10 most supported football clubs in the world

Nancy Marende

Football is one of the most celebrated games in the world, with some teams having millions of supporters rallying behind them. 

Depending on the club’s popularity, fans cut across from local supporters to international die-hard fans.

Several factors contribute to a club’s popularity, such as their success in major leagues, geographical location, who are their key players, and how much they’re paid, among other things. 

In this article, we shall look at the top 10 most supported football clubs in the world, including their popular players and fans.

1. Real Madrid – Spain

Real Madrid players celebrating after scoring a goal
Real Madrid players celebrating after scoring a goal. Image: Twitter/@realmadriden

Real Madrid, also called Los Blancos, tops the list of the most supported football clubs in the world. 

This is no surprise because the club has produced some of the world’s best footballers, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Alfredo Di Stefano, and Zinedine Zidane.

Los Blancos was founded in 1902 by several Cambridge and Oxford University graduates in Spain. 

They got their name Real, which means royal in Spanish, from King Alfonso XIII in 1920. The team’s playground is the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Madrid, which has a capacity of 81,044.

Real Madrid is the most followed football club on social media, with an estimated fanbase of about 350 million. 

They also enjoy the support of popular celebrities Such as Jennifer Lopez, King Abdullah II, and Tom Cruise.

2. Barcelona – Spain

An FC Barcelona shirt with the club's crest
An FC Barcelona shirt with the club’s crest.

Apart from owning the largest stadium in Europe, Camp Nou, which has a sitting capacity of 99,354, Barcelona is popular among its fans for several reasons.

First, Barcelona has consecutively won the Champions League and La Liga many times. 

Secondly, Barcelona has been home to some of the best footballers of all time, such as Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho Gaucho, and Neymar.

Barcelona was established in 1899 by a group of Germans, Catalans, English, and Swiss footballers led by Joan Gamper. Since then, the club has been used to symbolize the Catalan culture.

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Barcelona enjoys one of the biggest fan bases in the world, with a social media following of up to 330 million. 

Some renowned celebrities supporting Barcelona include Bill Gates and Justin Bieber.

3. Manchester United – England

Manchester United logo
Manchester United logo. Image: Wikipedia

With a social media followership of about 213 million, Manchester United prides itself as one of the Premier League teams with the most fans worldwide. 

The club plays its matches at the Old Trafford Stadium, which has a sitting capacity of 74,310.

Man United was founded in 1878 at Old Trafford Manchester and was called Newton Health LYR Football Club. 

The team was under the Carriage and Wagon department, playing against other departments and neighboring railway companies until 1880.

Like most popular football clubs in the world, the Red Devils are widely celebrated because of their talented players. The club’s ability to shine in the Premier League and Champions Leagues has attracted a lot of fans, too.

Manchester United is also the most supported football club in Africa. It ranks among the top 5 supported sports teams across different continents.

One of the world’s most decorated footballers, Ryan Riggs, and his counterpart Wayne Rooney once played in this magnificent club. 

Popular singer Justin Timberlake and boxers Floyd Mayweather and Tyson Fury are among the biggest supporters of Man United.

4. PSG – France

PSG players during a match
PSG players during a match. Image: Instagram/psg

Paris Saint-Germain, in short PSG, is France’s most successful football club. It also ranks as one of the football clubs with the most fans globally.

PSG was initially formed in the summer of 1970 when a group of businessmen led by Guy Crescent and Pierre-Etienne Guyot decided to merge two clubs, Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain.

The purchase of the club by Qatar Sports Investment in 2021 boosted their global popularity when they pumped in millions of dollars to attract world-class players. 

PSG plays their home matches in the 47,929 capacity stadium Parc des Princes, in Paris.

With superstars such as Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, and Messi being among those who have played for the club.

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PSG has a whopping 180 million followers on social media alone. 

Some popular celebrities who support PSG include former French president Nicholas Sarkozy, DJ Snake, and Comedian Jamel Debbouze.

5. Juventus – Italy

Juventus during a match
Juventus during a match. Image: Instagram/juventus

Juventus is not only the best football team in Italy but also doubles as one of the most supported football clubs in the world. 

With a social media fan base of 141 million, this Serie A football club has attracted the worldwide attention of many people. 

