1. Manchester United’s hallowed ground is justifiably legendary, with a massive capacity (76,000+) and an electric feel. The noise levels at OT exceed that of an airplane taking off, and in the days of standing terraces, the Stretford End (West) could hold nearly 20,000 of United’s most passionate fans.
Sir Alex Ferguson is the rare working manager who has his name on a seating section: the North End is now named for the Red Devils’ legendary gaffer. A must-see for any true soccer fan.
2. The Kop End would get Liverpool’s grounds onto this list alone: simply put, this single-tiered stand may be the most dynamic fan section in all of England if not Europe. Anfield isn’t as massive as other grounds, but it is one of the most difficult places to play and is considered hallowed ground by soccer fans the world over.
One of the greatest moments in all of sport is seeing the players enter the field by passing under the sign that former manager Bill Shankly had installed. It reads, simply: “This is Anfield.”
3. Paris Saint-Germain’s grounds started out as a velodrome for cycling but quickly became the heart of French football culture.
The cycling track is long gone and today the unofficial national stadium hosts rugby and soccer in a nearly 50,000 seat ground. One end, the so-called Kop of Boulogne has gained some notoriety over recent years due to some fans’ association with far-right extremist groups, but the PdP remains one of the great grounds in European soccer.
4. Home to AC Milan and Inter, the San Siro is one of Europe’s legendary grounds for a reason: it’s a cauldron of sound and noise with a uniquely Italian flair. The fans are creative and colorful —their recent Pac-Man seat-card display as they played host to Barcelona is a case in point — and the 80,0000 seater is considered one of Europe’s premier destinations.
The only drawback is the field: heavily used, it can sometimes be choppy.
5. Boca’s flat, low stadium in Buenos Aires is formally known as the Estadio Alberto J Armando, but no one calls it that: it’s the “Chocolate Box,” and it’s one of the world’s most magnetic grounds. Boca’s famously wild fans make the entire structure shake with their stomping and chanting for an alternately thrilling and terrifying experience.
The Monumental (home to arch-rivals River Plate) may be the national stadium, but the Bombonera is Argentina, defined.