Lists

How we chose FourFourTwo's 100 Best Football Stadiums in the World

...and why we called it that. FourFourTwo’s Global Digital Editor Gary Parkinson explains the discussions behind the decisions...

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Football is our religion. These are our temples. 

Welcome to FourFourTwo’s celebration of the iconic places where we connect with the game we love. Whether you call them stadiums, stadia (more on that later), grounds or just “home”, these are the destinations we long to visit, where we have our finest moments and darkest hours.

As usual with FourFourTwo, we don't take these decisions lightly. Discussions took place over the course of months, involving our dozens-strong global network of writers and editors, eventually whittling down a longlist and arguing our way to a consensus.

Each candidate was judged on five criteria: history; atmosphere; capacity; architecture and environment; and that almost indefinable but viscerally obvious "wow factor". In short, how desperately would football fans want to go there?

You may not agree with every inclusion or preference, but we hope you will find plenty to enjoy and enthral in these features. It’s fair to say we’ve all learned something new and gained some potential destinations, pending agreement from partners and bank managers.

Stadiums or stadia?

Right at the start of exhaustive and exhausting discussions, this decision roused some preliminary anger, as an hors d’oeuvre for the main course of ground beefs. Despite the insistence of some that it should be “stadia”, we settled on “stadiums” because it’s good enough for the BBC, The Guardian, The Economist, Fowler’s Modern English Usage, When Saturday Comes and the Scout’s Association. More importantly, it’s also what you prefer: more people search for “stadiums” than “stadia”, and as football architecture guru Simon Inglis asks in a feature written especially for us, would you say arenas or arenae?

Now go: enjoy the list. This isn't the place for arguing. Try Twitter and Facebook instead...