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Top 10 most supported football clubs in the world 2024

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2016 17 FC Barcelona at the Match of Champions

Football (soccer) is the most followed sport in the world, and all the major teams have a worldwide fanbase that runs into the millions.

 

Whereas once support tended to be confined to the area, or the country in which they are based, the television age means that now clubs can be supported by fans in every corner of the globe, few, if any, can ever hope to see their heroes in the flesh.

 

That does not mean they are less enthusiastic or dedicated than the fans who actually attend games. Many will get up in the middle of the night or early in the morning in their respective time-zones to watch games, and they are every bit as engaged on social media as home-based fans.

 

Here are the biggest-supported clubs in the world right now, based primarily on their following on the main social media platforms.

 

1. Real Madrid – 272.5 million

Logoi real madrid

Realmadrid, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Real are not only the most successful side in the history of the Champions League but they also lay claim to being the most supported club in the world, with an estimated 272.5 million supporters worldwide.

 

That is judged not by the number of fans that attend games but by their following on social media, with an estimated 113.6 million people following them on Facebook, 117 million on Instagram and more than 41 million on Twitter.

 

2. Barcelona

 

Perhaps it is not surprising that their closest and most bitter rivals on the pitch are the next closest in terms of the number of fans worldwide. 107 million claim to follow them on Twitter, 108 million on Instagram, and close to 42 million on Twitter.

 

3. Manchester United

Manchester United Old Trafford cropped

Photo: Arne Müseler
Arne Müseler / www.arne-mueseler.com, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE, via Wikimedia Commons

 

United have long been the most followed and best supported in English football, and that translates to their worldwide status as well.

 

They have a global following of close to 166 million, nearly 77 million of them on Facebook. Instagram accounts for another 58 million and Twitter 31 million.

 

Arguably, in the heyday of their success under Sir Alex Ferguson, their global following would have been even higher.

 

4. Paris Saint Germain

 

File:OM-PSG CF finale-1.jpg“File:OM-PSG CF finale-1.jpg” by TaraO is licensed under CC BY 2.5cc iconcc by icon

 

The richest club in the world – at least until Newcastle United acquired Saudi ownership – PSG has a mass following, not only in France but across the world, with their rich array of talent like Kylian Mbappé, Lionel Messi and Neymar, an immediate attraction for many.

 

It is estimated that nearly 60 million follow them on Instagram, a further 49 million on Facebook, whilst Twitter supporters amount to around 12 million.

 

5. Juventus

 

Juventus may be facing problems off the pitch at the moment, but that has done little to dent their popularity worldwide.

The club is the most supported in Italy, and their fan base is also extensive amongst global Italian immigrants. Their black and white kit has also become iconic, and they have also as many fans on Instagram as they do on Facebook, although their Twitter following is more modest.

 

6. Chelsea

Chelsea Football Club Stamford Bridge Ank kumar 18

Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Chelsea would not have been amongst the best supported clubs in England, let alone the world, until Roman Abramovich bought the club in 2003. However, backed by his considerable wealth, the club embarked on almost two decades of continued success, that brought them two Champions League titles, two Europa Leagues, five Premier Leagues and numerous domestic cups.

 

Attracted by some of the star names that have played and managed for the club in recent years, they have attracted an enormous global following, with 51 million Facebook followers, 31.5 million on Instagram, and nearly 19 million on Twitter.

 

7. Liverpool

Liverpool vs. Chelsea UEFA Super Cup 2019 08 14 33

Fars Media Corporation, CC BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

 

Liverpool are a more established English club in terms of fan base, and were the dominant force in the domestic game in the 1980s and 1990s. They have twice been touched by major fan disasters – Heysel and Hillsborough – which mean that many people have a soft spot for them.

 

After a period in the doldrums, the appointment of Jurgen Klopp ushered in a new era of success, and they remain one of the best supported English teams. 40.9 million follow them on Facebook, 34.6 million on Instagram, and nearly 19 million on Twitter.

 

8. Bayern Munich

Bayern have long been the dominant force in German football, having won the Bundesliga 32 times, including ten seasons in a row, and the German Cup a record 20 times. They have also enjoyed European and global success, with six Champions League successes and two Club World Cups in their trophy cabinet.

They are not only the best supported club in Germany, but also enjoy a global following. That includes 54.5 million Facebook supporters, 30 million on Instagram, and nearly 6 million on Twitter.

 

9. Manchester City

 

Man City

City were very much the poor relation to neighbours United for much of their history, until the club was bought in 2008 by the Abu Dhabi investment group headed by Sheikh Mansoor, instantly transforming their fortunes, and making them one of the wealthiest in the world.

 

Hundreds of millions of pounds has been invested in the team, whilst Pep Guardiola was brought in as manager. The success they have enjoyed on the field, included six league titles, has brought them a huge global following, although there are s number of English clubs with bigger domestic fan bases.

 

Nevertheless, nearly 42 million people follow City on Facebook, 28.5 million on Instagram, and in excess of 11 million on Twitter.

 

10. Arsenal

Emirates Stadium Arsenal FCAnk Kumar 10

Ank kumar, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Arsenal are the only club to have been part of English top flight football continuously since the end of the First World War. The dominant team domestically in the 1930s, they enjoyed a new era of success under manager Arsène Wenger, including going through an entire season unbeaten (“the Invincibles”).

 

A period of decline followed, but, under Mikel Arteta, the club is showing signs of returning to the top of the game.

 

Read: Highest Paid Players at Arsenal 

Their social media following includes 39 million on Facebook, 21 million on Instagram, and more than 18 million on Twitter.

 

Arsenal fans are amongst the most engaged on social media platforms, especially when they lose, with numerous fan channels offering their more vocal supporters the chance to vent their dissatisfaction with the team.

I'm a sports enthusiast, love writing about football. I have been writing about top teams in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga.

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