»Exploration News
»Exotic Tribes
»Amazing Places
»WildLife & Safari
»Extreme Sports
»Society & Lifestyle

»Party Life
»Beach Life
»Advice & Trends
»Travel Quotes
»Travel Books
»Books & Films
»Music & Dance
»Useful links
»Video Clips

»Consultant Services
»Partner Programme
»Consultant Partners
»Travel Links Partners
»Presentations & Multimedia
»Submission articles
»Jobs & Training
»Win Prize
»Press Room

»Contact us

»Norske artikler
»Ordtak reiser
»Norske reiseguider

»Site map


The Global Travel Guide For Genuine Adventurers!

»Explorers Club
»Photo Gallery
Exploration News

Global travel guide and travel agent! We cover untouched destinations, exotic tribes, mysteries, wildlife, extreme sport, unique expeditions and great discoveries. Be inspired and book your adventure tours here!

Estadio Hernando Siles, La Paz - High-altitude football


Felt real dizzy due to the thin air here - almost without moving. The stadium is located in the Miraflores borough of La Paz, Bolivia, at an altitude of 3,637 metres (11,932 feet) above sea level. How it`s possible to play soccer in such thin air?

Photo. ''Estadio Hernando Siles'' in La Paz, Bolivia - one of the highest professional stadiums in the world. © Travel Explorations.

Take a breath! Playing football at Estadio Hernando Siles stadium in La Paz, Bolivia`s capital, is an extreme challenge. Located approximately 3,640 meters (11,942 feet) above sea level. Playing football there is a testament to players‘ adaptability and resilience. It demonstrates how far human limits could be pushed in a challenging environment. How would you prepare if you were going to play there?

Watch more photos on our Facebook page Travel Explorations.

''Estadio Hernando Siles'' is a sports stadium in La Paz, Bolivia. It is the country's largest sports complex with a capacity of 41,143 seats. It is named after Hernando Siles Reyes, the 31st President of Bolivia (1926–1930). The stadium is located in the Miraflores borough of La Paz, making it one of the highest professional stadiums in the world.

Teams and players not used to high altitudes might face significant disadvantages when playing in La Paz. However, the human body can adapt to these conditions over time, a process that can take from a few days to several weeks. But when playing world cup qualifying at his stadium, which national teams have time to acclimate over so long time? 

Acclimatization involves physiological adjustments, like increased red blood cell production, which helps to improve oxygen delivery throughout the body. At high altitudes, the air is thinner, meaning there's less oxygen available. For athletes, especially those not acclimatized to these conditions, this can lead to quicker fatigue, breathlessness, and decreased performance. 

Real Madrid’s Angel di Maria and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi suffered as Argentina drew 1-1 with Bolivia playing at the latters high altitude Estadio Hernandos Siles on 26th March 2013. Argentina’s players were clearly struggling for breath as they were held by Bolivia for World Cup qualification. Some of the players had a headache and others felt a bit dizzy. They needed time to recover for every effort they made. Real Madrid winger Angel di Maria required the aid of an oxygen mask mid-match to cope, whilst Javier Mascherano and Ezequiel Lavezzi also needed oxygen.

The Stadium was opened in 1931 with a match between The Strongest and its classic rival, Universitario, with The Strongest winning 4–1. It is the home ground of three major Bolivian league football clubs, Club Bolivar, The Strongest and La Paz F.C. as well as several smaller top sides: Universitario de La Paz, Chaco Petrolero and Mariscal Braun (history about the stadium on Wikipedia).

The stadium also host lower league clubs: Fraternidad Tigres and Academia de Balompié Boliviano. The stadium has been the site of historic moments in Bolivian football history, including Bolivia's 2–0 defeat of Brazil in the 1993 qualifiers for World Cup 94, Brazil's first defeat in 40 years of playing the qualifiers. Another such moment of this history occurred on 1st April 2009 when Bolivia defeated Argentina 6–1, inflicting the worst defeat for Argentina in 60 years. Most recently defeating an underweight Brazil 2–1.

The high-altitude football controversy arose in May 2007 when FIFA introduced a temporary ban on international matches at more than 2,500 metres (8,200 ft) above sea level, citing concerns about players' health and the "unfair" advantage to acclimatised home teams. The ruling meant that Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia would be prevented from hosting FIFA World Cup qualifiers in their own capital cities. The ban was rescinded in May 2008.

Teams based in La Paz or similar high-altitude locations often have a considerable home advantage against teams from lower altitudes. This advantage is not just physiological but also technical, as local players are better adapted to the unique ball dynamics.

Stein Morten Lund, 20th July 2002

Additional information
Read more on Wikipedia: Estadio Hernando Siles is a multi-purpose stadium in La Paz, Bolivia

During 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018 World Cup qualifiers together, Bolivia had fourteen home wins and ten home draws, and only two away draws and no away wins. In 2017, Neymar posted photos of Brazil players with oxygen masks before their 2018 World Cup qualification game in the stadium and commented that it is "inhumane" to play under those conditions.

Share |

Meeting the Mudmen
in Papua New Guinea

See the video HERE

Global travel guide and agent - news, articles and photos from untouched and exciting destinations around the world!
© 2000-2023 Travel Explorations - All rights reserved.
Powered by CustomPublish