Popular artists Rihanna and Drake are known to be great supporters of this Italian team.

Juventus was founded in 1897 as a sports club by pupils of Massimo d’Azeglio Lyceum school in Turin, Italy. The team played their first Italian Football Championship tournament in March of 1900.

Juve plays their matches at Juventus Stadium, which has a sitting capacity of 41,507. 

Juventus has produced some of the world’s best players, the likes of Alessandro Del Piero and Giampiero Boniperti. Their goal-scoring abilities attract many fans to watch the club’s matches.

6. Chelsea – England

Chelsea FC logo
Chelsea FC logo. Image: Wikipedia

Chelsea has a rich history dating back to 1904 when businessman Gus Mears purchased Stamford Bridge athletics stadium. 

His initial idea was to rent the ground to Fulham F.C., but the deal was turned down, and he instead decided to start a new football club.

The continued array of success combined with a host of outstanding players like Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and N’Golo Kante has attracted many followers to the club. 

Chelsea fans are estimated to be 140 million globally, from Africa to Asia, Europe, and America.

The club has always played their home matches at Stamford Bridge stadium, which has a capacity of 40,343. 

Famous celebrities who support Chelsea include former US president Bill Clinton, Rapper Lil Wayne, and Steph Curry.

7. Manchester City – England

Manchester City logo
Manchester City logo. Image: Wikipedia

Man City is another Manchester-based football club with a huge online and offline followership. 

The Blue’s success in the Premier League has increased their supporters steadily, which now stands at 139 million followers.

The club was established in 1880 as St. Marks before being renamed Manchester City in 1894. They would earn their first major recognition in 1899 when they won the Second Division and were promoted to the First Division.

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From its inception, the club played its matches at Maine Road. They only relocated to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, with a larger sitting capacity of 53,400. 

Famous people who support The Blues include Jackie Chan, Liam and Noel Gallagher. Football legends like Yaya Toure and Tony Brook were once Man City players.

8. Liverpool – England

Liverpool logo
Liverpool logo. Image: Wikipedia

Liverpool enjoys a huge global fan base, with the popular social media platforms accounting for 137 million followers. 

The club was established in 1892 by John Houlding after he had a dispute with Everton Committee. Since then, Liverpool has played its matches at Anfield Stadium, which now has a sitting capacity of 53,394.

The Reds have been home to great players who have made the club popular, such as the Scottish striker Kenny Dalglish, Sadio Mane, and Mohamed Salah. 

There are hundreds of celebrities who support Liverpool. They include NBA star LeBron James and Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie.

9. FC Bayern Munich – Germany

FC Bayern Munich celebrating their 2020  UEFA Champions League win
FC Bayern Munich celebrating their 2020 UEFA Champions League win. Image: Instagram/fcbayern

Nicknamed The Bavarians, the club enjoys huge support globally, with nearly 300,000 registered members in Germany alone. 

The club is globally celebrated, especially for its consecutive success in the UEFA Champions League and Bundesliga.

Bayern Munich was formed in 1900 by 11 football players led by Franz John when members of Munich Gymnastics Club decided not to allow them to join the German Football Association. 

Allianz Arena stadium is The Bavarians’ home ground, with a seating capacity of 75,000.

The Munich-based club has slightly over 125 million fans on social media, with celebrities like Wladimir Klitschko and Nico Rosberg being their great supporters. 

Some Bayern Munich legendary players include Gerd Muller and Sepp Maier.

10. Arsenal – England

Arsenal logo
Arsenal logo. Image: Wikipedia

Closing our list of the top 10 most supported football clubs in the world is Arsenal, which is also the 3rd most successful team in English football. 

Arsenal’s history dates back to 1886 when David Danskin, a Scotsman, and 15 munitions workers together formed the Dial Square Football Club.

The Gunners’ ability to bounce back and their choice to incorporate players from Asia and Africa has solidified their fans across the globe. 

Their social media following is slightly over 99 million followers, with members of the Royal Family like Prince Harry and the late Queen Elizabeth II being their all-time fans.

Furthermore, Arsenal has also attracted a variety of top players from different countries, such as Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp, and Ian Wright. 

The London-based club plays their match at Emirates Stadium, which has a capacity of 60,704.

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