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Two Spanish football grounds in 'world top 30 best atmosphere' ranking
05 June 2020 @ 08:27

FRANCE'S most widely-read football magazine has listed its top 30 venues around the world, which include two in Spain – but, perhaps surprisingly, neither of them are those of FC Barcelona or Real Madrid.

According to France Football, it's the atmosphere that counts, not the élite nature of the stadium or how much has been invested in building, designing and maintaining it.

At Barça's Camp Nou, Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabéu and Manchester United's Old Trafford, 'the quality of the fan base is not up to the level you would expect from the grounds', meaning they have been 'deliberately left out'; Arsenal and other UK Premier League teams have lost their 'passion' and the Wanda Metropolitano of Atlético de Madrid, as well as the grounds for Tottenham and West Ham, have 'diminished in excitement' after 'losing their homes', or moving to other sites.

France Football says larger teams no longer have such an atmosphere because of the presence of 'tourists' who are not really fans, or of supporters who are not local to the team.

“Finding Boca Junior and its Bombonera, Liverpool and Anfield, or Dortmund and its yellow wall on the podium won't shock anyone as going to a match at these legendary sites is an unforgettable experience,” France Football says.

“You also need to have watched the derbies at Alger, Casa, Istanbul and Athens to understand how much the football 'show' needs its faithful followers; the recent Dortmund matches at Schalke 04 and Bayern, its eternal rivals, played in an empty stadium, are the best examples.”

Boca Junior's La Bombonera, 'where every match is a party', comes first, followed by Liverpool's Anfield Road, Borussia Dortmund's Signal Iduna Park, Belgrade Red Star's Rajko Mitic Stadium, and Celtic Park make up the top five.


One Spanish stadium has made it into the top 10 – San Mamés, home of Athletic de Bilbao and arguably one of the best football grounds in the country is in ninth place.

Valencia's Mestalla stadium comes about midway through the list, at number 18, based upon its 'great atmosphere'.

The full list can only be obtained by paid-up subscribers to France Football – but at least fans of the sport now know where to head for if what they're looking for is a great time and a celebration, and this type of atmosphere is the best to take non-fans to as they can enjoy the euphoria and suspense without having to care too much about following the actual game.



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