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FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World: 20-11

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FFT's 100 Best Stadiums: 100-91 • 90-81 • 80-71 • 70-61 • 60-51 • 50-41 • 40-31 • 30-21 • 20-11 • 10  9 • 8 • 7 • 6 • 5 • 4 • 3 • 2 • 1

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

16. Stade de France

Stadium facts

  • Located Paris, France
  • Opened 1998
  • Tenants France
  • Capacity 81,338
  • Record attendance 81,000

The fifth-largest stadium in Europe, the 81,000-capacity Stade de France played host to the only World Cup final that Zinedine Zidane managed to get through without headbutting anyone.

Opened in time for France 98, it turned into the glorious venue where Zidane used his head productively, nodding home twice in a 3-0 victory over Brazil in the final. It’s the only stadium to have hosted World Cup finals in football and rugby.

Situated in Saint-Denis on the outskirts of Paris, accessible by metro, it was also the stage for Real Madrid’s 2000 Champions League Final victory over Valencia and Barcelona’s 2006 triumph against Arsenal.

The Stade de France’s sheer size is a sight to behold, particularly from the top tier. The Euro 2016 Final will take place there but attempts to lure a club side on a permanent basis proved unsuccessful, with Paris Saint-Germain opting to stay at the more fillable 49,000-seat Parc des Princes. – CF 

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15. Azadi Stadium

Stadium facts

  • Location Tehran, Iran 
  • Opened 1973
  • Tenants Esteghlal, Persepolis, Iran
  • Capacity 84,412
  • Record attendance 128,000

Although not quite as big as it once was, the Azadi (Persian for ‘freedom’, renamed after the Iranian revolution) still generates an incredible noise despite having an athletics track and no roof. First inaugurated in 1974 for the prestigious Asian games, it now hosts three teams, with players like former Villa and Bolton lefty Jlloyd Samuel having played there for Esteghlal in recent years. With a record attendance close to 130,000 for a game against Australia in the late 1990s, FIFA declared it the biggest-ever crowd for a World Cup qualifier. 

Talking of international football, Iranian fans were lucky enough to see the legendary Ali Daei score 40 of his 103 international goals here over the years. Sadly, a 2003 renovation ended the days of such enormous crowds, but when at capacity it is still one of the most intimidating arenas to play in. – JF 
 

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