FIFA World Cups are special occasions on the footballing calendar that come around once every four years. Ever since the first World Cup final in Uruguay to the last in South Africa, the title match has been staged in various historic arenas which have since been part of the World Cup folklore. SportzWiki takes a trip down memory lane and here is the third and final part of our compilation of the stadiums that hosted the final in the past 19 editions.
1986 FIFA World Cup Final: Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
The Azteca became the first stadium to host the Final of the FIFA World Cup for the second time as a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina lifted their second title beating West Germany 3-2. The match attracted a record attendance of 114,000. The Azteca has been declared as one of FIFA’s classic football stadiums and is home to the Mexican national football team as well as Club America.
1990 FIFA World Cup Final: Stadio Olimpico, Rome
Four years later, Rome too became the second city to host the World Cup final for the second time and it was the impressive Stadio Olimpico that was the stage when West Germany exacted a sort of revenge as they got the better of Argentina by the odd goal in front of a crowd of almost 75,000. Built in 1928 and owned by the Italian National Olympic Committee, the Olimpico is host to the Italian national football team as well as the two Rome-based clubs, Roma and Lazio.
1994 FIFA World Cup Final: Rose Bowl, California
The United States of America hosted the 15th edition of the FIFA World Cup and California’s Rose Bowl witnessed perhaps the least entertaining final that was between Brazil and Italy. The game ended goalless after extra-time and for the first time ever, a penalty shootout decided the outcome of the winner and Brazil lifted their fourth world title. The sprawling Rose Bowl is situated in the Pasadena area of California and holds a capacity of a tenth of a million. It is one of USA’s historic sporting landmarks and was once home to MLS club LA Galaxy.
1998 FIFA World Cup Final: Stade de France, Saint Denis
The Zidane final as it is now known was held in the majestic Stade de France in the Saint Denis province of France. France defeated Brazil 3-0 to lift their first ever World Cup crown, and it had much to do with the inspiration of Zinedine Zidane. The Stade de France has a capacity of 81,338 and is home to the French national football team as well as the national rugby team.
2002 FIFA World Cup Final: International Stadium, Yokohama
Fresh from breaking the shackled confines of Europe and the Americas, the FIFA World Cup went truly global when it reached the far-east as Japan and South Korea co-hosted the mega event in 2002. The International Stadium in Yokohama hosted the final between Brazil and Germany; a Ronaldo-inspired Brazil ran clear 2-0 winners as the Selecao lifted their fifth World Cup title. The stadium is also known as Nissan Stadium and is home to J-League club Yokohama Marinos, and has a capacity of 70,000.
2006 FIFA World Cup Final: Olympiastadion, Berlin
Berlin’s iconic Olympiastadion was the setting for the 2006 World Cup final between Italy and France which went the full distance before being settled in the Azzurri’s favour after a penalty shootout. Italy in the process won their fourth World Cup title, and became Europe’s bona fide superpower in world football. The Olympiastadion had a capacity crowd of 69,000 that day. The stadium is Germany’s second largest stadium and is home to Bundesliga club Hertha BSC.
2010 FIFA World Cup Final: Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg
Johannesburg’s Soccer City Stadium played host to the first ever World Cup final held on African soil as Spain also lifted their first ever World Cup beating Netherlands 1-0 in front of the capacity crowd of 85,000. Soccer City is situated in the heartland of Johannesburg, and is a state-of-the-art piece of architecture. It plays host to the South African national football team as well as Kaizer Chiefs.