• Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

West Ham train in abandoned Prague stadium with grass growing from stands – but it was once world-beating venue

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 6, 2023
West Ham train in abandoned Prague stadium with grass growing from stands - but it was once world-beating venue

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West Ham are gearing up for their Europa Conference League final clash with Fiorentina in surroundings far worse from what they are used to.

It is not everyday multimillion pound footballers are put through their paces in a ground where grass grows from the stands, but David Moyes’ side have done just that.

Moyes is hoping to guide his side to European glory on Wednesday night

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Moyes is hoping to guide his side to European glory on Wednesday nightCredit: Getty
The Hammers are training at an abandoned stadium with grass growing in the stands

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The Hammers are training at an abandoned stadium with grass growing in the standsCredit: Getty

That’s because the Hammers have swapped their 80,000-seater London Stadium for a derelict one in Prague.

Though the Great Strahov Stadium, located in the Czech capital, is not as bad as it seems.

It was in fact once a world-beating venue housing up to 250,000 spectators back in its day and 56,000 seats, making it it larger than any current or former sports stadium – the second largest ever.

Used mainly for synchronised gymnastics, no competitive sports event have taken place their since 2019.

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It is, however, used as a training facility for Czech top flight side Sparta Prague with the Great Strahov Stadium containing eight pitches.

Rock concerts have also been staged there, and back in 1990 it even opened its doors to British classic rock group The Rolling Stones.

Other notable bands to have performed at the stadium include: Guns N’ Roses, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Pink Floyd, AC/DC and U2.

West Ham fans have travelled in their droves from far and wide ready for the showpiece event.

West Ham fans have travelled from all over to ensure they take in every moment

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West Ham fans have travelled from all over to ensure they take in every momentCredit: Getty

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be in the final,” said Hammers boss David Moyes.

“It’s a big achievement for the club, but now it’s about going and winning it.”

The Hammers have not secured a major European trophy since defeating 1860 Munich in the final of the European Cup Winners’ Cup at Wembley in 1965.

Their last major domestic trophy was the 1980 FA Cup, and Moyes will be hoping to guide his side to silverware, which would also lead to qualification for next season’s Europa League group stages.

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