Luzhniki Stadium

Luzhniki Stadium

Games hosted at Russia 2018: Russia v Saudi Arabia, 14 June; Germany v Mexico, 17 June; Portugal v Morocco, 20 June; Denmark v France, 26 June; Round of 16, 1 July; Semi-final, 11 July; Final, 15 July. Advertisement

History lesson The grand dame of Russia’s stadiums may not need too much introduction. She has been around since 1956 and has a long, eventful history that includes hosting the 1980 Olympics, the 1999 Uefa Cup final, the 2008 Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea, and the 2013 World Athletics Championships. In Communist times it was known at the Central Lenin Stadium and was the most important ground in the USSR. It has hosted more than 3,000 games at club and international level – the latest being this month’s friendly between Russia and Argentina, which was its official reopening after an extensive renovation before the World Cup.

Star attraction This is one of those stadiums whose history you can smell as soon as you get within a few hundred yards. Its classic Soviet facade has been preserved and anyone attending a game will almost certainly walk past the huge statue of Lenin that guards the front entrance. From the concourses there are fine views over the city, and especially the spectacular Moscow State University building. The modernisation has been carried out tastefully: it is a stadium fit for a World Cup final.