Which soccer teams have the most fans? From pubs in England to family dinners, to discussion among friends to fan shows, and radio or TV shows, the above question has been debated by many.
In soccer, new age behemoths like Manchester City, and traditional powerhouses like Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, and others all fight in competitions for the devotion of fans or supporters.
Like any other sport out there, soccer is much about the fans or supporters as it is about the events that happen on the pitch.
Soccer is one of the most-watched sports, if not most-watched, on the planet, and this is because the game pulls a large number of fans.
Support is shown by fans to teams on the pitch and also on social media. Soccer is a game where the number of fans a team or club has is very important. It is seen in retail markets (merchandise sales like shirts etc.) and in ticket sales.
Most of the successful clubs in the world of soccer are those with a vast number of fans. This is because such teams have a great history and are highly supported.
According to Forbes, in 2020, Barcelona and Real Madrid were recorded as the most valuable teams in the world of soccer. Their net worth totaled over $4 billion each (£2.8bn), with Manchester United, Bayern Munich, and Liverpool making the top five.
It is hard to pinpoint the exact number of fans that each team has. However, it can be estimated based on statistics from stadium size, merchandise (shirt) sales, social media followers, the financial value of the team, the club’s revenue, and others.
In recent times, Barcelona and Real Madrid seem to have the most extensive fan base. Following closely is Manchester United, which was at one point in time the largest soccer team in the world.
The above teams not only have substantial fan bases on social media, but they also have the largest merchandise sales (shirts) across most markets and own some of the largest soccer stadiums on the planet.
With a global appeal that is shown in their value, their name has been a mainstream in Forbes’s top 20 list of most valuable soccer teams in the world.
Closely following the above three are Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich, who are among some of the traditional soccer giants. There are also new age giants like Manchester City and Chelsea that are boasting considerable support from fans worldwide.
Which soccer teams have the most fans?
Every soccer team has built its reputation on the shoulders of its fans. The game of soccer remains beautiful because of the fans.
Fans worship their players or stars, cheer for their favorite teams, oppress their opponents through various physiological means, stand up for their players, and perform actions that make the game of soccer colorful and beautiful (like turning their backs).
Every soccer fan out there has a favorite team that they represent, ranging from multi-billion dollar teams like Manchester United, Real Madrid, Barcelona to even teams that have been unheard of.
An answer to the soccer teams with the most number of fans would not be an easy one. However, here are the top five soccer teams based on their social media followers, stadium capacity, and revenues.
Barcelona, often referred to as Blaugrana or Barça (team), Azulgranas or Blaugranes (supporters), Barcelonistas or Cules (supporters), was founded by a group of Catalan, English, and Swiss soccer players in 1899.
It is an unarguable fact that Barcelona is one of the global soccer clubs and therefore a huge number of fans.
Taking a look at Barcelona’s official social media accounts across various platforms as of January 2022, they have amassed an impressive 272 million fans; Instagram – 104 million, Twitter – 39.5 million, TikTok- 12.5 million, YouTube – 12.9 million, and Facebook – 103.1 million.
Combined with a yearly revenue of €715.1 million, Barcelona can be termed a colossus of a soccer team with a huge fan base.
Adding to the above figures is Barcelona’s home stadium called Camp Nou, with a seating capacity of 99,354 soccer fans.
The apex of the club’s popularity and increase in fans can be attributed to Lionel Messi. Before his departure to Paris Saint-Germain, he smashed several records and won soccer’s most prestigious award, the Ballon d’Or, six times.
As a result of his exploits, the club experienced a tremendous increase in its fans.
2. Real Madrid
Hala Madrid is the traditional battle cry of Real Madrid! Real Madrid is just behind their rival, Barcelona, in terms of fanbase.
Real Madrid, founded in 1902, is the club with the highest number of champions league titles, having won it 13 times, with 33 La Liga titles.
Real Madrid has a worldwide fanbase estimated at 350 million with over 250 million fans across its official social media handles.
