The Champions League match between Manchester City and Ajax will take place in the fairly new Etihad Stadium. Ajax will train in The Citizens’ new stadium for the first time on Monday evening.
This will be the second time this year that Ajax travels to Manchester for a football match. Last February, Old Trafford was the setting for Ajax’s beautiful 1-2 win. But, until the start of this year, it had been 45 years since Ajax had gone to Manchester to play football. Coincidentally, Ajax now has to return to this English football city. This time they won’t play in Old Trafford, but in the Etihad Stadium in East Manchester.
Manchester City’s stadium doesn’t have the long history of Old Trafford, since the 130 year old club has only been playing there for the past nine years. The Etihad Stadium, named after sponsor Etihad Airways, was built in 2002 to serve as a location for the Commonwealth Games. After that, the ‘City of Manchester Stadium’ was converted to a football stadium to replace the old ‘Maine Road’.
The Manchester City stadium seats 48.000 spectators. The most unique feature of the English football temple is that the dimensions of the field are the biggest in England. Four year ago, the stadium was awarded the UEFA Europa League final match. Zenit St. Petersburg and Glasgow Rangers played a match that was ultimately won by the Russian team.
Manchester City won its first big prize in the stadium this season. On the last day of play, they defeated the Queens Park Rangers in the last minute of a heroic match, and City won its third national title – and its first in 44 years.