Marbella a Base Camp in Spain’s 2030 FIFA World Cup?

7 Reasons why Marbella is the perfect World Cup host.

Why did Marbella Town Hall approve a €130 million stadium for a fourth-division team like Marbella FC? Mayor Ángeles Munoz’s April 2024 decision, including lavish accommodation and business facilities, suggests the city may be gunning for a central role in Spain’s 2030 World Cup.

Esteban Granero, former Real Madrid player and project leader, has already signalled Marbella’s desire to become a reserve venue for Málaga (La Rosaleda) or Sevilla (Estadio Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán).


1. The New Stadium

This FIFA-Ready stadium plan with a 10,000-seat capacity includes a 1,500m² high-performance center, 1,000 parking spaces, and the potential for a 90-room sports residence. Backed by over €110–130 million in private investment by the Marbella F.C. Foundation, it will transform the local sports scene and economy without using public budget. While a 10,000-seater may be too small for regular World Cup matches, it could be an ultra-modern reserve venue.


Marbella’s New Stadium (3D Model) — Huete Arquitectos

2. World-famous training facilities in the Banús area.

Marbella already boasts top-tier training facilities like the Marbella Football Centre and the Banús Football Centre. These complexes have a proven track record of hosting elite teams from across Europe. Natural grass pitches, elite changing rooms, high-performance gyms, spa and massage areas, and a dedicated press room.

National teams like England, Denmark, and Qatar have all utilised Marbella for pre-tournament preparations. Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool are also regulars. Base camps tend to be located near good training facilities, like in Teresópolis during Brazil’s 2014 World Cup. Renowned coaches like Ronald Koeman, Jürgen Klopp, Fabio Capello, and Mauricio Pellegrino have all praised Marbella’s facilities, organisation, and ideal training conditions.

Marbella Football Centre

3. The data speaks: Marbella’s strategic location.

Ideally, base camps should be located relatively close to the stadiums where the actual matches will take place, to minimise travel time and fatigue for the teams. Marbella sits between organisers Morocco, Portugal, and Spain, providing the perfect central location. We used AI technology to merge location data from all host city candidates.

Morocco: Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier, Agadir, Marrakech, Fez.

Portugal: Estadio José Alvalade (Lisbon), Estadio Da Luz (Lisbon), Estadio Do Dragão (Porto).

Spain: Balaídos (Vigo), El Molinón (Gijón), Riazor (La Coruña), San Mamés (Bilbao), Anoeta (San Sebastián), La Romareda (Zaragoza), Camp Nou (Barcelona), Cornellà-El Prat (Cornellà de Llobregat), Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid), Metropolitano (Madrid), Nuevo Mestalla (Valencia), Nueva Condomina (Murcia), La Cartuja (Seville), La Rosaleda (Málaga), Gran Canaria (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria).

We found southern Extremadura to be the geographical midpoint of the tournament. Andalusia borders this region and has better connections, providing a convincing argument that Marbella can act as a central base camp.

Photo by John McArthur on Unsplash

4. Marbella can absorb the tourism influx.

Marbella is a seasoned veteran when it comes to welcoming massive numbers of tourists. The city’s existing infrastructure, including hotels, restaurants, and transportation, is well-equipped to handle the additional influx of fans, media, and support staff that come with a major sporting event like the World Cup.

5. Marbella can be discrete.

Teams often require privacy for training sessions, team meetings, and relaxation. The base camp should offer sufficient privacy from media and public intrusion. Marbella’s secluded resorts and private training facilities can provide the necessary discretion teams desire. One of FIFA’s requirements is to have at least three 5-star hotels. Luckily, Marbella has eleven.

6. Temperature

Marbella’s pleasant Mediterranean climate, even during summer months, provides ideal conditions for training and matches alike. Teams won’t have to worry about extreme heat or cold affecting their performance. Since the tournament will be hosted during the summer of 2030, Marbella’s breeze is more attractive than the 40°C heat inland towards Madrid. The question remains: what will the mediterranean climate look like by 2030?

Photo by Silviya Nenova on Unsplash

7. Beyond Football

Marbella’s appeal extends beyond football. Its world-class golf courses, vibrant nightlife, stunning beaches, and cultural attractions offer teams and their entourages many choices for relaxation and entertainment. The city’s established connection to the world of football, with many current and former players calling Marbella their second home, further solidifies its suitability as a welcoming host for international teams.


Marbella’s ambitious stadium development, world-class training facilities, strategic location, tourism infrastructure, discretion, connection to the football world, and ideal climate all make it a prime contender for a base camp during Spain’s 2030 FIFA World Cup. As Esteban Granero confidently asserts, “If Malaga hosts the World Cup, there is no better alternative than Marbella.


Marbella’s New Stadium (3D Model) — Huete Arquitectos



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