Real Madrid will take on Braga in the Champions League for the first time as they'll surely marvel at the historic Municipal Stadium.
The Spanish giants will grace the pitch of the Portuguese side's home on Tuesday (October 24) night as they look to continue their unbeaten start in Europe's premier competition. The La Liga leaders also top Group C having beaten Union Berlin and Napoli while Braga sit third after defeating the Bundesliga outfit earlier this month.
While Los Blancos will no doubt be focused on securing the three points, they'll be doing it at a stadium that was carved into the side of a mountain in 2003. Nicknamed The Quarry, Braga's home cost £175million to build and was constructed to be a venue of Euro 2004 which was hosted by Portugal.
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The stadium is comprised of just two stands while a big screen is placed across the face of the mountain in what the brainchild of architect Eduardo Souto de Moura. The ground won the Pritzker Prize in 2011, seen as the Nobel Prize of architecture, as he said it was the most enjoyable project of his career.
"The Braga stadium might be the most difficult project I ever did," De Moura said. "And perhaps for that reason, the one I enjoyed the most, they had found a plot of land for a stadium, in a valley with a waterway, [and] thought the stands could follow the curves of the valley. I visited and fell in love with it."
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Braga – who rent the stadium from the city council for a measly £435 a month – will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ground's opening in December – and have begun talks to buy the venue with plans to renovate it. The hopes of modernising the stadium comes with the potential of it being used as a venue for the 2030 World Cup with Portugal co-hosting alongside Spain and Morocco.
In order for its usage in the global competition, the current capacity of 30,000 will need to be doubled to be able to host knockout games.
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