The World Cup final is the biggest competition in sports. It is watched by billions every year, and every kid who kicks a football dreams of making it to the grandest stage of them all one day.
It is for this reason the World Cup final venues are an integral part of the event itself. The stadium needs to be culturally specific, yet universally accepted. It needs to be famous and legendary, yet ready for new history.
World Cup finals are the most watched spectacle of every four years, and they are all so beautifully majestic in their own unique way. But which of the 20 previous World Cup final stadiums are the best of the lot?
Here is our top five.
5. Estadio Azteca (Mexico 1970 & 1986)
The Estadio Azteca in Mexico hosted two finals, the 1970 final and the Diego Maradona show in 1986.
This may not be the most famous stadium on the list, but it is one of the biggest, hosting 107,412 people in 1970 and 114,600 sixteen years later.
It's three tiers and dome-like shape make it look old yet new, and utterly historic and thrilling. It is one of those stadiums that you step into and just become speechless as you take in its history and size.
A truly remarkable venue.
4. Rose Bowl (USA 1994)
The United States of America may not have established themselves on the football map as of yet, but their stadiums are absolutely breathtaking.
Little explanation is needed to justify such a statement, as you only need to look at the picture above to see how astonishing they are. The Rose Bowl, situated in Pasadena, California, has a capacity of 90,888. Home to the UCLA Bruins of American college football, the venue hosted the '94 World Cup final between Italy and Brazil.
Thanks to the stadium's open-top roof, the footballing world received a unique and special view of the final that summer.
3. Soccer City (South Africa 2010)
The Soccer City stadium (also known as the First National Bank Stadium) hosted the final in 2010, where Spain beat the Netherlands 1-0.
The architects on the job, Populous, created a majestic, famous looking dome shape, glittered beautifully in the Johannesburg night.
What makes this stadium special in historic terms, is that it was built on the site where Nelson Mandela made his first public speech after his release from prison. The World Cup closing ceremony itself also saw Mandela make his last public appearance.
2. Maracana Stadium (1950 & 2014)
The Maracana Stadium in Brazil is commonly referred to as 'the spiritual home of football'.
This famous stadium in Rio De Janiero hosted the World Cup final in 1950, where Uruguay stunned the hosts and beat Brazil 2-1, as well as the 2014 final where Germany were successful.
The Maracana still remains a beautiful, breathtaking spectacle and the blue and yellow seats signify Brazil's colours, which look majestic even without a person inside the ground.
In the distance overlooking the city you can see the Christ the Redeemer, making this stadium even more of a spectacle, and in terms of pure beauty and footballing narrative, no stadium beats the Maracana.
The 1950 final also had a record-breaking 199,854 fans attend, whilst the 2014 final held 74,738, due to the new laws in place with regards to seating and standing.
1. Wembley Stadium (1966)
The 'old' Wembley. The home of football.
Before the Wembley Stadium with the arch we have now, we had the Wembley Stadium (also known as the Empire Stadium) with the twin towers.
It is one of the most famous venues in history, hosting countless FA Cup finals, music acts such as Queen and Johnny Cash, Euro '96, and most famously the World Cup final of 1966, where England beat West Germany 4-2.
The old Wembley was beautifully British, and on the day of the final 93,000 people entered the ground, and the Twin Towers stood as icons for England and football.
Those Twin Towers were demolished in 2003, upsetting many people due to the history and legendary fame associated with them.