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7 potential Champions League venues as Russia crisis leads UEFA to showpiece rethink


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For the third season in a row, UEFA could be left scrambling around to find a venue for the Champions League final.

The Covid pandemic forced the showpiece event to be played in Portugal in each of the last two seasons, in Lisbon and Oporto respectively.

St Petersburg was initially due to host the 2020 final, but due to the pandemic that was pushed back to 2022.

However, with Russia sending troops into Ukraine it’s expected that UEFA will make the decision to move the final.

That’s led to speculation over where the game could be played, with the governing body only allowing five-star stadiums to host the game.

That means several requirements, including a capacity of over 50,000, but for the Champions League final a 60,000+ capacity is preferred.

That would rule out Hampden and Ibrox while the League Two and Championship play-off finals mean Wembley is not likely to be an option.

Celtic Park could theoretically be on the table but UEFA has expressed concerns in the past about the size of the press areas to host its showpiece match.

Here are seven venues that could host the game, with the authorities likely to take into account which teams are likely to be involved before making a final decision.

San Siro, Milan

One of the most iconic stadiums on the continent, San Siro – officially known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza – has hosted the European Cup final on four occasions.

It has a capacity of around 80,000, transport links by metro and tram and barring an improbable Inter comeback against Liverpool neither of the two Milan sides will be in the final.

It last hosted the final in 2016 when Real Madrid beat city rivals Atletico to lift the trophy and, with plans to knock it down in the coming years, it could be a romantic option.

Milan has three airports – and Turin an hour away on the train – but despite improvements made to host that last Champions League final the stadium isn’t exactly state-of-the-art and that could count against it.

Olympiastadion, Berlin

Renovated for the 2006 World Cup, the Olympic Stadium in Germany’s capital has room for close to 75,000 fans.

It hosted the 2015 final that saw Barcelona beat Juventus, is all-seated and well-served by public transport.

As things stand though the 2025 final will be played at Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena and UEFA may not want to give Germany the event twice in such quick succession.

There’s also the question of Covid restrictions, with only 10,000 fans allowed at matches currently.

Stade de France, Paris

One of the biggest stadiums in Europe with a capacity of close to 81,000, the Stade de France has hosted the final twice before.

It was also the venue for the final of Euro 2016 and in 2015 set a record for the loudest noise ever recorded at a football stadium.

The Stade de France in Paris

Given its location the stadium would be an ideal venue for English fans to travel to as well as being accessible for Germany, Spain and Italy.

As with other stadiums on the list it has excellent public transport links but the Stade de France has limited parking which may count against it for UEFA.

Old Trafford, Manchester

With Wembley likely to be out of the equation, UEFA could turn to the host venue for the 2003 Champions League final.

The Theatre of Dreams has a capacity in excess of 70,000 and is used to hosting large events with Manchester United selling out their matches most weeks.

The Westminster government’s lifting of all Covid restrictions could make England an attractive option for UEFA, though Old Trafford is in need of some modernisation.

It’s also more difficult to reach on matchdays compared to some other stadiums on the list.

Estadio da Luz, Lisbon

UEFA has turned to Portugal to host matches in recent years, with Benfica’s ground hosting the 2020 final.

While that could count against it being allowed to do so again, the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich was played without fans and the Estadio da Luz could be given a chance to host the real thing.

A capacity of 65,000 will count against Lisbon as an option though, with UEFA preferring 70,000+.

Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul

An obvious option, given Turkey was unable to host the final last season.

The 75,000 seater stadium is due to host in 2023 but if St Petersburg is stripped of the showpiece event it could make sense to move things forward.

The Ataturk hosted one of the most famous Champions League finals of all time in 2005, as Liverpool came back from 3-0 down at half-time to beat Milan on penalties.

Fans have complained it’s a nightmare to get to, but given the stadium will host in the coming years it doesn’t appear that’s a deal-breaker for UEFA.

Camp Nou, Barcelona

With capacity important to UEFA, why not move the match to Europe’s biggest stadium?

Camp Nou hasn’t hosted the final since 1999 and Barcelona are planning extensive renovations as the stadium begins to show its age.

The Catalan club aren’t in the Champions League this season though, so it would be guaranteed to be both a neutral venue and, Covid permitting, a big crowd.

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