Thu 10 June 2021 | 4:30

Football stadiums named after players

There are some but so few footballers who have stadiums named after them. Stick with us in this article to review the list of stadiums named after great footballers.

We all know that among the many football players in the world, only a few play the game professionally. But still, there are impressively fewer players to win trophies and even a smaller group to have a stadium named after them.

Over the years, some stadiums have been renamed because of corporate sponsorships deals around the world. However, a few clubs have renamed their stadiums' names to their former stars in honor of their achievements.

In football history, for few world-class football players, their reputation is destined to live on long after their retirements, and their achievements will forever remain in the minds of their fans. When a club changes its name to the name of its superstar footballer, it shows the importance and greatness of its legend. Now without further ado, let's review the list of

football stadiums named after players


Top stadiums named after footballers

Let's take a look at to the list of football stadiums named after players which starts with Santiago Bernabeu, the Real Madrid legend.

Santiago Bernabeu (Spain)

Santiago Bernabeu, a former

Real Madrid

player, manager, and president, was born in 1895. He is one of the most important men in the Whites' history, and until the day of his death in 1978, he served as the club's president. After Santiago Bernabeu's death, the Real Madrid stadium was named in his honor. Real Madrid was a small club, which had not any bright future during Bernabeu's playing time.

After Spain's Civil War, football began again in Spain. At the time, during the war, a number of Real Madrid old administrations had been killed or disappeared, and some of the club's trophies had been stolen. At that time, the club was in poor shape, and on the other hand, other clubs like


and Athletic Bilbao were strong. Bernabeu began to restructure Real Madrid at all levels, and after years of service, he obtained a place on the board.

Then Santiago Bernabeu tried to build a stadium that bears his name. the stadium is one of the largest ones in Europe and many footballers from all over the world dream of playing in it. Finally, in the 50s and 60s, he brought world-class players like Alfredo Di Stefano from abroad.

During his tenure at Real Madrid, the legends such as, Munoz, Di Stefano, Puskas Molowny, Gento, Kopa, Rial, Amancio, Santamaria, Netzer, del Bosque, Pirri, Camacho, Santillana, and Juanito kicked the ball at the Spanish club. Without his effort, Real Madrid would not be the great club of today.

Ferenc Puskas Stadion (Hungry)

Ferenc Puskas, the late Hungarian legend, is regarded as one of the greatest players in football history. The son of Ferenc Puskas Senior was part of Hungary's golden generation and scored 84 goals in 85 appearances for the national team; he also played four matches for Spain's national side. In October 2009, the FIFA Puskas Award was established in honor of the Hungarian magician.

The title is awarded to the football player who has scored the most beautiful goal. Born in 1927, Ferenc Puskas scored 514 goals in 529 matches in the Spanish and Hungarian leagues. Having extraordinary performances at 1954 World Cup runner-up and several times European champion with the Whites, the legend cemented his name in football history.

During his time at Real Madrid, the Hungarian footballer scored seven goals in two European Champions Cup finals and won four Pichichis. After hanging his boots, the Hungarian magician became a coach, and he was known for his time as a


manager. In 2003 he was named the best Hungarian player of the last 50 years by the Hungarian Football Federation. The national football stadium in Budapest was renamed after the Hungarian legend, Ferenc Puskas. Stay tuned to review more football stadiums named after players.

Johan Cruyff Arena (Netherlands)

The Dutch legend, Johan Cruyff, is regarded as a revolutionary and iconic figure in the history of Barca and Ajax. In the list of football stadiums named after players, Johan Cruyff Arena is next. The three Ballons d'Or winner is remembered for his contributions to football. Johan Cruyff also began the Cruyff Foundation, which helps the youngster lead their lives through sport.

The Dutchman launched his playing and managerial career at


, but the football world knows him for his achievements at Barcelona. After hanging his boots, he returned to Barcelona for the 1988–89 season, becoming the coach of the first side. The Dutch legend brought in players like Jose Mari Bakero, Pep Guardiola, Txiki Begiristain, Ronald Koeman, Andoni Goikoetxea, Michael Laudrup, Hristo Stoichkov Romario, and Gheorghe Hagi.

From 1989 to 1994, Johan Cruyff led the Catalans to two European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals and two European Cup Winners' Cup finals. He won four La Liga titles, one Copa del Rey title, Supercopa de Espana title on three occasions, one UEFA Champions League title, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, 1992 UEFA Super Cup during his spell as a manager. La Masia, Barca's youth academy, was Cruyff's brainchild.

One of the first players who would win the international cap was Pep Guardiola.bIn April 2017, Ajax renamed its home stadium to the Johan Cruyff Arena in honor of its servant, who passed away on 24 March 2016.

Diego Maradona (Italy, Argentina)

An Argentine magician is regarded as one of the greatest players in the football world. He was known for his passing, vision, and ball control abilities, and also, the wizard was capable of things no one else could do in a match. The Golden boy was one of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award winners.

The world-class football player, Diego Maradona was the first football player to set the world record transfer fee twice. First, he transferred to the Catalans for £5 million in 1982 and two years later when he moved to Napoli for £6.9 million. The legend is famous for his time at Barcelona and


, where he won two Serie A titles, one Coppa Italia title, 1990 Supercoppa Italiana title, one UEFA Cup. After his retirement, Maradona led Argentina's national side to the 2010 World Cup.

In November 2020, Napoli renamed its home stadium from the San Paolo stadium to Diego Maradona. Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli president wrote an open letter to Maradona.

