7 highest stadium attendances in football history including 126k Old Wembley

Nothing quite equals the experience of visiting a football stadium for the first time.

The roar of the crowd, the array of resplendent tifo banners and hypnotic chanting make it one of the most uniquely spine-tingling sporting experiences on offer.

Yet, over the past few decades, health and safety measures have been implemented which, while understandable, have threatened to change the atmosphere inside stadiums for the worse.

As such, only a handful of footballing arenas today remain truly daunting both in capacity and noise.

And despite North Korea's best efforts to claim their Rungrado 1st of May Stadium holds 150,000, most of the attendance records for stadiums were set in the 20th century, where fans turned up in their hundreds of thousands.

Daily Star Sport takes a look back at the seven highest stadium attendances ever recorded below.

Old Wembley, England, 1923

It may come as a shock that the lowest stadium attendance on the list was at the home of football.

Wembley Stadium once hosted 126,047 people at the 1923 FA Cup final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham, according to official figures.

Unofficial reports claim the number was in fact closer to a whopping 300,000 due to many more fans gaining entry, though the claim remains unsubstantiated.

The swathes of supporters eventually spilled on to the pitch and caused the match to be delayed by 45 minutes as police cleared the field of spectators.

Bolton ended up winning 2-0 in what is still England’s highest attendance for a single game.

Michigan Stadium, USA, 2014

The 2014 International Champions Cup between Manchester United and Real Madrid in Michigan dwarfs all of the attendances recorded by other stadiums in recent times.

A sell-out crowd of 109,318 turned up at the University of Michigan to watch the pre-season tournament game, which included stars like Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney.

United ended up clinching a 3-1 victory over Los Blancos with two goals from Ashley Young and a third from Javier Hernandez.

The match topped the previous record attendance for US soccer set in 1984 at the Rose Bowl in Los Angeles.

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Stadio Bernabeu, Spain, 1962

Two teams all football fans will be familiar with are Real Madrid and Juventus, who faced each other in the European Club Champions Cup in 1962.

Madrid hosted the Turin side in what is still the highest attended football match in Spain’s history, with both sides battling it out to reach the semi-finals.

Around 130,000 fans were in attendance as Los Blancos were beaten 1-0 courtesy of a Omar Sivori goal.

The Bernabeu now holds a fraction of that number with its 81,044 capacity, which is still deemed enormous by today’s standards.

Salt Lake Stadium, India, 1997

The most bizarre stadium on the list is undoubtedly Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, India, which hosted 134,000 fans in 1997.

Despite football being nowhere near as huge in India as it is in some of the other countries on the list, the huge crowed turned up to watch East Bengal play Mohun Bagan in the Federation Cup semi-final.

East Bengal recorded a 4-1 win over the visitors, with Bhaichung Bhutia scoring the fixture’s first ever hat-trick.

The match recorded India’s largest ever sporting attendance and Asia’s highest at the time.

Estadio da Luz, Portugal, 1987

The stadium taking third place in the list of highest attendances is Estadio Da Luz, which hosted a match between Benfica and Porto in the Portuguese Primeira back in 1987.

A reported 135,000 attended the “O Classico” as Benfica came out on top with a 3-1 victory over their rivals.

It was made even more special by the fact Benfica pipped Porto to the title by just three points that season.

The ground has since been knocked down and replaced by the new stadium which opened in 2003 and holds a far safer 65,000 fans.

Hampden Park, Scotland, 1937

Great Britain’s largest ever official attendance came in the derby match between Scotland and England at Hampden Park, Glasgow, in 1937.

An estimated 50,000 England fans made the trip up north to watch their country face Scotland in the British Championship, which Wales had already won.

It took the total attendance up to 149,415 as the Three Lions suffered a 3-1 defeat.

With tickets on the terraces sold for a reported 2 shillings (£5), it is no wonder that so many fans turned up to watch the exciting fixture.

Maracana Stadium, Brazil, 1950

If there as ever any doubt that the World Cup is the single biggest sporting event on the planet, the 1950 final between Brazil and Uruguay should put an end to it.

The fixture sets the record for the highest football attendance ever as 199,854 fans took to the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro.

Uruguay broke Brazilian hearts in front of their thousands of supporters to win their second World Cup trophy.

The underdogs came back from a goal down to score a winner with 11 minutes of play to go courtesy of Ghiggia.

The match would have an even greater last effect, though, with Brazil changing their kit colour from white to yellow and blue after suffering defeat.

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