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Biggest Attendances for European Cup Games

Whether it is the Champions League or the Europa League, European cup games are heavily attended these days. UEFA games are so popular that people flock to stadiums like punters flock to attractive bonus codes.

However, back in the day, European cup games boasted even bigger attendance. This was because people in the past weren't so concerned with stadium security issues and most of the people in the audience were standing and not sitting, thus maximizing the stadium's capacity.

In this article we will take a look at the 3 European cup games under the umbrella of UEFA with the biggest attendance in history.

3. Real Madrid - AC Milan - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium 1956 - 129,690 people

In 1956, Real Madrid hosted AC Milan at the Bernabeu in the first leg of the semi-final of the equivalent of today's Champions League. Stars such as Alfredo Di Stefano, Jose Hector Rial, Cesare Maldini and Pepe Schiaffino were part of the two sides, and fans in Madrid came in huge numbers to see the event.

The match ended 4-2 in favor of the hosts with Iglesias, Olsen, Di Stefano and Rial scoring for Real Madrid, but it was the number of people who attended the match which went down in history. More than 129 thousand fans came to see the six goal thriller and to spur on Real Madrid to the final, which they also eventually won.

2. Real Madrid - Juventus - Santiago Bernabeu Stadium 1962 - 130,000 people

This encounter also occurred at the legendary Madrid stadium, and it was also a semi-final, but this time Juventus were the visitors. It was the return leg of the semi-final in the European Cup and Juventus were the winners of the first leg with a minimal 1-0.

Real Madrid were desperate to reach the final and to retain their title, after Barcelona had defeated them in the previous season. This was enough of a reason for a record breaking crowd to attend the match and more than 130 thousand people came to see their team in the hope that they would neutralize the deficit.

And so they did. Real Madrid won 1-0 on the day and went on to win in the third match which was played in Paris (there was no extra time or penalties back then). Unfortunately for them, they lost in the final to the then reigning champions Benfica.

1. Celtic - Leeds United- Hampden Park 1970 - 136,505 people

The highest attended European cup game was at Hampden Park, and it was the returning leg of the 1970 semi-final. In the first leg Leeds won 1-0 at Elland Road, but the Scottish champions were intent on bettering that result.

The match was originally scheduled for Celtic Park, but with a capacity of 'only' 80 thousand it was too small for a game of such magnitude, so it was played at Hampden Park. More than 136 thousand people came to witness Celtic progressing to the final, where unfortunately they lost to Feyenord.

Written by Rob. First published on June 3rd, 2017.