Stade de Lyon
The Stade de Lyon is another of the brand new arenas that will host Euro 2016. Situated 10km east of central Lyon in the commune of Decines-Charpieu, the stadium is just one part of a complex stretched over 50 hectares.
Olympique Lyonnais now have their training ground on the vast site which also boasts hotels and office buildings in a bustling hive of activity even away from matchday.
Thrilled with their new stadium, Lyon’s mayor Gerard Collomb declared that “a dream will come true for all the people of Lyon” when the new stadium was completed.
The stadium replaced the Stade de Gerland which had been home to Lyon since 1950 and was a host arena at both the 1984 European Championship and the 1998 World Cup.
It hosted its first game in January 2016 as Lyon faced Troyes in a Ligue 1 clash.
Sights to see:
Presqu’ile is a narrow strip of land between the Rhone and Saone rivers, and is considered the heart of the city of Lyon. Presqu’ile is home to the most popular shopping streets, from Place Bellecour to Place des Terreaux.
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere showcases the remains of the ancient capital of the Gauls and offers wonderful views over the city as well as, weather permitting, stunning glimpses of the distant Alps.
La Confluence is the largest regeneration project in Europe and this innovative district of Lyon can be viewed from the Vaporetto river shuttle boat which can be boarded from the banks of the Saone at various locations.
Lyon boasts an extensive collection of murals and nowhere more impressive than at the Etats-Unis district where the nearby Tony-Garnier Urban Museum showcases over 20 huge murals at an open-air venue.
Lyon is the home of cinema pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumiere, the world’s first film-makers, who patented their cinematograph in 1895. Each year, the city hosts the famous Fête des Lumieres (Festival of Lights).
The Olympique Lyonnais men’s football team were recently put in the shade by their female counterparts who won an eighth French title in succession in 2014 and have also won the Women’s Champions League twice.
On January 16, 2016 Lyon marked the opening of their new stadium with a 4-1 Ligue 1 success against Troyes. Alexandre Lacazette, Rachid Ghezzal, Jordan Ferri and Claudio Beauvue all scored as the club kicked off a new era in impressive style.
Coach Bruno Genesio hailed the magnificent atmosphere in the new stadium, describing it as ‘full of emotion’ and said he hoped he and his players would live up to expectations in their new home.
Group Stage Standout:
Belgium v Italy
This Group E clash pits a coming force in Belgium against one of the old guard in Italy. The Azzurri were runners-up at Euro 2012 and will know that Marc Wilmots’ side are a serious threat here.
Belgium boast the midfield guile of Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne in their ranks while Italy are notoriously stubborn at the back. Which approach will prevail in Lyon?