Football inspired city breaks in Europe

Posted by - March 11, 2011 - Adverts and Commercial

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City Breaks F.C. - City Breaks in Europe touring some of the world's most famous stadia

European football is now one of the highlights of the season’s calendar for both players and fans alike, as supporters get to visit some of the greatest stadiums in world football, while watching the best players grace the turf.

In the past, if you wanted to see a foreign game, most people resorted to watching James Richardson present Football Italia on a Saturday morning talking about the likes of Ivan Zamorano, Gianluca Vialli and Beppe Signori. But now that England have six or seven teams in European competitions each year, we get to see teams from all over play on a regular basis.

In the Champion’s League or the Europa League, you’re not guaranteed to be drawn against the likes of Barcelona or Inter Milan where you can use the game as an excuse to spend a few days abroad, so more and more often, footy fans are booking city breaks to Barcelona, Madrid and Milan to watch a match, tour the stadium and have a few days in the city.

If you’ve ever wanted to do a stadium tour abroad, then read our compilation, on some of the best stadiums in Europe, and check out the infographic which includes information about the tours, such as what you will see and how much it costs.

First on our list is the San Siro, home to both Inter and AC Milan. Over the years, the San Siro (also known as the Giuseppe Meazza stadium, named after the World Cup winner who played for both Milan sides) has seen some of the greatest players in the game ply their trade on a weekly basis, such as Van Basten, Maldini, Weah, Shevchenko, Kaka, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Zanetti, Cambiasso and Samuel Eto’o to name a few.

With a capacity of just over 80,000 the stadium is a little dated but is still full of history; the trophy room alone is a site to behold, with the many Scudettos both teams have won, along with the 10 European cups that AC and Inter have brought home between them.

Next on our list needs no introduction; the Camp Nou. Home to FC Barcelona, the greatest team in the modern game. Almost a Mecca to football fans, who head over to Barcelona each year to get a photo taken in front of the club’s famous motto “Més que un club” written in the seats in one of the stands.

Currently, the likes of Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Villa set the world alight using a mixture of Johan Cruyff’s ‘total football’ and ‘tiki-taka’ invented by Luis Aragones, Vicente Del Bosque, and Frank Rijkaard (who helped implement the style at Barca) but over the years you only have to look at the names who have worn the instantly recognisable shirt to see it truly is a great footballing establishment; such Maradona, Stoichkov, Guardiola, and of course the Brazilians; Romario, Rivaldo, Ronaldo, Ronaldino who all brought ‘Ginga’ (the soul of Brazilian football) to La Liga. With such a good team, there’s no wonder the stadium holds an astonishing 99,534 spectators.

Away from Spain, the Allianz Arena in Germany is one of the most impressive modern stadiums, opened in 2005 with a capacity of 66,000. Home to both Bayern Munich and 1860 Munich, the stadium lights up in either Red or Blue, depending on who is playing (white lights if the national team are playing there). German football hasn’t exactly had the limelight; however since Bayern made it to the Champion’s League final, and Germany’s performance in the 2010 World Cup, a lot more people have taken notice. The likes of Ribery, Robben, Klose and Schweinsteiger play for Bayern, meaning if you do decide to head over to Munich, you’re guaranteed to see some of the most talented players on show.

Back on home soil, England is home to some of the most famous football teams, such as Liverpool, Manchester United and Arsenal, and on our list are both the Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford. The Emirates opened in 2006 with a capacity of 60,355 as the new home of Arsenal, who had moved from Highbury, after 93 years at the former ground. Arsenal have had many greats play for them under Arsene Wenger, such as Bergkamp, Henry, Pires, and Cesc Fabregas, and are known for their slick passing football which is often spoke about in the same light as that of Barcelona.

Finally, on our to-do list of stadium tours, is Old Trafford. The largest club stadium in the country, and second only to Wembley has a capacity of 76,212; dwarfing every other ground in the Premiership.

Anyone who has ever watched a football match knows how successful Man Utd have been under Sir Alex Ferguson, having dominated the top flight of English football since the Premiership was founded in 1992, having been in Liverpool’s shadow for decades. Utd have had some world famous names come and go from the club; such as Cantona, Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo, but still have the likes of Rooney, Nani, Berbatov, Scholes and Giggs on their books, which has helped them become a hugely marketable side, especially in Asia.

See the infographic above which contains more information about the stadium tours of some of the greatest grounds in European football.

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