To say Luxembourg has a lot of nostalgic football treasures is a bit of an understatement. But for some of those, you need to be quick to be able to still visit them. The Stade Josy Barthel for instance won't be around for much longer, if we can believe the rumours...
Nearly one century after the stadium was built, originally named Stade Municipal, the location will get a different meaning in the future. Construction works started in 1928 and three years later it was officially inaugurated. But since the Stade de Luxembourg was inaugurated in 2021, the Stade Josy Barthel has seen very few football games.
Despite the many games being played there, none of the teams in Luxembourg officially used it as their home stadium. They did move to the Stade Josy Barthel for some European games (because their own stadium didn't suit the ridiculously strict UEFA norms), some competition games (when their own stadium was under development or renovation) and some finals of the cup of Luxembourg have been played there as well. Only the national team of Luxembourg could call this place home.
But they were not alone. CAL Spora Luxembourg still is active there to this day. CSL is an athletics team which was created in 2000 after a merger between Spora Club Luxembourg and Cercle d'Athlétisme Luxembourg. CSL is the only athletics team in the capital and by far the biggest in the whole country. But the link with athletics doesn't stop there. Because the late Josy Barthel (died in 1992) was/is the sole medal winner ever for Luxembourg on the Summer Olympics. The stadium was renamed as an hommage to this man in 1993.
Just a few years before that, the stadium was completely renovated. Whatever happened back then is still visible to this day as not much has changed in those 30+ years. In 2013 however, Platini shocked the country by stating the Stade Josy Barthel was by far the most rundown stadium he had ever seen. The Luxembourgish FA decided to take actions and checked into possible renovations again. Very quickly, they chose to build a brand new stadium from the ground up. In 2017 construction started and in 2021 the new stadium was officially opened. And so Stade Josy Barthel was left untouched.
Whomever visited the football game between Racing FC Union Luxembourg and Union Titus Petingen November 27th, 2022 will most likely have seen the very last football game ever in the Stade Josy Barthel. Right now it's not 100% clear what will happen, but it has already been determined the stadium will be completely demolished. So unless there is another exceptional game being played there for some reason in the near future, you won't see any real live football anymore. But don't let that stop you to still visit this gem!
If you want to enjoy our articles in Dutch, you can read them here.