Loujniki Stadium, World Cup Venue, Moscow, Russia
The main stadium for Russia 2018 was originally built to host the first nationwide summer Spartakiad in 1956. Since then, Luzhniki Stadium has hosted a multitude of major sporting and cultural events, including the 1980 Summer Olympics, world championships in ice hockey, athletics and rugby and concerts featuring some of the world’s greatest musicians. Throughout this period, however, football has played a special role, with the stadium having hosted more than 3,000 matches.
Luzhniki Stadium is the venue for most of the matches played by the Russian national football team, and at various times it has also served as the home stadium for Moscow’s Spartak, CSKA and Torpedo clubs. It has also hosted the finals of the two main competitions in European club football: the final of the 1999 UEFA Cup (now known as the Europa League), in which Italian side Parma beat French club Olympique Marseille 3:0, and the UEFA Champions League final in 2008, when, in driving rain and with 74,000 spectators looking on, an all-English affair ended with Manchester United defeating Chelsea in a dramatic penalty shoot-out.
Epic Russia Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound