The ‘Scala of football’

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza SCROLL TO READ STORIA N.104 / 110

The greatest stadium in Italy had to be named after a national icon of the sport: Giuseppe Meazza. An Inter legend and two-time World Cup winner with the Azzurri. Newer facilities with more comforts and activities on the side may have opened since, but for those who love football, San Siro is unparalleled in Italy.

It doesn’t matter how match experience you have when you go into that cauldron of noise.

Those who’ve had the fortune of treading the turf on the pitch will have certainly experienced that mix of fear and admiration towards the packed stands. In the words of Gabriel García Márquez, it’s the ‘miedo escénic’ which is reserved for just a few majestic sporting facilities. The stadium’s glamour comes not just from its stands and the ‘Curve’ overflowing with passion, but also the knowledge of all the history that’s played out on that pitch and the sense of past events that still linger between these walls. There was the first derby in 1926 and the second European Cup for Inter in 1965, the first match at the World Cup in 1990 and the Champions League finals. In every year, the greats of the game have stood on the stage that is the ‘Scala of football’.

It’s difficult when arriving at the Stadio San Siro to not feel a moment of amazement when faced by a “Spaceship that’s landed in the outskirts of Milan” as it was described by a British newspaper. The charm of the Giuseppe Meazza increases when you approach the gates and climb the giant towers, hearing the increasingly loud roar of the crowd.

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

The stadium in Milan was built in 1925 by Piero Pirelli, the AC Milan President and member of the noted family in the tyre industry. In 1926, it was opened with a match between Inter and Milan that the Nerazzurri won 6-3. In 1935, the stadium was bought by the Council of Milan while Inter started to play there regularly from the 1947-48 season. In 1980, the stadium was named in honour of Giuseppe Meazza who played for both Milan sides. Refurbished for the 1990 World Cup, the Meazza hosted the first match at the tournament and it’s held four European Cup and Champions League finals.