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Santiago Bernabéu set to host 2030 World Cup final

After the North American extravaganza of 2026, the second iteration of a 48-team FIFA World Cup will arrive in 2030.

In a controversial move, FIFA has decided not just to double the number of host countries for 2030 from three to six, but to treble the number of continents used; with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay in South America, Spain and Portugal in Europe, and Morocco in Africa all announced as hosts.

Not only has FIFA’s decision caused concerns over player welfare, the costs for fans wanting to travel and the environmental impact, but it left the door open for an unopposed Saudi Arabian bid to be chosen as hosts for the 2034 edition.

With the announcement made as recently as 4 October 2023, there are still more questions than answers, but in this regularly updated guide, we'll provide all the key information as it is released, including which ground will be the 2030 World Cup final stadium.

Camp Nou renovation | Barcelona's home stadium is undergoing a £1.3bn redevelopment project
The renovated Camp Nou (completed 2025) could host the final, but isn't the favourite | Photo by Felipe Mondino/Icon Sport

When will the 2030 World Cup be played?

FIFA have announced the dates for the 2030 World Cup, with the opening match being played on Saturday 8 June 2030, and the final taking place just over six weeks later, on Sunday 21 July 2030.

The playing dates have been announced before those of the 2026 tournament, which is expected to last between 38 and 40 days, therefore the 2030 World Cup is expected to be the longest ever.

While it will be winter in South America, summer temperatures of over 40℃ are expected in Morocco and southern Spain, causing further concern for players and fans alike.

How will the six-country 2030 World Cup work?

Fortunately, players and fans will not be expected to fly back and forth across the Atlantic.

Unfortunately – at least for the romantics who wanted the whole Centenary tournament to be played in South America – the three CONMEBOL members will be hosting just one match each.

Over the weekend of 8 and 9 June, three “Centenary Celebratory games” will take place, one each in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, as FIFA “celebrates 100 years since the first FIFA World Cup”.

After that, the tournament up sticks and lands either side of the Strait of Gibraltar. The official opening ceremony takes place on Thursday 13th June and, from then on, the tournament will be played in Spain, Portugal and Morocco.

Is it anticipated to follow the same schedule as the 2026 edition, with 48 teams split into 12 groups of four, before the knockout rounds.

What are the 2030 World Cup stadiums?

No grounds have yet been officially announced as hosts for the 2030 World Cup, but a long list of potential venues has been put forward.

The decision surrounding the three stadiums for the matches in South America looks to be a foregone conclusion, with only one stadium per country put forward so far.

South America 2030 World Cup stadiums

They are the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, Uruguay, which hosted the 1930 World Cup final; the Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, Argentina, home of River Plate and host of the 1978 final, and the proposed Estadio CONMEBOL – a brand new 60,000 capacity stadium in Luque, on the outskirts of Paraguay’s capital, Asunción.

According to FIFA regulations, a stadium of 80,000 or more must be used for the opening match, but one cannot rule out the 60,000-seater Estadio Centenario being used for the first match.

Main 2030 World Cup stadiums

As for Spain, Portugal and Morocco, a further 24 stadiums in 21 cities have been put forward.

Portugal 2030 World Cup stadiums

Portugal has three potential venues; two in Lisbon – the Estádio da Luz and Estádio José Alvalade – plus the Estádio do Dragão in Porto, all of which were newly built or renovated ahead of UEFA Euro 2004.

Morocco 2030 World Cup stadiums

Six stadiums in six host cities could potentially be used in Morocco, one of which is to be newly built. The Grand Stade de Casablanca in Casablanca is due to be opened in 2026 and be the new home of the Morocco national team. Five other stadiums, in Rabat, Tangier, Agadir, Marrakech and Fes, are all to be renovated before the finals.

For more information, take a look at our article on Morocco’s potential venues.

Spain 2030 World Cup stadiums

Spain, therefore, has 14 potential grounds. The Estadio Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid and Camp Nou in Barcelona are all-but guaranteed to host. Spain’s two biggest cities can also offer the Metropolitano Stadium and Estadi Cornellà-El Prat.

Camp Nou Renovation | FC Barcelona | Potential 2030 World Cup final stadium
The Camp Nou won't look like this by 2030, it's undergoing major renovations | Photo by Icon Sport

Nou Mestalla in Valencia, La Cartuja in Seville and San Mamés in Bilbao are all on the list, as are stadiums in Gijón, La Coruña, Las Palmas, Málaga, Murcia, La Coruña, San Sebastian, Vigo and Zaragoza.

How many will be selected for the tournament remains unclear. 16 venues will host matches at the 2026 World Cup, but there has been little consistency with the number of stadiums used at a World Cup down the years.

