Most Supported Football Clubs in the World

Josip Brajkovic
Josip Brajkovic
Published: 30. lipnja 2023.

By far the biggest sport in the world, a truly global game. Hence the supporter armies of certain clubs would find rank amongst the five most populous countries of the world if they were made into a country. Every fan considers his side the best, yet who are the most supported football clubs in the world is the real question!

Obviously, this is a hard task to dwell on, with few roadblocks ahead. As many people do support more than one side, usually one in their domestic country, one abroad, or per country. Taking in social media follower numbers as the final metric to pick the clubs with the biggest fanbases makes no sense.

Take a look at any of the camera shoots of the English Premier League games and see how many of the people there are over 65 and probably don't have any social media. Grandmas and grandpas. Yet often they have held the season tickets for their club for almost their entire lives. The same applies to Spain, Italy, Brazil, or any other country to be frank.

Not to mention people having multiple profiles, profiles being inactive, and so on.

So while social media follower metrics matter and can provide some context into who are the most supported football clubs in the world, they are only auxiliary information for the final estimate.

Most Supported Football Clubs in the World

#8 Liverpool - 70,000,000 fans


The club benefited from branding itself successfully as not just a regular run-of-the-mill club. Through its slogan, through its songs, and through repetition via marketing. LFC has over 300 official club groups globally and is represented in almost every country of the world. European success and winning the arguably greatest club game of all time - Istanbul 2005 Champions League final.

#7 Chelsea - 88,000,000 fans


Even though they can't shake away the moniker of being an instant or a plastic club, Chelsea has managed to grow and sustain a massive following in the Roman Abramovich era. One of the most supported football clubs globally, CFC was a cult favourite in the 90s and early 2000s. Yet massive European campaigns, charismatic players and managers, and non-stop excitement around the club grew the fanbase exponentially.

#6 Juventus - 90,000,000 fans


In one of the rare instances where a proper organization has tried to factually assess the number of fans, an Italian research agency proclaimed that 34% of domestic football fans favour Juventus. That is 12,000,000 people, far above the population of Turin. A massive home base to start, yet Juventus is a global club, helped by the Italian immigration across the countries of the world, like Argentina and the United States.

#5 Milan - 98,000,000 fans


Being the second most winningest club in the Champions League will give you global recognition. Milan has won the big-eared trophy six times and boasted some of the most memorable sides of past 30, and 40 years. Being ran by the former prime minister of Italy and shrewd businessman Silvio Berlusconi did a lot of the heavy lifting in Rossoneri garnering wide support.

#4 Arsenal - 100,000,000 fans


Another thing they have to thank mister Arsene Wenger for - many fans globally fell in love with the club due to the beautiful way the game was played under him. Having iconic players like Thierry Henry helped as well. As did the focus on youth that so many football fanatics appreciate too. Arsenal being arguably the biggest London club, or at least now the most historically consistent one, helped a lot.

#3 Manchester United - 134,000,000 fans

Manchester United

Arguably, the first club that entered the global market for fans deliberately and calculated. Manchester United began its summer pre-season tours in east Asia long before any club. This has enabled the club to garner a massive following in some of most the populous countries of world. Not that long ago, even staggering numbers of 659,000,000 million fans in the MUFC army has been mentioned. Yet realistically, the number is closer to the one listed above. It has hence been a strong anchoring block for the financial power of Man United, despite recent lack of success.

#2 Barcelona - 233,000,000 fans


What is the benefit of having the best player of all time playing for you for almost the entirety of its long career? Trophy haul, of course, but Barcelona gained a lot of fans in the Lionel Messi era. Sure, the Camp Nou side was popular before, yet the peak happened over the last 20 years.

"Mes que un club" - that is "more than a club" is the club slogan that many worldwide attached to. Due to Barca's adherence to a particular play style, to its own football academy, to not having a shirt sponsor for the longest time. Yet, opponents often bring us unto new heights and both the number one and the number two clubs in the world benefited from the rivalry of the best two players to ever do it - Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

#1 Real Madrid - 250,000,000 fans

Real Madrid

No surprise here. The most successful football club of all time has the most fans. People love winners, and that's what Real Madrid has been doing since its foundation in 1902. That's a lot of time for the people to attach loyalties to the side. Furthermore, Madrid, a city that has 6,791,000 people in its metro area, has only one other major club in Atletico Madrid.

Real Madrid’s director of institutional relations, Emilio Butragueno, even went as far as saying that the real number of global Real Madrid fans is near to 450,000,000 million people. Maybe the numbers aren't as accurate as possible, but either way Real Madrid holds the top ranking on the list of most supported football clubs in the world.


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