FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World: 30-21
- Location Glasgow, Scotland
- Opened 1899
- Tenants Rangers
- Capacity 50,947
- Record Attendance 118,567
A British record-holder – 118,567 Glaswegians gathered here for a 1939 Old Firm clash, more than for any other league match on these islands – Ibrox was one of several in the UK designed by Archibald Leitch and has hosted visitors as disparate as King George V and Frank Sinatra.
Ibrox – it means “badger ford” in Gaelic – may have housed a Scottish fourth-tier club more recently than a top-flight team but Rangers have won 52 of their 54 league titles at the venue, which can produce an atmosphere unrivalled by most British stadiums… particularly on derby day.
Following a disaster in 1971 when 66 people were crushed to death – 69 years after 25 died when a wooden stand collapsed – Ibrox was radically redesigned, its wide terraced bowl replaced by 1981 with three rectilinear all-seater stands, based on Dortmund’s Westfalenstadion. Even so, the club retained the main stand, a Category B-listed building with a grand exterior, retaining an air of history at the home of one of the world’s most successful clubs. – CF
FEATURE Simon Inglis on Archibald Leitch, the man who invented football grounds
FEATURE Simon Inglis on the early history of football stadiums
29. Estadio Monumental
- Located Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Opened 1938
- Tenants River Plate, Argentina
- Capacity 61,688
- Record attendance 100,000+
There are several stadiums in Latin America known as Estadio Monumental, but this is arguably the best-known. Officially the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti (after a club president), it was initially known as the Horseshoe when funds ran out before the north side was constructed.
That was when the gates first opened in 1938, and although the horseshoe was filled in, to be quite honest it could do with an upgrade in certain areas. But the fans don’t care: for a ground with no roof and an athletics track, the atmosphere – especially for the Superclasico against Boca Juniors – is truly superb, despite its capacity being barely half of what it once was. It remains Argentina’s biggest stadium and River Plate fill it with home fans due to the current away fan ban throughout the country.
At the 1978 World Cup it hosted nine matches, including the final in which Argentina beat Holland on a pitch covered in ticker-tape. Paul McCartney, Madonna and Michael Jackson, to name but a few, have played there over the years, but no tacky Tom Hark goal music is required here: celebrations are firmly taken care of by Los Millonarios’ fans. – JF
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