Ranking the 2023 UEFA Champions League Last Sixteen Stadiums

Ranking the 2023 UEFA Champions League Last Sixteen Stadiums

After what feels like an eternity, the UEFA Champions League is finally back, with sixteen teams dreaming of the final in May. These are the best of the best in Europe this year, and as such, there is some rather impressive stadiums left in the competition, so before a ball is kicked in the competition this February, let’s take a look at the fifteen remaining stadiums, and I try my best to rank from as best I can (feel free to disagree, I’d be surprised if you didn’t)


15. Santiago Bernabéu Stadium – Real Madrid

The Santiago Bernabéu stadium has been undergoing renovations since 2020 (www.realmadrid.com)

Half stadium, half construction site. There’s absolutely no doubt that after the renovation, the Bernabéu will be at the very top of this list. But as of February 2023, the stadium still has a lot of work being done to it. It should be complete this calendar year, and it’ll be very impressive when completed.


14. Jan Breydel Stadium – Club Brugge

Jan Breydel Stadion, Brugge (© V&A Dudush)

The smallest stadium left in the competition, the 29,042 capacity Jan Breydel Stadium it a complete mismatch of colours and while it has increased the capacity, the added seating placed in the gaps between stands looks awkward. But you can’t deny the atmosphere it creates, and it’s old school charm isn’t something that can merely be taken for granted!


13. Waldstadion – Frankfurt

Waldstadion, Frankfurt (Allie Caulfield)

Home of the 2022 Europa League champions, the stadium became well known to fans across Europe last year – with the home fans often wearing their iconic all whites to create a stadium wide ‘white-out’. The stadium has a roof that allows in natural light in the same vein as BC Place in Vancouver does, personally I’ve never been a fan of stadiums with roofs – football should be played in all elements.


12. Red Bull Arena – RB Leipzig

Red Bull Arena, Leipzig (RB Leipzig)

Not to be confused with NY Red Bull’s Red Bull Stadium, or Red Bull Salzburg’s Red Bull Arena (say what you want about Red Bull, but they sure don’t lack creativity…) – the Leipzig version is to be first probably the best if the three. The seating colour scheme was recently replaced for a striking red design, complete with RB Leipzig identity to make the stadium truly look like a home. Not bad for a football club that completely sold its soul to be a glorified energy drink mascot!


11. Stamford Bridge – Chelsea

Stamford Bridge, London (Getty Images)

Famous for being connected to a hotel and one of the greatest unbeaten runs in English football history (86 games between 2004-2008), Stamford Bridge may be on the small side at 40,000, but it makes up for it in intimidation and design. The dark Chelsea blue is very striking and its three-tiered East Stand is impressive in size and look, and the smaller ends at either goal can provide intimate settings for fans which help fans create a loud atmosphere for big games. While nothing is concrete, the club has been vocal about wanting to either move to a new stadium or extensively renovate Stamford Bridge, something that, once again, can be explored with new ownership coming in.


10. Parc des Princes – Paris Saint-Germain

Parc des Princes, Paris (Shutterstock)

The Parc des Princes unfortunately suffers from my own personal bias of football stadiums having an athletic track. It’s an unnecessary edition for the stadium and adds extra distance between the fans and the action, which is typically not a good thing for both atmosphere and viewing experience. But the stadium is still impressive, the colour scheme that correlates with PSG’s colours looks fantastic, plus getting to watch Lionel Messi and Kyllian Mbappé can’t hurt.


9. Estádio do Dragão – Porto

Estádio do Dragão (©Getty Images)

Built for Euro 2004, the Estádio do Dragão is a smart looking dark blue all over and has an open looking design. Combined with its open roof, the 50,000 capacity stadium looks very modern, while still retaining personal character.

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8. Stadio Diego Armamdo Maradona

Stadio Diego Armando Maradona, Naples (© GaeC86)

Formally the Stadio San Paolo, Stadio Maradona has recently been renovated to contain a more blue and white colour scheme in line with Napoli, even including the running track being blue. It’s a unique stadium in the fact that despite having a running track, the stadium is famous for its incredible atmosphere, with the running track not doing as much to ruin the experience. However, the running track does still stop it being placed any higher.

