FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World: 80-71

Featuring a big English team, Maradona, the real Madrid and the word "nonet". (It's like an octet, but one more.)

Words: Lee RodenVijhay Vick, Andy Murray, James Fielden, Joe Brewin, Tio UtomoNick Moore and Scott McIntyre.

#FFT100STADIUMS The 100 Best Stadiums in the World: list and features here 

80. Stade Pierre-Mauroy

Stadium facts

  • Location Lille, France
  • Opened 2012
  • Tenants LOSC Lille
  • Capacity 50,157
  • Record attendance 49,626

The Stade Pierre-Mauroy is a stunning technical feat. Clad in an animated façade which projects videos and changes to Lille’s colours on matchday, the bubble-shaped structure bears a retractable roof which weighs 100 tonnes more than the Eiffel Tower.

As if the day job as a football ground wasn’t enough, the pitch can also be raised remotely to form a stage for concerts, while the space underneath can function as a tennis or basketball court, with both Eurobasket and Davis Cup matches recently played there.

Unsurprisingly, all that tech comes at a cost. The construction required €324m of the metropolitan area’s funds, and Lille are forced to send €4.5m rent in their direction every season to use the facilities. But for fans of a club who have battled for decades to get a decent, permanent home ground, being able to call a swanky modern ground home will feel worth the effort. - LR 

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79. Salt Lake Stadium

Stadium facts

  • Location Kolkata, India
  • Opened 1984
  • Tenants Mohun Bagan AC, East Bengal, Mohammedan SC, Atletico de Kolkata
  • Capacity 68,000
  • Record attendance 131,000

The largest football stadium in India, Salt Lake often attracts huge numbers to the Kolkata derby between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. When the sides met in the 1997 Federation Cup semi-final, a record 131,000 people crammed in to see Indian legend Baichung Bhutia bag a hat-trick as East Bengal won 4-1 – and as recently as 2008, there were 120,000 there to see Oliver Khan’s farewell as Bayern Munich beat Mohun Bagan 3-0.

Those days have gone: with much of the terracing replaced by seats, the capacity was reduced to 68,000 to make it more spectator-friendly for Atletico de Kolkata’s campaign in the inaugural Indian Super League in 2014 – and the club responded by winning that year’s title.

However, Salt Lake Stadium is undergoing another facelift in order to meet the September 2016 deadline to be included in the 2017 Under-17 World Cup. The £12.5 million project is expected to include work on the stadium’s facilities and features, including making it energy-efficient – and may raise the capacity back to nearer 80,000. - VV 

#FFT100STADIUMS The 100 Best Stadiums in the World: list and features here

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