It’s Transfer deadline day, and as football managers up and down the country weigh up their options, so can you. You should definitely count your blessings. While the gaffers of every team from Stornoway to Southampton try and avoid being swindled into purchasing a 40 mil investment who collapses like a underdone flan when faced with English football, you just have to take your pick of sumptuous cruises. As a Manchester United fan, I’m sure we won’t have to spend any money, since we are definitely doing well in the league. In my head.
It’s easy to escape from the unmitigated madness of the Premier league when there are cruises to be booked, but that doesn’t mean you have to swear off football all together, perish the thought. It’s very easy to soak up the sunshine in warmer climes and indulge your love for football – especially when world-class stadiums are waiting across the oceans. Whether you’re looking to catch a local derby or just want to enjoy the architecture, these stadiums are the frontrunners if you want combine the beautiful game with beautiful weather.
As if Barcelona wasn’t up to its art deco ears in culture, it’s also host to the biggest sports arena in Europe – the Nou Camp. The home of FC Barcelona, this monster of a stadium holds a gargantuan 99,000, turning every single game into a major event, even if it’s a simple exhibition match. Chances are, you’ve seen the passion that exudes from this massive stadium on a weekly basis, as the thousands of fans who pack the Nou Camp sing in unison. Not only is this the cathedral in which Messi is worshipped, but its hallowed pitch has witnessed some of the greatest moments in football history, including riveting Champions League finals. Such as the one where Manchester United made a storming comeback against Bayern Munich and clinched the treble.
It was happier times.
But it doesn’t matter, since we are definitely going to win the Champions League.
The Nou Camp might be the largest in Europe, but the Azteca is the granddaddy of football stadiums. 105,000 people were there to witness anatomically ignorant Argentinian star Diego Maradona play handball football in the infamous 1986 world cup semi-final.
Even in the modern era, the stadium is regularly sold out as Mexico City favourites Club America take on their league rivals. For over 50 years it’s stood as a symbol of the allure of football to fans around the world, and you can’t help but garner the same impression when you see the stadium filled to capacity. 3 tiers of adoring fans is enough to make this a football stadium for the ages.
The Estadio Monumental rests deep in the heart of Buenos Aires, and is embedded in the culture of the city to such an extent that many fans refuse to have it renamed, or even have certain stands expanded. During a 1978 World Cup final Argentina soundly beat the Netherlands to give the stadiums its place in the annals of football history. There are countless iconic pictures of the moment that the final whistle blew and the stadium became awash with ticker tape of white and blue, but its impact today is one that isn’t confined to the history books. It might be smaller than the epic size of the Azteca with a capacity of 68,000, but the tenancy of the Argentinean national side more than makes up for it, along with the residency of the most famous league club in Argentina, River Plate.
Alright, alright, it’s slightly cheating, but how could I pass up the chance to talk about one of the most iconic sights in London. After a rigorous redevelopment which saw nearly a billion pounds invested into an already legendary part of football history, the Wembley arch can now be seen all over metropolitan London.
The new design took everything that was fantastic about the original stadium and expanded it to new heights (sometimes literally). The site of every prestigious cup final in England, Wembley has an atmosphere which is incomparable to any other stadium. A plethora of unforgettable games have been played on its pitch, with hopefully, many, many more to come. Like the FA cup final. Manchester United have already been knocked out of the FA cup by the way. But no matter. Since we will definitely win it next year.