Stadio Giuseppe Meazza – San Siro

Every FIFA World Cup brings to the fore a special stadium of stunning beauty and sophistication.  In Italy, so often a cradle of architecture, the great creation for Italia 90 was the new San Siro Stadium – home of the opening game between Argentina and Cameroon.

Everything about Italia ’90 was special even the music used by the BBC.  The corporation used Luciano Pavarotti’s recording of ‘Nessun Dorma‘ as its World Cup theme tune and a nation was hooked especially after the opening day match upset inflicted on Argentina.

All venues for the FIFA tournament underwent extensive programmes of improvements in preparation for the tournament forcing many of the club tenants to move into temporary homes.  Additionally, seating and roofs were added to most stadia with further redevelopments seeing running tracks removed and new pitches laid. Due to structural constraints, several of the existing stadia had to be virtually rebuilt to implement the changes required.

Giuseppe Meazza was born on the 23rd August 1910. Italian football fans had called him the ‘phenomenal Peppino’ and to his distaste he was also known as il Balilla.  Meazza played mainly for Internazionale in the 1930s scoring 242 goals in 365 games for the club. He also led Italy to two consecutive World Cup wins – in 1934 on home soil, and in 1938 as captain.  He is widely considered one of the best players of his generation and among the greatest Italian players of all time.

The San Siro stadium underwent further renovations for the 1990 World Cup with $60 million being spent. This brought the stadium up to UEFA category four standard. As part of the renovations the stadium became all seated with an extra tier being added to all three sides of the stadium. This entailed the building of 11 concrete towers around the outside of the stadium supporting a new roof which now provides the stadium with its unique look and feel.

Today the stadium is shared by both Milan clubs – Internazionale and AC Milan.

See images from the San Siro here.