Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

The Biggest Soccer Attendances in History

Soccer Stadium

If there’s one thing that soccer has taught us, it’s the importance of fans in the stadium. The COVID-19 pandemic has made us realize that a game without spectators loses its magic. Fans are truly the heartbeat of any club, and their energy can both inspire and intimidate players. Throughout history, there have been soccer matches with attendances that still raise eyebrows to this day. Let’s take a look at the top 10 largest soccer attendances of all time.

10. West Ham vs Bolton Wanderers – FA Cup Final (1923)

Attendance: Officially 126,047 (unofficially almost 300,000 due to fans without tickets)

This game deserves its place on the list, even if we ignore the unofficial numbers. The crowd at the new Wembley Stadium was so large that the match started 45 minutes late due to crowd trouble. Bolton eventually won the game 2-0, but the sheer size of the crowd overshadowed the result. An iconic photograph of thousands of fans surrounding a mounted police officer on the pitch is a testament to the overcrowding on that day.

9. Portugal vs Brazil – FIFA U-20 World Cup Final (1991)

Attendance: 127,000

This incredible game drew 127,000 fans to the stadium to watch defending Under 20s champions Portugal defeat their Brazilian counterparts. The high attendance can be attributed to the fact that Brazil is a Portuguese-speaking nation, and both teams had an array of talented young players. Future stars like Figo, Rui Costa, and Roberto Carlos showcased their skills, and Portugal secured a victory in a thrilling penalty shootout.

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8. Real Madrid vs AC Milan – European Cup Semi-Final (1956)

Attendance: 129,690

Over 100,000 spectators packed into the Santiago Bernabeu stadium to witness this clash between European giants. Real Madrid emerged victorious with a 4-2 win in the first leg of the semi-final. Thanks to Alfredo Di Stefano’s goal, Madrid secured a place in the final, which they ultimately won against Reims. This match marked a significant moment in Madrid’s history.

7. East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan – Federation Cup Semi-Final (1997)

Attendance: 131,781

Surprisingly, this Indian Federation Cup match makes it to the top 10, but it’s well-deserved for these two heavyweight teams. East Bengal defeated Mohun Bagan with a score of 4-1. The game not only set an Asian sporting event attendance record but also witnessed the first hat-trick in the history of the Kolkata Derby. With a stadium capacity of 120,000, fans were allowed to keep buying tickets, making it a remarkable event.

6. Benfica vs Porto – Portugal Primeira Liga (1987)

Attendance: 135,000

This clash between Portuguese giants on January 4, 1987, holds a special place in history. Benfica, hanging onto first place in the league alongside FC Porto, secured a 3-1 victory against their rivals in front of a record-breaking crowd of 135,000 spectators. This win propelled Benfica to win the league, as well as the cup, completing a memorable double.

5. Celtic vs Leeds – European Cup Semi-Final (1970)

Attendance: 136,505

Celtic Park, known for its passionate supporters, witnessed a truly special moment during this European Cup semi-final against Leeds United. The game drew a record European attendance of 136,505. Celtic fans dominated the stadium, with Leeds United allocated only 10,000 tickets, of which they could only sell 4,500. Celtic secured a 2-1 victory and became the first British team to play in two European Cup finals.

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4. Celtic vs Aberdeen – Scottish Cup Final (1937)

Attendance: 147,365

Once again, Celtic breaks attendance records in Scotland. A staggering 147,365 fans packed Hampden Park to witness Celtic defeat Aberdeen in the 1937 Scottish Cup Final. Celtic took the lead in the 12th minute but conceded an equalizer shortly after. A 70th-minute winner sent the crowd into a frenzy, with thousands still outside the stadium hoping to get in. This European attendance record for a club game still stands today.

3. England vs Scotland – Home International (1937)

Attendance: 149,547

A week before the Scottish FA Cup Final, Hampden Park hosted a historic match between Scotland and England. Nearly 150,000 passionate Scottish fans filled the stadium. Surprisingly, the Scottish FA didn’t allow the game to be broadcast on the radio, creating an air of suspense for those who weren’t in attendance. Scotland came from behind to defeat England 3-1, providing their fans with a memorable victory.

2. Brazil vs Spain – World Cup Group Stage (1950)

Attendance: 152,722

Attendances during the 1950 World Cup fluctuated greatly, ranging from around 3,500 to an astonishing 200,000. Brazil, being the host nation, attracted the largest crowds. In this match against Spain, 152,722 fans witnessed Brazil’s dominance as they won 6-1 at the Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro. The game was already settled at 6-0 when Spain managed a late consolation goal. The overwhelming support for Brazil may have affected the opposition’s performance.

1. Brazil vs Uruguay – World Cup Final (1950)

Attendance: 199,854

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At the top of our list, we have Brazil once again, a country known for its passionate fans. Nearly 200,000 supporters filled the Maracana Stadium for the World Cup Final. The 1950 World Cup followed a round-robin format, and Brazil needed to avoid defeat against Uruguay to secure the title. Unfortunately, Brazil suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss, stunning the crowd. This match remains a sore point for Brazilians, but it stands as the largest attendance ever recorded for a soccer game.

FAQs

Q: Which match had the smallest attendance?

A: The smallest attendance on this list is the Spain vs Sweden match during the 1950 World Cup, which attracted only 11,227 spectators.

Q: Are any of these attendance records expected to be broken soon?

A: It’s hard to say. Records are meant to be broken, but it will require extraordinary circumstances and a combination of factors such as stadium capacity, team popularity, and the importance of the match.

Q: What were the consequences of the Brazil vs Uruguay match in the 1950 World Cup?

A: The match marked a historic upset, as Brazil was heavily favored to win. The loss had a profound impact on Brazilian soccer and influenced the country’s approach to the sport in the years that followed.

Conclusion

Soccer is a sport that thrives on the energy and enthusiasm of its fans. The matches on this list represent some of the largest attendances in the history of the game. From iconic stadiums to historic victories and heartbreaking defeats, these games have left an indelible mark on the sport. As fans, we eagerly await the next opportunity to come together and experience the magic of soccer in person. Remember to visit Movin993 to stay updated on all things soccer.