With the Road to Russia 2018 underway, the international fixtures will hold some real meaning for teams all across the globe this year. Here are some of the best international grounds that pack a great atmosphere and a lot of history.
'The Home of Football'. Wembley may have been rebuilt but it will always be one of the most iconic stadiums in the world, with a capacity of 90,000. The national team have suffered over recent years, but the sight of Bobby Moore lifting the World Cup on home soil will always be the standout memory. As well as that, it hosts domestic competitions including the FA Cup, the oldest club competition in the world.
Staying in Britain, Hampden Park is another formidable international venue, in football-mad Glasgow. With plenty of history, having opened in 1903, the 'Hampden Roar' is well-known. Gordon Strachan will hope it can fire his side to a major tournament, and their odds are regularly updated at Betway, who have all the sports odds, as they try to top a group with England in. It also will be remembered for a Zinedine Zidane wondergoal that secured the 2002 Champions League Final.
Perhaps the greatest stadium of all because of the greats that played there. Garrincha, Pele, Zico, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and now Neymar, they have all graced the turf in the famous yellow shirts amongst other legends. With stylish, samba football it has produced heroes, yet on the two occasions they've hosted the World Cup, the Brazilians have failed to win, with the 7-1 humiliation to Germany, at this ground, one of the historic moments in football. It also boasts a record attendance of nearly 200,000!
Located in Montevideo, this, along with others covered, is listed by FIFA as a classic stadium. The seats circle around the stadium and it can be very hostile for away teams, evident by the fact Brazil have won only three of 20 games in this ground. Built specifically for the first World Cup in 1930, it will always be remembered for the hosts lifting the trophy after a 4-2 success over fierce South American rivals Argentina.
Another ground with a huge capacity, holding just under 90,000, but there were nearly 120,000 fans for a match in 1968. Again, this classic is littered with history. The Brazil team of 1970, regarded as one of the best ever, won the World Cup here and scored that Carlos Alberto goal in the final. In 1986, football's most infamous moment occurred, with Maradona scoring the 'Hand of God' and then the 'Goal of the Century'.
So, there you have it, five of the best stadiums to look out for over the international breaks and maybe plan a visit too, they're major footballing landmarks.
Written by Rob. First published on October 7th, 2016.