The Millennium Stadium has been hailed as the best stadium in the world, according to Wales’ national newspaper.

As the countdown continues to Rugby World Cup 2015, the home of Welsh sport has come out on top of a long list of global sporting arenas in an article in today’s Western Mail.   

Stadia all over the world were ranked in relation to atmosphere, tradition, capacity and location, ahead of the 2015 Tournament which brings eight games to Cardiff.

The iconic 74,500 capacity venue in Wales’ capital city, with its retractable roof and new hybrid pitch system, has beat off competition from all over the world. 

Wales’ home ground occupies the premier spot ahead of other RBS 6 Nations venues Murrayfield (11th), Stade de France (13) and Aviva Stadium (18).

The venue also beats Rugby World Cup host venue Twickenham, which sits at seventeenth place according to a Western Mail sports reporter.    

The eyes of the rugby world will be on Wales when the Tournament kicks off in September.

Wales will play two pool games at home; against Uruguay on Sunday 20 September and Fiji on Thursday 1 October.

Cardiff will also host two quarter final matches on Saturday 17 October and Sunday 18 October.   

The Western Mail commented: “When then WRU chairman Glanmor Griffiths promised Welsh fans ‘the best stadium in the world’ there were a few sniggers among the press corps.

“But deliver it he did and the old National Stadium has morphed into an intimidating arena with a capacity of 72,500 and is now the focal point of our historic capital.

“Its fearsome reputation helped seal historic Grand Slam wins in 2005, ‘08 and ‘12.

“Featuring a retractable roof, it is the biggest football stadium in the world with this feature. The only criticism has been levelled at the state of the pitch but that has been remedied with a new £3.1m hybrid surface.”

The multi-million pound pitch investment, supported by Welsh Government, also included a Terraplas covering system to ensure the venue can host a range of events all year round as well as improved technical facilities for broadcasters around the new pitch.   

Stadium Manager Mark Williams added: “The Millennium Stadium will be looking its very best when the rugby world tunes in to Rugby World Cup 2015. In preparation for the Tournament we’ve upgraded a number of our facilities including the significant investment in the pitch with the support of Welsh Government.

“It’s almost twelve months since the pitch was laid and we’re extremely pleased with how it has coped with the rugby season and the summer events such as the One Direction concerts and Speedway when it was covered over with the Terraplas covering.

“When the 2015 Tournament brings eight matches, the world’s greatest rugby teams and thousands of supporters to Cardiff, the Millennium Stadium will be ready for the action!”