Studio 90 toured the Stade de France! Stay tuned for the video on ussoccer.com.
Paris’ Stade de France is one of the world’s most storied stadiums. Though it has only been used for 13 years, it has already hosted a FIFA World Cup and a Rugby World Cup—the only stadium to do so. On Friday, the Stade de France will welcome the U.S. Men’s National Team for the first time.
The 81,338 seat venue was built in 1995 in preparation for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. It was one of two stadia used in Paris, but the U.S. played at the Parc de Princes when it competed against Germany (You may remember U.S. MNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann scoring against the USA that day). The Stade was the venue of the World Cup Final that year, though, when France won its first world championship on home turf after defeating Brazil 3-0.
Carlos Bocanegra is the only U.S. international who has played in the famed stadium, not to mention scored. When the captain was with French side Rennes, the club faced Guingamp in the 2009 Coupe de France final. Bocanegra scored Rennes’s only goal in its 1-2 loss, but the game set a national attendance record, with 80,056 people in the stands.
Stade de France is home to the Stade Francais rugby team and was a temporary home venue for Lille during its European competition matches in the 2005-06 season. The stadium has also hosted two UEFA Champions League finals: in 2000, when Real Madrid beat Valencia 3-0, and in 2006, when Barcelona were 2-1 victors over Arsenal.
After Les Bleus takes on the U.S. at Stade de France, the team will face Belgium in the same stadium.