Over 100,000 fans attended the matches

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It is increasingly rare for a football match to be watched by 100,000 fans at a stadium these days.
Manchester United vs Real Madrid (2014)(Image credit: Getty Images)The Michigan Stadium welcomed over 100,000 people again for the International Champions Cup fixture between Manchester United and Real Madrid in August 2014.
Atletico Madrid vs Schalke (1959)(Image credit: Getty Images)Atletico Madrid’s highest-ever attendance came in a European Cup clash against Schalke in 1959.
Mexico vs Brazil (1999)(Image credit: Getty Images)Mexico beat Brazil 4-3 in an epic encounter at the Estadio Azteca in the 1999 Confederations Cup in front of 110,000 fans.
Real Madrid vs Eintracht Frankfurt (1960)(Image credit: Getty Images)Real Madrid won the first five European Cups and their fifth final was the most famous of all.
Real Madrid vs AC Milan (1956)(Image credit: Getty Images)Real Madrid won the inaugural European Cup in 1956 and interest in the new continental competition was huge.
Santos won the first leg 2-1 at home, but lost the return match 3-0 in front of 155,523 fans at the Maracana.
Brazil vs England (1959)(Image credit: Getty Images)The old Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro holds many of football’s attendance records and that includes the largest crowd for a friendly fixture: Brazil vs England in 1959.
In April 1954, 170,000 fans flocked to the Maracana to watch Brazil beat Paraguay 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier.
Uruguay vs Brazil (1950)(Image credit: Getty Images)The 1950 World Cup decider between Brazil and Uruguay was officially attended by 173,850 fans, but the real number is expected to be in excess of 200,000.

These days, it is becoming less common for a football game to have 100,000 spectators in a stadium.

Stadiums have abandoned their terracing due to safety concerns, and the majority of venues are now all-seat, meaning that their capacity is significantly less than in the past.

There are not many stadiums in the world that can still hold 100,000 spectators, including the Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Hampden Park in Glasgow, Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, and Estadio Azteca in Mexico.

Nonetheless, numerous games in history have drawn crowds of 100,000 or more spectators. Here is a glimpse of a few of the greatest and largest.

32. Liverpool vs. Manchester United (2018).

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In any competition, the match between Manchester United and Liverpool is significant, but the preseason edition of the fixture loses some of its charm, and their 2018 meeting was a one-sided battle.

In July 2018, Liverpool defeated the opposition 4-1 at Michigan Stadium, with goals from Sadio Mane, Xherdan Shaquiri, Sheyi Ojo, and Daniel Sturridge. United’s goal came from Andreas Pereira. In Ann Arbor, 101,254 spectators witnessed the International Champions Cup match.

(31). Brazil vs France (1984).

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In August 1984, at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, France defeated Brazil 2-0 in the Olympic men’s football final thanks to goals from Francois Brisson and Daniel Xuereb.

101,970 spectators witnessed the match. The day before, in front of 100,374 spectators, Yugoslavia defeated Italy in the bronze medal match.

30. Chelsea versus Real Madrid (2016).

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In their July 2016 International Champions Cup match in Ann Arbor, Real Madrid jumped out to an early three-goal lead against Chelsea.

Mariano added a goal and Marcelo added two for the reigning European champions. In front of a crowd of 105,826 people, Eden Hazard tied the score with two late goals for the Blues.

29). Italy versus Brazil (1970).

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The 1970 showcase, held at Mexico’s Estadio Azteca for the first of two World Cup finals, is remembered for Pele’s historic third trophy and Brazil’s incredible play.

In a lopsided match, Brazil defeated Italy 4-1 in Mexico City thanks to goals from Pele, Gerson, Jairzinho, and Carlos Alberto. 107,412 people attended the tournament at The Azteca, which was constructed specifically for it.

28. Real Madrid against Manchester United (2014).

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The August 2014 International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Real Madrid drew over 100,000 spectators to the Michigan Stadium once more.

Ashley Young scored two goals and Javier Hernandez added one as United defeated the reigning European Champions 3-1. In front of 109,318 spectators at The Big House, Gareth Bale scored Madrid’s only penalty goal.

26. Sheffield United versus Tottenham Hotspur (1901).

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The first non-league team to win the FA Cup was Tottenham Hotspur, who defeated Sheffield United in a replay in 1901.

The first game resulted in a 2-2 draw and was played in front of a world record 110,820 spectators at the south London stadium Crystal Palace. When the year ended in 1, Spurs won the replay 3-1 at Burnden Park in Bolton, beginning a tradition of winning silverware (1921, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981 and 1991).

26. Schalke vs Atletico Madrid (1959).

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The largest crowd to ever watch Atletico Madrid was recorded in a 1959 European Cup match against Schalke. It may seem like nothing out of the ordinary.

The game, however, was played at Real Madrid’s Santiago Bernabeu instead of the team’s former Metropolitano stadium because of a strong demand for tickets. In front of 10,000 spectators at their rivals’ stadium, Atleti triumphed 3-1, but in the end, they were defeated by Real in a three-match semifinal stalemate.

25. Brazil versus Mexico (1999).

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At the 1999 Confederations Cup, in front of 110,000 spectators, Mexico defeated Brazil 4-3 in a thrilling match at the Estadio Azteca.

A memorable victory over a Brazil team that included Ronaldinho was secured by goals from Miguel Zepeda twice as well as goals from Manuel Abundis and Cuauhtemoc Blanco. The first CONCACAF team to win the Confederations Cup was Mexico, with Rafa Maarquez starting in defense.

24. Barcelona versus Manchester United (1994).

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Despite a surprising 4-0 loss to AC Milan in the final in Athens, Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona did not win the Champions League in 1994.

However, the Blaugrana defeated Manchester United on a memorable night at Camp Nou earlier in the competition by the same score. In a one-sided match that attracted 114,273 spectators, Hristo Stoichkov scored twice in addition to goals from Romario and Albert Ferrer.

23. England against Argentina (1986).

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114,580 people watched one of the most famous matches in history, but how many of them saw Diego Maradona’s “Hand of God” as Argentina overcame England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal?

Lucky for those in attendance at the Estadio Azteca, Maradona’s second goal—one of the greatest goals ever—was scored past Peter Shilton after he ran half the pitch. Bobby Robson, the manager of England, later said, “The second one was worth two.”. England’s Gary Lineker made a comeback, but Argentina triumphed 2-1 and won the trophy a week later.

22. 1986 saw Argentina play West Germany.

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Even more people than before turned out for Argentina’s 3-2 victory over West Germany in the 1986 World Cup final at Mexico City’s Azteca Stadium.

Although the Albiceleste had taken a two-goal lead, Argentina rallied and won their second World Cup. The winner was Jorge Burruchaga.

22. Benfica versus Barcelona (1992).

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1992 saw a permanent change for Barcelona. The Catalan capital underwent a significant transformation when the Olympic Games were held there. Additionally, Barça had won their first European Cup a few months prior.

In front of 115,000 spectators at Camp Nou, Barcelona defeated Benfica 2-1 in the final game of the second group stage thanks to goals from Hristo Stoichkov and Jose Maria Bakero. In the Wembley final, the Blaugrana went on to triumph over Sampdoria.

20. Barcelona against Goteborg’s IFK (1986).

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In the first leg of their European Cup semi-final in 1985–86, Barcelona trailed Swedish team IFK Goteborg 3-0. However, in the second game played at Camp Nou, the Catalans staged an incredible comeback.

With 120,000 spectators in attendance on one of the most memorable nights at Camp Nou, Pichi Alonso scored a hat-trick to tie the game, and Barcelona went on to win 5-4 on penalties. A young Pep Guardiola was also present and included in the festivities as a ball boy. On penalties, Barça lost to Steaua Bucharest in the championship match.

19. Real Madrid versus Atletico Madrid (1959).

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In 1959, Real Madrid won their fourth consecutive European Cup, but Atletico made Los Blancos work very hard in the semi-finals.

