For many people around the world, football is more than just a sport – it is a grand and enduring passion. Showcasing the very best of skill and sportsmanship, it can also breed a healthy love of one’s home place, as well as an interest in other countries and cultures across the globe. Helping to open our eyes to the beauty of difference and diversity, football teaches us that variety really is the spice of life, and there are many fans who would love to see how it is embraced and enjoyed in other cultures. Here are three of the best places for ardent football aficionados to do that.
For followers of top-tier football, Milan is a city whose name should be familiar. Home to two of the best and most famous clubs in the world today, it’s a true mecca for sporting enthusiasts and boasts a series of iconic landmarks. Foremost among them is the magnificent San Siro, which has seen some exquisite on-pitch action since its creation in 1927. One of the largest stadiums in the whole of Europe, it also doubles as a concert venue and has hosted everyone from Bob Marley to Michael Jackson.
Should you be lucky enough to pay a visit to the city, be sure to take part in one of the guided tours that are available, which offer the chance to not only explore the stadium but to go behind the scenes and see what the changing rooms are like inside too. Include a visit to the Museum San Siro once you’re done, to learn even more about the dazzling history of the city’s home clubs.
As every ardent sports bettor knows, Barcelona is a club at the very top of its game. Offering unfailingly attractive odds, it is beloved of those who like to win – and with very good reason. Where better to visit, then, when you’re in search of some footballing culture abroad? Known for its world-renowned team, Barcelona has a wonderful stadium for visitors to explore. One of the largest and most impressive of its kind in the world, Camp Nou is a true treat for the eyes, with fantastic facilities and a cabinet full of trophies.
Should you get the chance, we very much recommend seeing a game while you’re in the city. Maybe finish your visit with a trip to the on-site museum, which just so happens to be one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entirety of Barcelona. If you’re looking for an additional treat to add to your itinerary, stadium tours are also available. What’s more, Barcelona is the perfect place to honeymoon or take a romantic trip away, meaning that you can enjoy a couples retreat and football fanatic’s dream in one.
As tourist destinations go, Dortmund is not as popular a choice as Milan or Barcelona, but it’s still a great place for football fans to visit. Located in Germany, it boasts the largest stadium in the country, which was originally constructed to host the 1974 World Cup. Voted one of the best football stadiums of all time, Dortmund has acted as the backdrop for several international tournaments over the years. You’ll almost certainly have seen it in action at some point, whether from the grandstand or through your television screen.
Its true grandeur has to be experienced to be believed, however, which is why football fans should be sure to book onto the guided tour. Including visits to the dressing rooms, player’s tunnel, and Borusseum museum, which is home to the most incredible trophy display, it’s the perfect way for enthusiasts to spend an afternoon.