Football is the most popular team sport in the world and football clubs are some of the most supported teams in the world. The FIFA World Cup, which is the grandest and most prestigious tournament in the game, attracted a combined 3.572 billion viewers in 2018 – which is more than half of the global population aged four and over.
Thanks to the ease of access to live football telecasts all over the globe, there has been a steady uptick in the popularity of the sport over the last decade. Some of the biggest names in club football have a massive army of devout supporters well beyond their home country.
Despite the money-oriented nature of the modern game, fans remain the most important aspect of football. Clubs are now using social media to gain new supporters.
Though it might be impossible to find out exactly how many supporters a football club has, social media platforms provide a fairly reasonable metric in measuring the popularity of the clubs. Here, we take a look at five of the most supported football clubs in the world currently, based on social media followers.
All figures as of 21st September 2020 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
#5 Chelsea - England, Premier League
Total supporters - 86.8 million
The Blues emerged as a force to be reckoned with in the English top-flight in the early years of this century. Since then, they have added 19 trophies to their collection, including a Champions League triumph in the 2011-12 season.
Though they have lost some of their star players like Eden Hazard and Willian over the last two seasons, under Frank Lampard the club is undergoing a renaissance. They have added a lot of young and talented players to their ranks.
Here's how their 86.8 million strong-fanbase is distributed across the social media:
Facebook - 48.3 million likes
Twitter - 15.1 million followers
Instagram - 23.4 million followers
#4 Juventus - Italy, Serie A
Total supporters - 96.6 million
Juventus are the biggest club in the Serie A at the moment. Their dominance in the domestic league is evident from their ninth consecutive scudetto in the 2019-20 season.
They have hugely benefitted from Cristiano Ronaldo's arrival in 2018, both on and off the field. The Portuguese star is one of the most popular sports personalities in the world, and having him in their ranks has given a huge boost to The Old Lady's already significant fanbase.
The club has failed to replicate their domestic success in the UEFA Champions League. Supporters will not be very happy about the fact that they haven't been able to even make it to the semi-final in their previous three campaigns.
Here's how their 96.6 million supporters are distributed across the social media:
Facebook - 42.5 million likes
Twitter - 11.3 million followers (across all twitter handles)
Instagram - 42.8 million followers