Football is the most followed sport in the world. All football clubs have a worldwide fan base.
Every club has its own supporters, whether they are local club supporters or foreigners — who follow them based on their performances.
Successful clubs are usually the most supported, but other factors like geography, history, and cultural significance also contribute to a club’s number of fans.
With time, the number of fans following a team either increases or decreases. Some remain loyal to their club, while others switch to other clubs during crisis periods.
Furthermore, the football teams with the most fans are also the biggest clubs in the world.
Football business relies heavily on fans in the form of ticket sales and also merchandise sales of items like jerseys and other accessories.
In modern times, fans also show their support for teams on social media by following their favourite football clubs.
Although it goes a long way, the number of fans following a club on social media cannot be SOLELY relied on to judge its fanbase. Because some clubs effectively engage with fans through the medium more than others.
In this article, TOP SOCCER BLOG brings you the football clubs that have the most fans around the world in 2023.
Note: The EXACT number of fans that clubs have cannot be precisely ascertained.
1. Real Madrid
Unsurprisingly, Real Madrid comes at the top of the list of football clubs with the most fans in the world.
Success naturally attracts affection, and Los Blancos are arguably the most successful football club in history.
Real Madrid fans are estimated to be around 400 million scattered across the planet.
Moreso, Real have more than 280 million followers on all social media platforms combined.
Some of the biggest celebrities around the world, like Tom Cruise, Antonio Banderas, King Abdullah II, Jennifer Lopez, and Robbie Williams, support the Los Blancos.
Furthermore, Madrid is among the football clubs that have won the most trophies in the world.
A lot of Real Madrid’s fans are in Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa.
Barcelona owns the largest stadium in Europe (Camp Nou) — capable of holding almost 100,000 fans.
Some of the best players in history have played for the club, while their tiki-taka brand of football fascinates viewers.
And they are also very successful in terms of trophies.
The departure of Lionel Messi, their financial crisis, and the fall from grace in 2021 affected Barcelona. But their most loyal fans (hundreds of millions) still remain with them.
Barcelona have around 275 million followers on all social media channels.
Another reason why Barcelona are among the most supported football clubs in the world, is because of the high caliber of football players that have played for them.
3. Manchester United
Apart from being one of the most successful football clubs in the world, Manchester United also boasts of a large fanbase across the globe.
Furthermore, the Red Devils always priortise the interests of their huge fan base. They also take full advantage of it to generate revenue.
Manchester United are being followed by around 175 million people on social media.
Manchester United have also attracted a variety of football players from different countries.
Hence, the Red Devils have supporters in Asia, Africa, South America, and North America.
Some famous people that support Manchester United are: Brad Pitt, Andy Goldstein, Darren Campbell, Jamie Delgado, Jamie Moore, Kim Jong-un (North Korea leader), Lex Luger, Shahrukh Khan, and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (Emir of Qatar).
Chelsea are not just the best football club in London, but are also one of the football teams with the highest number of fans in the world.
It is impossible for Chelsea to miss out on this list, as you find Blues fans everywhere you go. Some rival fans find this annoying! They also accuse them of being too noisy.
Some say most of Chelsea fans are “plastic fans” (fake fans) who support the team merely for its ‘bought’ glories and success.
Many believe that Chelsea’s fan base hugely grew suddenly when Russian billionaire, Roman Abramovich, pumped money into the club in 2003.
However, that hasn’t stopped Chelsea fans from multiplying!
Former US President, Bill Clinton, supports Chelsea.
The Blues have about 112 million fans on social media, and like in real life; you don’t want to come across them.
Interestingly though, Chelsea are one of the few football clubs that have won every available trophy.
Arsenal is nicknamed the “Gunners,” but the club’s fans are called “Gooners” — derived from the official nickname.
Arsenal fans are known to be the most loyal across the globe.
After the Unbeaten Dream Team of the early 2000s, the club suffered miserable runs on the pitch and went trophyless for almost a decade. But its fans amazingly stood by.
Their fortunes have changed in recent years, and their fanbase is equally expanding.
Arsenal have around 85 million followers on all social media sites.
A lot of Asian players have played for Arsenal, as well as African footballers.
This has made Arsenal one of the football clubs with the most fans in my parts of the world.
It was believed that most of the British Royal Family support the Gunners — especially the late Queen Elizabeth II.
Some of the famous fans of Arsenal include Piers Morgan, Jay-Z, Dido, and even Fidel Castro (Cuban communist leader).
Moreso, the most notorious terrorist in the world, Osama Bin Laden, was an Arsenal fan!
Despite their relatively new stature among the traditional powerhouses of world football, PSG’s online presence is huge — with around 145 million followers.
It was already among the most supported clubs in France before being purchased by the Qatari Royal Family. Signing superstars greatly expanded its reach and popularity.
The arrivals of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe, and Lionel Messi in the last 5 years have seen more people support PSG.
Juventus have the biggest fanbase in Italy, their success in the UEFA Champions League in the last decade also saw them attract plenty of international fans.
Additionally, their acquisition of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2019 massively increased their supporters.
The Old Lady have almost 120 million followers across social media.
Liverpool are one of the biggest football clubs in the world. Their decline between 2006 to 2014 saw them lose lots of fans globally.
But their rejuvenation in the last 7 years has saw their fanbase increase massively.
The presence of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane won Liverpool plenty of fans in the Arab world and in Africa.
The Reds have about 106 million followers on various social media platforms.
Notable people who are Liverpool fans are: Chris de Burgh, Angelina Jolie, Sheamus, John Bishop, and Dr. Dre.
9. Bayern Munich
In terms of fan membership, Bayern Munich is the most supported football club in Germany — with more than 295,000 registered members.
Bayern have extensively promoted themselves through strategic partnerships.
Their success (especially in the UEFA Champions League) is also a huge attraction.
The Bavarians have just a little over 100 million fans on social media.
Notable people are fans of Bayern Munich are the Pope, Nico Rosberg, Steffi Graf, and Wladimir Klitschko.
10. Manchester City
Nicknamed Citizens or the Sky Blues, Manchester City already had large loyal supporters in the UK prior to the Abu Dhabi takeover in 2008.
The club’s fans have been increasing steadily in recent years due to their consistent success.
Moreso, City are one of the most active football clubs online, with several blogs and forums to communicate with their fans.
Man City have around 90 million followers on social media.
Furthermore, since the appointment of Pep Guardiola, Manchester City have being building traction and garnering a huge number of fans from all over the world.
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