"I think it's fair to name San Paolo after you, to have you still with us as a witness to the sublime path that this squad has undertaken. Yours were unforgettable years in Neapolitans' memories. A symbol of a renewal and a desired resurrection."

Also, in 2004, the home stadium of Argentinos Juniors in Buenos Aires, Estadio Diego Armando Maradona, was renamed in honor of the Golden Boy. Stay tuned to read more

top Stadiums named after footballers


Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Italy)

Giuseppe Peppino Meazza, widely known as il Balilla, was an Italian striker. He is one of the

Footballers who have stadiums named after them

. The legend served Inter Milan more than any other club. He scored 242 goals in 365 appearances during his 13 years spell at the club, winning Serie A title on three occasions, as well as one Coppa Italia title.

Due to his creative ability, goalscoring prowess, and technical skill, the Italian press nicknamed him the genius. During his career, the Italian striker scored 216 Serie A goals, winning the Serie A top goal-scorer award three times. Also, alongside Jose Altafini, he is the fourth all-time highest goal scorer in Serie A during his playing time.

Il Balilla is one of the four Italian football players to win the World Cup two times, and in the history of the tournament, Meazza has been ranked fourth-best player. The prolific striker scored 33 goals for his country, becoming the second-highest goal scorer for the Italian national team. So it is not surprising to see his name in the list of football stadiums named after players.

In 1980 almost a year after his death, the San Siro stadium, which referred home to Inter Milan and

AC Milan

, has renamed Giuseppe Meazza Stadium in honor of Inter Milan servant. The stadium is one of the largest ones in Europe, which has a seating capacity of 80,018.

Abe Lenstra Stadion (Netherlands)

Born in November 1920, Abe Minderts Lenstra was a Dutch football icon in the 1950s and is regarded as one of the greatest players in Netherland history. He began his professional football at Heerenveen, where he was selected for the Dutch national team. The Dutchman went on to play SC Enschede and Enschedese Boys, where he ended his football career in 1963.

At the international level, he scored 33 goals in 47 appearances that he made for


national side. During his playing time on the national team, Lenstra formed a strong partnership with other internationals like Kees Rijvers and Faas Wilkes.

After his retirement, the Dutch legend was diagnosed with having a brain haemorrhage and spent his entire life in a wheelchair. Heerenveen's home stadium was renamed in honor of its servant after his death. The current capacity of Abe Lenstra Stadion is 26,100.

Guus Hiddink Stadium (South Korea)

The Dutch manager, Guus Hiddink, had a magnificent impact on South Korea's football history. During his playing time, Hiddink kicked the ball at great clubs such as PSV Eindhoven, De Graafschap, and NEC Nijmegen. In 1982 the Dutchman hung up his boots and tried his hands at management, leading several clubs and countries to achieve various titles and feats.

In 1987, Hiddink became the manager of PSV, winning three consecutive Eredivisie titles, three consecutive KNVB Cups, and the European Cup. The Dutch manager went on to manage Fenerbahce, Valencia, Netherlands, Real Madrid, and Betis. In 2001 he was appointed as a manager of

South Korea

, which had appeared in five straight World Cups but had yet to win a single match. The Dutch manager guided the team to fourth place in the 2002 World Cup. The Gwangju World Cup Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,245, renamed Guus Hiddink Stadium to honor the Dutchman. 

Georgi Asparuhov Stadium (Bulgaria)

Born in May 1943, Georgi Asparuhov Rangelov was one of the best Bulgarian footballers of the 20th century. Most football fans believe that he is Europe's 40th best player of the century. The technical striker began his professional career at Levski Sofia and made his debut on 5 June 1960. The Bulgarian footballer played over 230 games for Levski, winning three Bulgarian Cups and three Bulgarian League titles.

He also won Bulgarian sportsperson of the year and the Bulgarian footballer of the year during his spell at Levski. With 153 goals, Georgi Asparuhov is the club's third all-time leading goal scorer. In 1971, Asparuhov passed away in a car crash, and over 550,000 people gathered at his funeral. In honor of the prolific striker, the Levski Sofia renamed its home stadium to Georgi Asparuhov Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 38,000.

Estadio Jorge Magico Gonzalez (El Salvador)

One of the

stadiums named after great footballers

is Estadio Jorge Magico Gonzalez. Widely known as El Magico, Jorge Alberto Gonzalez Barillas is a Salvadoran former forward. The legend began his professional career in 1975. The Salvadorean footballer, whose name is on the list of football stadiums named after players, scored 21 goals in 62 appearances that he made for his country.  Estadio Nacional Jorge "Magico" Gonzalez named in the honor of Salvadorean legend.

Estadio Mane Garrincha (Brazil)

Born in Mage, Manuel Francisco dos Santos is regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time. In


's 1958 and 1962 World Cup victories, he had a vital role. Mane Garrincha was the first player to win the World Cup, Golden Boot, and Golden Ball in the same tournament. During his playing time, the Brazilian legend played at Serrano, Botafogo, Corinthians, Atletico Junior, Flamengo, and Olaria.

From 1955 to 1966, Garrincha won 50 caps for Brazil's national side and scored 12 times, winning two FIFA World Cups, three O'Higgins Cups, as well as 1960 Oswaldo Cruz Cup. Estadio Mane Garrincha, a multi-use stadium, is named after the Brazilin servant.

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football stadiums named after players

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