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Getting a unique football fix - All About TravellingAll About Travelling
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Getting a unique football fix

Dec, 23 || No Comments |

It doesn’t matter where in the world you travel you will almost always be within range of a football stadium. Some of them are so vast and so famous that they are tourist destinations in their own right – the Azteca in Mexico, Real Madrid’s towering Bernabeu, the iconic Maracanã in Brazil, or Barcelona’s Camp Nou, for example. It helps that these venues just happen to be located in some of the world’s most visitable locations.

 

Source - Wikipedia

Source – Wikipedia

 

If the artistic and historical delights of Northern Italy are on your agenda, Milan’s San Siro will deliver a football fix that is as jaw-dropping as any you will see. Buttressed by 11 giant pillars, the San Siro has hosted top-flight Italian football since 1926, and with both of Milan’s giant clubs (Internazionale and AC Milan) invariably at the sharp end of the Serie A betting it has been the witness to some titanic encounters over the years. A full house at the San Siro offers one of the great spectacles in modern football.

 

Source - Wikimedia

Source – Wikimedia

 

But there are also more humble grounds that, whatever they may lack in historic grandeur, are still well worth football fans going out of their way for. Perhaps less daunting than the San Siro in terms of its architecture, but no less spectacular, is the Estadio Municipal de Braga, Portugal which famously is built end on into a cliff. Built for the 2004 European Championship and home to FC Braga the Municipal de Braga’s 30,000 inhabitants enjoy a unique acoustic as well as visual three-sided experience.

 

Other grounds to feature natural rock formations include the Croatia’s Kantrida Stadium and the Stadion Gospin Dolac which is home to Croatian third division club NK Imotski and which is built into the side of a mountain. Iceland’s Hasteinsvollur is dominated by a live volcano, whilst the mountain fringed Estadi Comunal d’Andorra la Vella in Andorra is likewise a football-loving geologist’s dream venue.

Equally in tune with the local topology is the sky-scraping Ottmar Hitzfeld stadium in Switzerland. Situated at an eye watering 2,000 metres above sea level on the mountains of Zermatt, what the Ottmar Hitzfeld lacks in capacity it makes up for in scenery. It is surely the only stadium where players, officials and fans alike arrive by cable car.

At the other end of the scale the Eidi Stadium in the Faroe Islands is so close to sea level that it looks more like a jetty than a football pitch. The playing area butts out into the Atlantic Ocean and stormy conditions regularly see waves crashing over the playing surface. Amidst the natural beauty of the Faroe Isles seeing a game at the Eidi is to truly appreciate the global appetite for the beautiful game.

There are, course, countless other examples of the quirky and the quaint in football settings. There are entire books devoted to the subject. But for anyone combining a footballing interest with a yen for travel, accessing the local culture via its sporting outlets can not only be fascinating in its own right, it can be a great way to get to know the locals. Everyone loves to welcome a new member to the fan club – especially if they’ve travelled a long way to join the party.

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