In front of 120,000 spectators, Madrid defeated Atletico 2-1 in the first leg. However, they fell short 1-0 in the second game, and since there were no away goals or penalties at the time, a third match was required. In the La Romareda stadium in Zaragoza, Los Blancos defeated Atleti 2-1 before defeating Reims 2-0 in the Stuttgart final.

18. Barcelona against Real Madrid (1960).

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Although El Clásico regularly draws large crowds, the largest ever was in 1960 when 120,000 people watched Real Madrid defeat Barcelona 3-1 in the European Cup.

99,264 people managed to get into the renowned stadium for the teams’ La Liga match in 2016, while 120,000 spectators witnessed a goalless match between the two at Camp Nou in 1975, according to Barça’s official website. It was a 2-1 victory for Madrid.

17. West Ham vs. Bolton (1923).

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In the ground’s inaugural match, the 1923 FA Cup final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United set a record attendance of 126,047 spectators.

The iconic “White Horse final,” so named because of the iconic picture of a white horse making its way through throngs of supporters on the field, drew an estimated 300,000 spectators, according to the Metropolitan Police, and some fans thought there were even more. The game was won 2-0 by Bolton.

16. Real Madrid versus Eintracht Frankfurt (1960).

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Real Madrid was the first team to win five European Cups, with their most famous victory coming in the fifth final. In a display of attacking football at Hampden Park, Los Blancos defeated Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3.

The Germans led briefly before Ferenc Puskas scored four goals and Alfredo Di Stefano added three. Among the 127,621 people in attendance that May afternoon in Glasgow was a young Alex Ferguson.

In 15. AC Milan vs. Real Madrid (1956).

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After Real Madrid emerged victorious in the 1956 European Cup, there was a great deal of excitement surrounding the new continental competition.

When Madrid and AC Milan faced each other in the semifinals, Los Blancos defeated the Rossoneri 5–4 over two legs. A record-breaking 129,690 spectators witnessed the Spanish powerhouses defeat the opposition 4-2. Madrid proceeded to win the competition both in that season and the following four.

14. Australia v Iran, 1997.

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In an AFC-OFC play-off in November 1997, Australia and Iran faced off over two legs to determine who would go to the World Cup the following year.

In Tehran, 128,000 spectators witnessed a 1-1 draw during the first leg. After leading 2-0 in the second leg a week later, Terry Venables’ Australia team tragically missed out on two away goals after giving up twice in the last 15 minutes.

13. Rangers vs. Celtic (1969).

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In 1969, there was a Scottish Cup final at Hampden Park that had the highest attendance for an Old Firm fixture, and for one group of supporters, it was an unforgettable event.

In front of 132,870 spectators, Celtic defeated Rangers 4-0 in a match between the two Glasgow giants. Goals came from Billy McNeill, Bobby Lennox, George Connelly, and Stevie Chalmers.

12. 1987 saw Benfica play Porto.

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A thrilling battle between the two top Portuguese teams vied for the championship in 1986–1987. Benfica vs. Porto is always a big game.

Despite an unexpected 7-1 loss at Sporting CP, Benfica was more consistent in the league, and in January 1987, an estimated 135,000 fans flocked to the Estadio da Luz to watch Rui Aguas score a hat-trick in a 3-1 victory. Porto had won the sides’ Super Cup series at the start of the season and went on to win the European Cup. Around 20,000 more people were left outside the stadium, which could hold 120,000 people at the time. The Eagles went on to win the championship by a margin of three points.

11. Leeds against Celtic (1970).

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The 1970 Celtic vs. Leeds United European Cup semi-final was dubbed “the Battle of Britain” and drew a record crowd of 136,505 for the second leg at Hampden Park.

It’s possible that the attendance record for a club match will never be surpassed. Celtic defeated Feyenoord 2-1 in the decisive match, but won 3-1 overall.

Ten. Argentina versus Uruguay (1989).

