Skip to Content

9 Most Popular Soccer Clubs In The World 

Modern soccer is an entirely different industry from what it was 30 years ago. The finances involved are astronomical; the coverage of everything from a player’s personal life to transfer rumors and dressing-room bust-ups are shared instantly on social media and 24-7 sports channels. 

One thing that never changes, though, is the fans’ loyalty; your club is a part of your identity. And as clubs spend more money on expensive transfers, the need to keep fans happy and returning season after season is vital to a club’s success.

The bigger the support, the higher the revenues, but which clubs are the most popular? 

Let’s take a look at the most popular clubs in world soccer to see if popularity goes hand in hand with success and financial security. 

9. Arsenal FC

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

London is a capital city with many soccer clubs, all vying to take a bigger slice of the support that a vast city can provide.

Arsenal FC, one of the oldest and most respected clubs in England, has always had a loyal following and, as one of the most successful clubs in Premier League history, has a huge fanbase. 

A move from the famous Highbury stadium to their state-of-the-art Emirates Stadium has allowed Arsenal to accommodate more supporters than ever before.

Their 60,000-seater stadium means that Arsenal can bring in more revenue, which in turn feeds the machine that is the soccer industry. 

While the club has been through a few lean years since the retirement of Arsene Wenger, exciting new manager Mikel Arteta has begun a rebuilding project, spending millions of dollars on a new, younger, hungrier team.

The future looks bright at Arsenal, and with an already established fanbase, the club could really rise through the ranks over the coming years. 

8. Paris Saint Germain FC

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

Sometimes it doesn’t matter how successful you are; without the foundations of a long history, it can be difficult to become as popular as you’d like.

Having only been founded in 1970, Paris Saint Germain is desperately trying to create a history, a legacy that will bring in more supporters as they aim for the very top.

PSG had an excellent run of results during the 1990s and became more popular, especially as their fans had been craving a successful Paris club for many years.

A big money buyout of the club by Canal+ allowed PSG to spend huge amounts on star players, and the club prospered. 

In 2011 the club was bought out by Qatar Sports Investments and became one of the richest clubs on earth. Suddenly, no player was out of reach, and Ligue 1 became a procession as PSG won eight titles between 2012 and 2022.

The club continues to grow in popularity, especially with a front line of Messi, Mbappe, and Neymar to entertain the club’s fans. 

The following decades will prove crucial for PSG; eventually, the club will need to show a desire to promote youth from within.

Parisians may enjoy winning, but they’ll enjoy seeing their club grow organically even more. Homegrown players offer a greater connection to the fans and help build a rapport that can’t be bought. 

7. Chelsea FC

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

A historic British soccer club, Chelsea FC, was founded in 1905 and plays its home games at Stamford Bridge in West London.

One of the Premier League giants, Chelsea has always had a fiercely loyal fan base, with many season ticket holders retaining their season tickets for decades. 

One of the most popular clubs in London, Chelsea enjoyed their greatest success under Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich. His financial clout allowed the London club to buy some of the best players in world soccer.

While this increase in funds, players, and success, certainly helped Chelsea become the global brand they are today, the fans of the club would argue that they have always been one of the greatest clubs in England. 

6. FC Bayern Munchen

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

The largest and most successful club in German history, Bayern Munchen is by far the most famous club in the Bundesliga.

With a history steeped in success, it’s little wonder that the Bavarian club has the resources to buy the best players Europe has to offer. And with great players comes success. The more Bayern Munich wins, the larger their fanbase becomes. 

With 32 Bundesliga titles, including ten consecutive titles since 2013, Bayern is very nearly unbeatable in their domestic league.

The biggest club in Germany, their fanbase isn’t restricted to Bavaria, the club has a worldwide network of fans that boost the club’s coffers, and with no sign of the German team slowing down, Bayern’s popularity will only increase.

5. Juventus FC

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

It seems that no matter how far away from your team or your city, once a supporter, always a supporter. Consistency is the key for Juventus; founded in 1897, the club has played in its distinctive black and white jersey since 1903 and has always been one of the strongest clubs in Italy. 

The club’s dominance in the 1980s helped cement Juventus as the most successful club in Italy, and further victories throughout the 1990s only increased the club’s popularity. The calciopoli scandal of 2006 was massively detrimental to the club’s image.

However, after relegation to Serie B, the club immediately returned to the top league and began reestablishing its dominance. 

You can find Juventus fans in every corner of Italy, which only helps the club’s popularity. Away games for Juventus are nothing to worry about, and many cities have Juventus fans who look forward to watching their team play without traveling to Turin.

The purchase of Cristiano Ronaldo further boosted the profile of the club, as well as making Juventus even harder to beat. 

The post-Ronaldo era hasn’t been as kind, though, and Juventus have taken a few years to recover their sense of invulnerability.

Signs are that the club is now heading back towards the top of the table, and Serie A clubs should beware; a wounded Juventus is a dangerous adversary. 

4. Liverpool FC

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

Liverpool’s motto is “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and it’s apt; the club is one of the best-supported teams in world soccer.

Fan clubs from Argentina and South Africa tune in weekly to watch Liverpool carve through opposing teams. With one of the richest histories in soccer history, Liverpool can call upon a worldwide red army of fans. 