As of January 2022, the number of Real Madrid fans across different social media platforms includes; Instagram – 109 million, Twitter – 13.3 million, TikTok – 9.5 million, YouTube – 7 million, and Facebook – 111 million.
Combined with the club’s revenue of €714.9 million, Real Madrid can be said to sit comfortably at the second position on this list.
Also, the official home stadium of Real Madrid is Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in Spain. It has a seating capacity of 81,044. This means more revenue from ticket sales during live games.
With its rich heritage, records, and history, which has been established in European Championships, Real Madrid takes a massive chunk out of the fan base around the world.
3. Manchester United
Number three on our list comes is England’s Manchester United popularly called the “the Red Devils”. Manchester United was founded in 1878.
However, it went by another name: “Newton Heath LYR Football Club” In 1902, it was renamed Manchester United and moved in 1910 to its current stadium, Old Trafford, with a seating capacity of 76,000.
As the largest and most prominent club in England, Manchester United is one of the most supported teams with a considerable fan base in the Premier League and in the world. At a point in time, it was mentioned that they had the largest fans in the world.
Across its official social media platforms, Manchester United have the following number of fans as of January 2022; Instagram – 54.2 million, Twitter – 29.3 million, TikTok – 12 million, YouTube – 5.5 million, and Facebook – 74.8 million.
This gives Manchester United a total of 175.8 million social media fans. Also, the club’s revenue sums up at €580.4 million.
Combined with Old Trafford’s capacity of 76,000, Manchester United is clearly leading other English soccer clubs in number of fans.
4. Paris Saint-Germain
Paris Saint-Germain is the fourth soccer team on our list with the most number of fans. Founded in 1970, the club is commonly called PSG and has nicknames like The Red and Blues (Les Rouge et Bleu) and The Parisians (Les Parisiens).
In recent years, Paris Saint Germain has had many victories which has earned them more fans across Europe.
With the transfer of Neymar to the club for €222 million (the most expensive transfer in 2017), the club has seen an increase in the number of fans who love to watch Neymar play.
Also, with Messi’s move to Paris Saint-Germain in the 2021-2022 season, the club has also seen an influx of fans from around the world, popularly called “the Messi effect.”
Across its official social media platforms, Paris Saint-Germain gathers from Instagram – 55.2 million, Twitter – 1.6 million, TikTok- 23.6 million, YouTube – 5.9 million, and Facebook – 45.8 million. This totals to a massive sum of 132.1 million fans around the globe as of January 2022.
The club also gets €540.6 million from other revenue sources. Their official home stadium, The Parc des Princes Stadium, has a capacity of 47,929.
Juventus FC, often called “Juve” by fans, is the most successful soccer team in Italy. It is also the third-oldest club with 51 titles on the international and national stage, which is more than any other Italian Serie A club.
Founded in 1897, the Juventus stadium has a capacity of over 41,507. The highest number of seated fans at a home game was recorded in 2018 in an Italian Serie A match against Inter Milan.
Juventus FC has 35 Italian Serie A titles to its name alongside two Champions League titles, eight-time winner of the Italian super cup, and 23 times winner of the Italian cup.
As of January 2022, across its official social media platforms, Juventus has these number of followers; Instagram – 52 million, Twitter – 2.8 million, TikTok- 6.6 million, YouTube – 3.5 million, and Facebook – 44.4 million. This totals a sum of 109 million fans.
With the club’s revenue of €397.9 million, Juventus sits at number 5 of the clubs with the most soccer fans.
There is no right way to tell the number of fans that a particular team has. However, by leveraging social media outlets like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok, merchandise (jersey) sales, stadium capacity, and other outlets, they can be an estimate.
Some soccer teams can have a considerable number of fans in their home league or region but little on the broader world perspective. Nevertheless, soccer is one of the sports with the highest number of fans, and it goes to show the level of appreciation for the sport.
Reading through the list above, you should be able to get an idea of the number of fans that each of the top teams has in the soccer world.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!