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Not one to be taken too literally: precisely 39 years to the day following Brazil’s devastating loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup final, the two South American nations squared off once more in the 1989 Copa America final.

Similar to 1950, Brazil only needed a draw to win, and as 148,068 spectators watched at the Maracana, Bebeto’s goal gave the home team their first international trophy in 19 years and their first Copa since 1949.

9. England versus Scotland (1939).

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The Scotland-England Home Championship match in 1939 had the two highest attendances at Hampden Park; the 1939 match’s attendance was marginally lower than the 1922 match.

This time, England prevailed, winning 2-1 in front of 149,269 spectators at the Glasgow stadium. With a goal in the 88th minute, Tommy Lawton sealed the win and shared the 1938–39 Home Championship championship with Wales and Scotland.

8. England versus Scotland (1937).

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Wales defeated England in their first game of the 1936–1937 Home Championship, and they defeated Ireland 4–1 in their final match in March 1937.

In the final match at Hampden Park, which saw a record attendance of 149,547 people and the installation of a new stand, Scotland defeated England to secure second place. The hosts won thanks to two goals in the final ten minutes of play.

7. PSMS against Persib (1985).

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In Indonesia, a country with millions of ardent supporters, one of the largest football attendances in history took place away from the game’s traditional powers.

In front of a record 150,000 spectators at the Senayan Main Stadium, Persib Bandung and PSMS Medan drew 2-2 in the 1985 Perserikatan final. After prevailing 2-1 in the opening game, PSMS was declared the winner.

6. 1990 saw North and South Korea play each other.

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The two rivals’ first football match took place in Pyongyang in 1990. North and South Korea rarely play each other. In 2019, they returned to perform in the capital of North Korea.

In October 1990, friendly matches were played at home and away between the two Korean teams. Tak Young-bin scored the game’s winning goal in the ninetieth minute to help North Korea win 2-1. 150,000 spectators watched the game at the second-largest stadium in the world, May Day Stadium. Twelve days later, in Seoul, South Korea emerged victorious in the rematch, 1-0.

5. Spain against Brazil (1950).

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Brazil defeated Spain 6-1 at the Maracana three days before losing the 1950 World Cup final to Uruguay at home, when they only needed a draw to win the title.

Brazil was well-positioned going into their final match after their impressive victory in front of 152,772 spectators. Despite only drawing 2-2 with Spain, Uruguay would win the championship match against a Brazilian team that was already confident in their victory.

4. Flamengo def. Santos (1983).

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Flamengo’s 1983 Serie A final against Santos at the Maracana had the largest attendance ever recorded for a league game.

Santos and Flamengo faced off in a two-leg final in May after advancing through three group stages, quarterfinals, and semifinals. In front of 155,523 spectators at the Maracana, Santos defeated the opposition 3-0 in the rematch after winning the first leg 2-1 at home. With a goal in the first minute, Zico put the Rio de Janeiro team on the road to victory. It had to be quite loud.

Three. England vs. Brazil (1959).

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The largest crowd for a friendly match, Brazil vs. England in 1959, was one of the many football attendance records held by Rio de Janeiro’s historic Maracana Stadium.

At the Maracana, which can hold 73,139 spectators after renovation for the 2014 World Cup, Brazil defeated a touring English team 2-0 on May 13, 1959, in front of a crowd of 160,000.

2. Brazil 1954 vs. Paraguay.

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The locals’ enthusiasm for football persisted despite the drama and despair of 1950’s Maracanaço, when Brazil lost the World Cup final to Uruguay at home.

Brazil defeated Paraguay 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier in April 1954, drawing 170,000 spectators to the Maracana. However, they would have to wait an additional four years to win the World Cup.

1. Uruguay (1950) versus Brazil.

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Officially, 173,850 people attended the 1950 World Cup final between Brazil and Uruguay, but it’s likely that much more than 200,000 attended.

There was a huge shock, but most of them were there to watch Brazil win the World Cup for the first time. There was a virtual silence at the end of play as the hosts, who needed only a draw, lost 2-1 in one of the biggest upsets in football history.

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