FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World: 70-61

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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

66. Ataturk

Stadium facts

  • Location Istanbul, Turkey
  • Opened 2002
  • Tenants Besiktas
  • Capacity 76,092
  • Record attendance 79,414

The mere mention of the place is enough to get any Liverpool fan weeping, burbling and eulogising about Stevie G, Vladi Smicer and Jerzy Dudek’s wobbly legs - this was the venue for the Reds’ Champions League Final miracle in 2005.

It’s also a deeply odd place – those same Liverpool fans will tell you that it’s situated in a field miles out of the city centre and is a logistical headache to get to. It’s something of a white elephant, in truth. Built for a failed bid at the 2008 Olympics, it’s a fine, UEFA Category-4 arena that can host athletics, Turkey internationals and U2 gigs with equal aplomb, but doesn’t really have a raison d’être, what with Galatasaray having their new Turk Telekom Arena and Fenerbahce still happy at the modernised Sukru Saracoglu.

Besiktas are currently borrowing it while their own Vodafone Arena is spruced up – but could be out of the Ataturk by next season, leaving the place largely tenantless. Maybe Leyton Orient could have a look? – NM 


65. Bukit Jalil Stadium

Stadium facts

  • Location Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • Opened 1998
  • Tenants Malaysia
  • Capacity 87,411
  • Record attendance 100,000

Built for the 1998 Commonwealth Games, the Bukit Jalil sits in a precinct that also includes a hockey stadium, an aquatics centre, an indoor stadium and a squash arena. It replaced Merdeka Stadium and Shah Alam Stadiums as Malaysian football’s home after those Games.

The Bukit Jalil also hosted the 2007 Asian Cup, when Malaysia were co-hosts along with Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam, although the stadium was criticised by the country’s Sports Minister in 2014 after attempts to improve the pitch failed in recent years.

It does offer an atmosphere to remember during key international matches as supporters’ group ‘Ultras Malaya’ chant their hearts out and encourage others around them to do ‘The Bouncy’, putting the entire stadium on vibration mode.

Massive renovation plans are in store for the stadium and its surrounding areas in the coming years and Bukit Jalil will be closed periodically. The redevelopment is expected to turn the area into a one-stop sporting complex, complete with a shopping mall and residences, to ensure year-round footfall. – VV 

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