7. Estádio da Luz – Benfica

Estádio da Luz, Lisbon (Torsten Seifer)

Just like the Estádio do Dragão, the Estádio da Luz was built for Euro 2004 – and it is the largest stadium in Portugal. The stadium looks very similar to the Emirates Stadium, but with some key differences. The inside of the stadium features more character in the stands, in particular the white silhouette of fans is an impressive touch. So is the eagle statue just outside the stadium. Before every game, an eagle flys over the stadium – a rather cool feature which will be part of this upcoming champions league last sixteen.


6. City of Manchester Stadium – Manchester City

Etihad Stadium, Manchester (Ashley Allen/The FA/Getty Images)

The current Premier League champions moved into (known at the time as) The City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, and in that time a lot has changed. The stadium capacity has increased from 47,000 to 55,000, and the word ”CITY” can be clearly seen opposite the main stand amongst a sea of sky-blue seats. The outside of the stadium has spiral features which used to hold cables to the roof, and help make the exterior stand out. The Etihad is a great modern stadium.


5. San Siro – Inter Milan and AC Milan

San Siro, Milan (Daniel Chesterton/ Insidefoto)

The most iconic stadium in Italy, the San Siro is on borrowed time as both clubs look set to move out, and the day it is demolished will be a sad day for football. The 80,018 capacity stadium has a cathedral like feel to it, it’s iconic massive external pillars are red exterior are instantly recognisable, as well as it’s colourful seating. With both Milan clubs in the last sixteen – the stadium will see plenty of action in the champions league knockout stages.


4. Anfield – Liverpool

Anfield, Liverpool (Robbie Jay Barratt/AMA)

Perhaps the most iconic stadium in England, Anfield has gone through a renovation in recent years with its main stand being upgraded, and further upgrading also planned. But in the meantime, the stadium is as beautiful as ever. The exterior is surrounded by Liverpool FC history, with its Paisley and Shankly’s gates being particular stand. Inside, its most famous feature is the KOP stand, arguably home to some of the most passionate fans in all of Britain, and the main source of Anfield’s famous European/big game atmosphere!


3. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London (Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

Opened in 2019, the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium is a perfect example of how to build a new football stadium. A 62,000 asymmetric bowl, the exterior is a mix of white/grey panels complete with blue tinted glass which in the case of blue and white are Tottenham colours. As for the inside, despite being a bowl, there is a noticeable distinction between the four stands. The stand-out stand is the South stand, which was inspired by Borussia Dortmund’s ‘yellow wall’ and has the largest single tier in England with the ability to host 17,500 fans. The stadium itself was designed to amplify fan noise as much as possible and with the intention of retaining the atmosphere as much as possible in order to help Spurs on match days!


2. Allianz Arena – Bayern Munich

Allianz Arena, Munich (UEFA VIA GETTY IMAGES)

The host venue for the 2012 Champions League final, Allianz Arena is widely considered one the best and most iconic stadiums in the world. Its beautiful white exterior is famous for being to change colour, donning a Bayern Munich-appropriate red for their match days. Inside, the red and grey colour scheme work well with each other and is topped perfectly with the inclusion of the Bayern logo.


1.Westfalenstadion – Borussia Dortmund

DORTMUND, GERMANY – MARCH 08: General view of the stadium prior to the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 match between Borussia Dortmund and FC Red Bull Salzburg at the Signal Iduna Park on March 8, 2018 in Dortmund, Germany. (Photo by Lukas Schulze – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

A true bucket list venue for any fan, Westfalenstasion would be considered by many the most atmospheric stadium remaining – and the largest stadium by capacity sitting at 81,365. The most iconic part is the ‘Yellow Wall’, a massive single-tier stand that is home to the most energetic and passionate Dortmund fans on match days and has a history of providing very memorable tifos throughout the years. The overall yellow, black, and grey colour scheme fits very well with the club’s colours and identity. The stadium is also famous for its yellow pylons on its exterior, and the exterior grey design completes the look of an absolutely fantastic stadium. One that blends the old with the new perfectly!

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