FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World: 100-91

Kicking off with stadiums from five continents, one of which might be a serpent...

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Words: Gary Parkinson, Martin Mazur, Nick Moore, Scott McIntyre, Kris Heneage, Nick Ames, Lee Roden and James Dampney.

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

100. Stamford Bridge

Stadium facts

  • Location London, England
  • Opened 1877
  • Tenants Chelsea
  • Capacity 41,798
  • Record attendance 82,905

Even though Archibald Leitch designed its first stand, Chelsea’s ground has never been a looker. From the curious little prewar North Stand that lasted until 1975, through the Shed End’s quaint little roof, to the overarchingly ambitious East Stand that almost bankrupted the club, Stamford Bridge has never quite felt right.

Mind you, it’s much more impressive than it was. More recent renovations have at least brought the stands closer to the pitch, luckily just as the on-field fare improved from Droy to Drogba, Micky Hazard to Eden Hazard.

Its reconstruction briefly made it London’s biggest stadium before being overtaken, and the club are keen to regain the initiative. The latest redevelopment plans are certainly visually different – all brickwork and buttresses, if more caldera than cathedral – and the expansion may help Chelsea vault into the upper echelons of this list. – GP

FEATURE Simon Inglis on Archibald Leitch, the man who invented football grounds


99. National Stadium

Stadium facts

  • Location Kaosiung, Taiwan
  • Opened 2009
  • Tenants Taiwan
  • Capacity 55,000
  • Record attendance Unknown

Massive kudos to the Taiwanese for abandoning humdrum cantilevered stands and bashing out an arena constructed to resemble a legendary and terrifying serpentine creature.

Amid the snaking design, its ‘dragon scales’ are actually solar panels spanning 14,000sq.m. and powering 80% of the surrounding area’s electricity, meaning that it’s useful as well as bonkers.

Built for the 2009 World Games (a kind of Olympics for events like sumo, boules and, er, tug-of-war that have been excluded from the IOC’s roster), it is the brainchild of Japanese architect Toyo Ito – who we imagine drank too much orange squash on the morning this blueprint was etched.

It has since hosted such exciting matches as Chinese Taipei 1-1 Brunei, back in March (attendance 6,273). It’s never going to be a cauldron of hate, but it makes up for in charm what it lacks in supporters. A must-see if you’re passing through Kaosiung. – NM

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