC. It has a capacity of 99,786 spectators, which makes it the largest football stadium in the whole of Europe. The stadium hosted World Cup matches in 1982 as well as two Champions League final matches. The Spanish National Team also sometimes plays its home matches at the Camp Nou.

Estadio Azteca

Fans of Brazil and Argentina will be very familiar with the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, as this was were the two countries won the World Cup in 1970 and 1986, respectively. The stadium is the official home of the Mexican National Team as well as the local league side Club América. It can accommodate a total of 105,000 spectators.

Estadio Centenario

The Estadio Centenario in Montevideo was built in 1929 for the inaugural FIFA World Cup which was hosted by Uruguay in 1930. The stadium was declared by FIFA in 1983 as the only historical monument of world football. The Uruguayan National Team plays its home matches at the Estadio Centenario. Although the stadium used to accommodate as many as 100,000 spectators, in modern times capacity has been pegged down to 65,235.

Estadio da Luz

The Estadio da Luz, or Stadium of Light in English, is the home ground of the Portuguese club side Benfica. The stadium is affectionately called the ‘Cathedral’ by supporters of the club. With a capacity of 65,647 spectators, the Estadio da Luz hosted the final of the 2004 European Championship, which was won by Greece. It is due to host the 2014 Champions League Final.

Estadio do Maracana

The Maracana Stadium, which hosted the recent FIFA Confederations Cup Final between Brazil and Spain, is also due to host matches of the 2014 World Cup also to be hosted by Brazil. The stadium is owned by the government of Rio de Janeiro and is named after the Maracana River. Current capacity is pegged at 78,838 spectators, but the stadium hosted as many as 200,000 spectators when Brazil first hosted the World Cup in 1950.

Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti

The Estadio Monumental is also frequently referred to as the River Plate Stadium, home of the Argentine club River Plate or Rio de la Plata. It was in this stadium that Argentina won its first World Cup title in 1978 via a 3-1 win over the Netherlands. The stadium has a capacity of 67,664 spectators.

Estadio Santiago Bernabeu

Inaugurated in 1947, the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu is owned by the nine-time European champion Spanish club side Real Madrid. The stadium is named after one of the club’s former chairmen and sits 85,454 spectators. It was where the World Cup final match between Italy and Germany was played in 1982. The stadium has also hosted European Cup and Champions League final matches.

Millennium Stadium

The Millennium Stadium in Cardiff is the national stadium of Wales and home of both the Welsh National Rugby and Football Teams. Although not among football’s more traditional venues, the Millennium Stadium was among the first of the modern stadia to offer unobstructed views of the pitch and also has a retractable roof. It seats 74,500 spectators and was the venue of the English Cup Finals while Wembley Stadium was being rebuilt.

Stadio Olimpico

The Stadio Olimpico or Olympic Stadium in Rome is a property of the Italian Olympic Committee. It is shared as home ground by two Roman football Clubs, Lazio and AS Roma. Although it was the main ground for the 1964 Olympics, it has subsequently been used primarily for football matches. It hosted the European Cup Final of 1984 between AS Roma and Liverpool FC. Current capacity is pegged at 70.634 spectators.

San Siro

San Siro is the common name of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. It is shared as home ground by two giant Italian football clubs, neighbours and deadly rivals Internazionale Milano and AC Milan. Because of its excellent architecture, it is regarded as one of the certifiable cathedrals of world football. With a capacity of 80,018, the stadium has hosted the Champions League finals as well as matches of the Italian National Team.

Wembley Stadium

Now called the ‘New’ Wembley, to differentiate it from the old Wembley Stadium which was built in 1929 and demolished in 2003 to make way for the new stadium. Wembley has a capacity of 90,000 and hosts matches of the England National Team as well as the semi-finals and finals of the nation’s cup competitions. The stadium is owned by the English Football Association.

Rizal Memorial Stadium

You may be wondering about this last stadium, but out of patriotic fervour, if nothing else, I have included it. The Rizal Memorial Stadium is one of the home stadia of the Philippine Azkals. The stadium opened in 1934 and was the main venue of the 1954 Asian Games, which was hosted by Manila. It has also been used for the Southeast Asian Games. The Rizal Memorial has a capacity of 30,000 spectators, reduced considerably for football matches.


Photos from Google Earth.
Stadium information from Wikipedia.
Wembley Stadium 2D Picture from

The World Cup
Why Football is Called Soccer