June 2024 update

In June 2024, the stadiums in Murcia and Gijon were ruled out of the race. Currently, Spain have 11 venues for the 2030 World Cup, not including the Nou Mestalla in Valencia and the Abanca Balaídos in Vigo. The Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) is trying to increase Spain’s number of host venues at the tournament to 12 or 13.

According to various reports, FIFA is willing to discuss the possibility of including the two stadiums mentioned above, but it would have to be ratified by both the Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) and the Royal Moroccan Football Federation (FRMF). There are reportedly disagreements between the federations about the inclusion of the two additional Spanish venues, according to StadiumDB. The final decision on the 2030 World Cup stadiums is on July 31, 2024. The current list of Spain’s venues is as follows:

  • Santiago Bernabéu(Madrid)
  • Spotify Camp Nou(Barcelona)
  • Cívitas Metropolitano(Madrid)
  • La Cartuja(Seville)
  • San Mamés(Bilbao)
  • Stage Front Stadium(Barcelona)
  • Reale Arena(San Sebastián)
  • La Romareda(Zaragoza)
  • Abanca-Riazor(La Coruña)
  • Estadio Gran Canaria(Las Palmas)
  • La Rosaleda(Málaga)

Spain used a record 17 venues when they alone hosted the 24-team 1982 World Cup. For the 32-team 2022 tournament in Qatar, only eight were used.

Which will be the 2030 World Cup final stadium?

Like the opening match, a stadium which holds a minimum of 80,000 spectators must be used for the final.

With the Estadio Monumental out of the picture, three stadiums meet FIFA’s criteria:

  1. Grand Stade de Casablanca – Casablanca, Morocco – 93-113,000 (expected capacity)
  2. Camp Nou – Barcelona, Spain – 105,000 (potential capacity)
  3. Estadio Santiago Bernabéu – Madrid, Spain – 84,744

Despite being the country’s largest stadium, the Camp Nou has not been used as a home ground by the Spanish national team for over half a century, due to political reasons connected with Catalan independence.

The Royal Spanish Football Federation’s attitude towards playing at the home of FC Barcelona is unlikely to change soon, thus they surely will not nominate it for hosting the World Cup final, which they will no doubt have hopes of Spain playing in.

They will instead pin their hopes on the home of Real Madrid, the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. 

To be completed in late 2023, the host of the 1982 World Cup final has undergone extensive renovation work over the past years, giving the iconic old ground a 21st-century facelift. 

Real Madrid Stadium Upgrade | Full interior shot of new Santiago Bernabeu with retractable roof and pitch | Potential 2030 World Cup final stadium
The new interior of Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu | Photo by Icon Sport

One of the world’s most recognisable venues, Carlo Ancelotti described the Bernabéu as “going to be the best stadium in the world” and “simply for that reason” it should host the final.

Willing to fight Spain hard for the right to host the final is Morocco, as they put forward the Grand Stade de Casablanca, expected to cost $490 million and take two years to construct.

Should the proposed venue be built to the expected 113,000 capacity, the Grand Stade will be the largest stadium in Africa and offer the opportunity for the best-attended World Cup final since 1950.

It would also be just the second World Cup final on African soil, and many would argue that the final should go to the biggest stadium – and not the third biggest.

Fouzi Lekjaa, head of Morocco’s Football Federation wants to see the country’s hosting efforts “crowned – God willing – with celebrations in Casablanca stadium at a historic final”.

Spain, Morocco, or perhaps a last-ditch effort from Portugal – the final venue selection will be the most hotly-anticipated decision in the coming years.

June 2024 update – Santiago Bernabéu becomes clear favourite to host World Cup final  

Marca reported on June 26 that FIFA want the 2030 World Cup final to be held at the Santiago Bernabéu. Real Madrid are understood to be reluctant to give up their stadium for an extended period due to their commitment to hosting concerts and other events.

The relationship between FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Madrid president Florentino Pérez is considered excellent, and both sides are optimistic that they conclude a deal that will suit everyone. Time constraints are also not an issue, as Marca note that the final schedule for the 2026 World Cup was announced less than a year ago.

The Spanish sports newspaper said: “At the moment it is looking for a formula that can make the use of the stadium compatible by FIFA, and also by Real Madrid.  Both parties are optimistic, and if, as all indications are, the 2030 World Cup is ratified by the FIFA Congress in December, the Bernabéu will be the main focus of the event, something that already happened in 1982.” The last time the World Cup final was hosted at the Bernabéu was back in 1982, when Italy beat West Germany 3-1, thanks to goals from Paolo Rossi, Marco Tardelli, and Alessandro Altobelli. Over 90,000 fans were in attendance at Madrid’s home stadium.