Tomorrow night's challenge will be played in one of the most popular stadiums in Europe: the Johan Cruiff Arena. Inaugurated in 1996, and formerly known as the Amsterdam Arena, it has a capacity of almost 55 000 seats, and is the largest in the Netherlands.
The Johan Cruijff Arena
The stadium in Amsterdam, created to replace the historic "de Meer", was inaugurated 14 August 1996, with a great ceremony and a friendly between Ajax and Milan.
A few days later, on 18 August, the first official match was played: the Dutch Super Cup, which presents a classic, between Ajax and PSV (PSV won 0-3).
Other dates to remember: 21 August 1996, the date of the first Eredivisie match in the new location (Ajax-Breda); 29 March 1997, first match of the Dutch national team, 12 April 1997, the date in which for the first time the Amsterdam Admirals, Europe NFL team, played on the ground of the Arena (the European NFL came to an end in 2007).
And then, again, great international concerts, from Tina Turner to Michael Jackson, just to mention some of the first events, up to the most recent shows by stars of the caliber such as: Robbie Williams and Rolling Stones, the 1998 Champions League Final (which saw Juventus against Real Madrid), and one of the most cherished memories for Italian fans: Euro 2000.
In fact, in this stadium, Italy defeated Euro 2000 hosts Netherlands in an incredible semi-final back in 29 June 2000.
Finally, on 26 April 2017, it was announced that the Amsterdam Arena will become Johan Cruijff Arena, in memory of one of the most famous champions in football history.
The Johan Cruiff Arena was the first stadium in Europe with a sliding roof. In view of Euro 2020, the structure will be significantly restructured to modernise its facilities and facilitate access for supporters.