I am now three quarters of the way towards my century of grounds!
This has got me thinking about my ultimate bucket list of grounds that I would just love to tick one day.
So here is a list of 10 grounds that I need to tick and why they stand out to me…
NUMBER 10- Wanda Metropolitano Stadium
The first on the list is Atletico Madrid’s new home, and the sight of Liverpool’s 6th Champions League triumph.
The ground looks absolutely stunning and Atlético are probably my favourite Spanish team so I would love to tick this ground one day.
The capacity is just shy of 70,000, so one can only imagine the noise generated during a match day. Madrid is a football-centric city and it would be fascinating to see how the city operates on game day.
Not only this, but a weekend away in Spain sounds great to me so that’s why the Wanda Metropolitano is on this list.
NUMBER 9- Dean Court (The Vitality)
Next up is the smallest ground in the Premier League, the home of AFC Bournemouth.
The Cherries are the definition of a fairytale club and Eddie Howe has done an absolutely phenomenal job to keep them in the Premier League for as long as he has.
I would love to visit Dean Court whilst Bournemouth are in the Premier League because I think it’d be quite surreal seeing top flight football in a ground that small!
The atmosphere seems decent too and Bournemouth always seem to be involved in exciting games so that’s always a plus.
I have ticked nearly every South Coast football league club and Bournemouth would complete that.
NUMBER 8- Aviva Stadium
Another ground that makes it into here for its sheer beauty is the Republic of Ireland’s national stadium.
It would be an interesting spectacle to see the boys in green play at home and Dublin in general is a city I would like to explore.
But the Aviva looks like one of the slickest grounds around, it is also used by the Irish Rugby team so the fact that it is almost ‘the hub’ of Irish sport adds a little more to the overall spectacle of the place.
NUMBER 7- Villa Park
I have been to Birmingham quite a few times, but have never seen a game of football there.
Villa park is a ground I would love to tick because it is home to one of England’s most iconic teams, Aston Villa.
I have heard a lot of people refer to it as a ‘proper football ground’ and the Villa fans are some of the best in the country, so this is definitely one that needs ticking.
Also train tickets from London to Birmingham can be as cheap as £15 so I need to make use of that!
NUMBER 6- Stadion FC Krasnodar
The 2018 Russia World Cup was one of the best in recent memory, the country were excellent hosts and part of this was down to their stunning stadiums.
Stadion FC Krasnodar is no exception, and in my opinion it is aesthetically the best of the bunch.
While the Russian Premier League isn’t exactly at the forefront of European football, this ground almost renders the football quality insignificant.
A footballing tour of Russia will be one of the first things I look to do when I have the time and money…
NUMBER 5- St James’ Park
There is just something about Newcastle United isn’t there.
The fans absolutely love the club that has gone absolutely nowhere for the best part of 20 years, but that is to be completely admired.
This is the highest English ground on my list and it is purely because I would just love to see what football is like up North and what better place to see this than Newcastle.
St James’ Park has a 5 star UEFA rating and is apparently ‘known for its atmosphere’, I just wish I could’ve seen Alan Shearer play there instead of Joelinton…
NUMBER 4- Estadio San Mames
Another club that absolutely fascinates me is Athletic Bilbao.
The fact that they only have players from the Basque country is quite unique in the modern day and that they have been able to retain their La Liga status for so long is testament to that.
Their ground is relatively new and is another stunning one to add to the growing list.
So the fact that it is an incredibly interesting and iconic club, mixed with the fact it has a brilliant stadium means it makes it high up on my list.
NUMBER 3- Olympiastadion Berlin
My friend is not going to be happy with this (he has connections to Hertha Berlin’s rivals Union Berlin) but this is a must tick for me.
The history attached to this ground is astonishing, from Jesse Owen’s blitz in the 1936 Olympics to Zinedine Zidane’s headbutt in 2006, this ground is etched within history.
I can just imagine sitting in this ground, taking in the surroundings and imagining watching these events unfold, it is what this is all about.
Hertha Berlin don’t mean much to me, so I would have to catch them playing a German Giant to make this even better.
NUMBER 2- Celtic Park
Scottish football is something I have never experienced but I feel that I need to soon.
Celtic are one of the worlds most iconic clubs and seeing the Bhoys in real life is something every groundhopper must do.
You are not a football fan if you would turn down a ticket to Celtic Park, and I really hope that I can go up there soon.
I have chosen Celtic ahead of Rangers purely because I think they are better at the moment, but give me either team and I’d be buzzing.
NUMBER ONE- Stadio San Paolo
At number one it is probably my second favourite Italian club, Napoli.
From what I have seen, the atmosphere inside the San Paolo is absolutely incredible, you almost have to turn the TV down when they are about to score a goal.
For me it is just the epitome of Italian football, and I love Italian football.
Diego Maradona’s former stomping ground is at the very top of my list, just because of my affection towards Italy.
Maybe when Napoli are challenging for the Scudetto again…
Anyway that’s all for today’s blog!
What grounds are on your bucket list? Would you suggest any more?