Liverpool was one of the most dominant teams in English soccer throughout the 1960s,1970s, and 1980s, though a thirty-year barren spell hurt the club as they failed to reclaim the Premier League title.

The club always maintained a solid European presence, which certainly helped build the global brand we see today. 

Current manager Jurgen Klopp finally restored pride on Merseyside as he led the club to the Premier League title in 2020, the club’s 19th title. The target now is a 20th title, which will match arch-rivals Manchester United.

With the club recently reaching three Champions League finals (but winning only one), Anfield remains a powerhouse of European soccer.

Worldwide, there are over 200 supporter clubs spread out over an incredible 50 countries, and the club shrewdly makes good use of this support by taking part in worldwide tours to further its reach. 

While that sounds like a nice thing to do, the club is well run and knows they need as many fans as possible to maintain their push for dominance.

Shirt sales, pay-per-view TV, season ticket sales, and merchandise all helps the club maintain its push to the top.

Liverpool remains one of the most popular clubs in soccer, and that popularity will only increase if the club keeps winning. 

3. Manchester United FC

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

With a trophy cabinet that’s the envy of every club in Europe, Manchester United is a global empire that almost transcends soccer.

The most successful English club of all time, the club’s history has been the source of countless documentaries and movies.

From the Busby Babes era to the Munich Air Disaster and beyond, Manchester United has been a massive club for over 70 years. 

The club got even more prominent in the 1980s when now-legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson first arrived at Old Trafford in 1986. The ruthless Scot transformed the club culture, creating a team of young stars that turned the club into a global phenomenon. 

Coinciding with an increase in social media coverage, the young starlets at United, players such as David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, and Gary Neville, quickly became world stars.

Beckham-mania was almost as big as the on-field results, and as the player’s profiles grew, so did the club’s popularity. People were now following the club based on the players rather than the league table. 

Of course, the league table was also impressive; and Ferguson led the Manchester giants to the top. Manchester United became almost unstoppable, accumulating 20 league titles, 12 FA Cups, three Champions League titles, and a host of other medals.

Only the retirement of Alex Ferguson could derail the club, and when the club’s greatest ever manager did retire in 2013, the club stopped winning titles. 

They remained a massive global brand despite this downturn in success. Annual revenue only increased, and media coverage of Manchester United is still incredible. While the team may be underperforming, the club’s history still brings in fans.

Once the club gets itself in order and becomes a force in the Premier League, the sky’s the limit.

2. FC Barcelona 

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

An incredible 25% of Spanish soccer fans are supporters of FC Barcelona, second only to Real Madrid. And if that figure isn’t impressing you, maybe the fact that there are over 1250 registered Barcelona fan clubs worldwide does.

The numbers are astronomical, but given the history and appeal of this unique club, it’s not as surprising as you’d think. 

As well as being one of European soccer’s greatest ever clubs, Barcelona has an almost mystical appeal to the average fan; the quality of the players, the success of the teams, and the incredible history of the Catalan club seem to draw fans from all walks of life.

If Real Madrid is the more prosperous, upper-class neighbor, then Barcelona is for the working class. 

The rise of social media has undoubtedly helped Barcelona increase its popularity, and the club has over 111 million Facebook fans as of 2022.

Perhaps this marked increase in interest came from the incredible Pep Guardiola era, where Barcelona became arguably the best club team of all time. By 2022 the club has over 143.000 members, fanatical fans whose loyalty is unwavering. 

Even the sharp decline in the finances of Barcelona seems to have had little effect on its popularity; the club has an estimated debt of over $1 billion and has been selling its star players in an effort to recover.

The Covid pandemic seriously impacted the club’s finances, and a shift towards world-class youth players is now the way forward. 

Barcelona has always been a massive club and probably always will be; its fanbase is vast, and its global appeal is as strong as ever.

The squad is slowly being rebuilt, and a new manager, former player, and club legend Xavi has lifted the fans’ spirits.

It’s hoped that Barcelona will go from strength to strength under the new manager and soon be the force they once were. 

1. Real Madrid CF

Facebook FansInstagram FansTwitter Fans

A club with more trophies than you can count, a fanbase numbering in the millions, and a stadium that’s packed to the roof every home game, Real Madrid are by far the most famous soccer club in the world.

With over 1,800 official fan clubs spread globally, the reach of the Madrid giants is incredible; 74,000 fans fit into the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, and of those, 64,000 are season ticket holders. 

Recognized as the greatest club of the 20th century, Real Madrid has won 35 La Liga titles, 14 Champions League titles, and have won the Copa del Rey 19 times.

Winning 14 Champions Leagues is almost impossible; no other club even comes close to the level of success Madrid has enjoyed in their 120-year history.

The best soccer players have always flocked to Madrid to play in the all-white jersey of the biggest club in the world.

With the best players on show, fans keep flocking to the club, eager to be a part of the fairytale. And that’s almost what Real Madrid is, a fairytale that never seems to end. 

There are good clubs, and there are great clubs, and then there’s Real Madrid. It’s unimaginable to think that this great club will ever be anything less than the most popular soccer club in the world.