Real Madrid is the top team in FanWide’s European soccer rankings. From their 33 domestic league titles to 207 million aggregate social media followers to 13 Champions League titles and beyond- Real Madrid’s numbers speak for themselves. Few teams have the ammunition to form meaningful rivalries with Real Madrid. Barcelona, FanWide’s #3 team, is one of those teams. Games played between Real Madrid and Barcelona, nicknamed “El Clásico,” are consistently some of the most viewed sporting events in the world. While Barcelona currently leads the all-time rivalry (the overall record is 115-99-61), games between the two giants in La Liga are much closer. The all-time El Clásico record in La Liga games is 72-72-34. The rivalry goes beyond soccer- Real Madrid is said to represent Spanish pride while Barcelona is said to represent Catalonian pride. Cristiano Ronaldo, who is tied as the second leading all-time El Clásico goal scorer with Alfredo di Stefano (behind Lionel Messi), was a major part of the rivalry. Now that Ronaldo has moved to Juventus, it will be interesting to see how the rivalry sways. Ballon d’Or winner Luca Modric will have to continue stepping up big for Real Madrid for reasons that go beyond just their rivalry with Barcelona. Real Madrid has begun a new era. Time will tell if Real Madrid flourishes post-Ronaldo, but if history repeats itself, they’ll do just fine. There’s a reason Real Madrid is FanWide’s #1 European soccer team.
Coming in at #7 in the FanWide Top NFL Teams Ranking are the San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers, also known as the Bay Bombers, have a history like no other. The 49ers have had two of the best quarterbacks in NFL history in Joe Montana and Steve Young. In addition, the Niners have also had two of the best receivers in NFL history in Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens. The star power of Jerry Rice, Joe Montana, Steve Young, and Ronnie Lott are essential in why the 49ers have won five Super Bowls. Those five Super Bowls were all won between a thirteen year period (1981-1994). The Bay Bombers have a fan base like no other, considering the fans are still as passionate today as they were in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Even though the past five seasons for the 49ers have been underwhelming, the wit of Kyle Shanahan and the talent of Jimmy Garoppolo will scare many opponents in this upcoming season.
49ers fans go crazy as their team makes a game-changing play. | Photo courtesy Sandiegouniontribune
With 28 domestic titles, Bayern Munich is the most decorated football club in Germany. While there are contenders every year, there is no match for Bayern Munich in their home country. They compete in the Bundesliga, Germany’s first division league, and in this league, they have won 4 times as many titles as the second most decorated club, 1. FC Nürnberg. Both of these clubs are located in Bavaria, the largest state in Germany. Currently, the team that most challenges Bayern Munich is Borussia Dortmund which is located in a different German state- North Rhine-Westphalia. The geographic and cultural differences between the homes of the current top Bundesliga competitors heightens an already natural rivalry. Each Bundesliga title is more than a trophy- teams compete for the pride of their hometown, and currently, citizens of Bavaria have the right to feel pretty proud. While their success on the international stage does not quite match their success within Germany (nobody’s does), they are not far off. Bayern Munich is consistently one of the most feared football clubs in the world, having won the Champions League 5 times. The club ranks within the top 5 across each and every one of FanWide’s ranking metrics. From fan attendance to team value to star power and beyond-it is hard to find a weakness in Bayern Munich’s resumé. Bayern Munich is the runner up in FanWide’s European soccer team rankings, coming in at #2.
Although a majority of this organization’s success has been focused on the past five years, there is a great amount of historical value to the Warriors franchise. A majority of current Warriors fans are younger NBA fans who are attracted to the extreme levels of success the team is having yet many are blind to the fact that many legends have once represented Golden State. Wilt Chamberlain, Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond, Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond, Tim Hardaway, Chris Webber, Baron Davis, Monta Ellis, David Lee, Jason Richardson, and Bernard King are only some of the names that have represented the Warriors. Currently, their roster is stacked out with Steph Curry, Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Demarcus Cousins. It is hard to find an organization that has had as much talent as the Warriors throughout history. Let’s get into the nitty gritty on how the Golden State Warriors took home the crown in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
Korean Warriors Fan Club watch party. Photo courtesy of KPIX CBS SF Bay Area.
When will their fire and power ever dissolve? Every year they manage to maintain their reputation of being one of the most threatening teams across the league. They are the San Antonio Spurs. It is easily agreed upon that the Spurs have built the steadiest and most successful NBA franchise over the past 20 years. Starting with David Robinson and Robert Horry, then transitioning to the Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili phase, then Kawhi Leonard, and now DeMar DeRozan, the talent never seems to end. The man behind the plan that has gifted the Spurs the immense amount of success they have had in the past 20 years is head coach Gregg Poppovich. With all of this, and more, the Spurs were able to land the #2 spot on FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams rankings. Let’s find out more about how the Spurs got second.
Spurs watch party at the AT&T Center. Photo courtesy of San Antonio Magazine.
We have a winner! FanWide’s #1 Baseball Team is the New York Yankees. Perhaps no team in sports is as well-known as the Yankees. The iconic logo can be seen on hats everywhere not only in New York, but also across the country and across the world. Playing in New York, the nation’s largest market, the Yankees are always at the center of attention. They are perhaps best known for their rich history with a league-leading 27 World Series wins, a number which could soon rise even further. With a talented young roster led by stars such as right fielder Aaron Judge, young righty ace Luis Severino, and an elite bullpen, the Yankees look poised to make another title run in 2019. 1st place finishes in categories of World Series wins, Forbes value, and total social media followers earned the Yanks the #1 spot on the Top 10 Baseball Teams list.
Teams were evaluated in 9 different categories (visit this blog post to see the methodology). The Yankees graded out as follows:
This organization has been flat out killing it recently. With record of 65-17 last year, and finishing first in the Western Conference in the regular season, their hot streak seemed to carry over into this year. Still need a hint to who it is? Fear the Beard. The Houston Rockets are #3 on FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking. Coming off his MVP season, James Harden has been leading the charge for the Rockets. They currently pose one of the biggest threats to making a strong push in the playoffs and possibly winning the Finals. Nevertheless, the success of the Houston Rockets franchise does not start with James Harden. Many big names have put on a Rockets jersey such as Dikembe Mutombo, Robert Horry, Kenny “the Jet” Smith, Charles Barkley, Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming, Clyde Drexler, Moses Malone, and of course Hakeem “the Dream” Olajuwon. The list goes on and on with legendary Rockets players. They all contributed greatness to the organization, hence placing the Rockets 3rd in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
Rockets fans participating in a Red Rowdy at the Toyota Center. Photo courtesy of Fansided.
Where do I even start with this franchise? Do I cover the Michael Jordan era? Do I talk about Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler? Do I talk about the untapped potential they have on their team? The Chicago Bulls have been one of the most historically powerful franchises in the NBA. Let’s start at the beginning of the major success. In 1984, the Chicago Bulls decided to use their number 3 pick on a kid from UNC. This kid was Michael Jordan. The greatest basketball player of all time. Jordan went on to lead the Bulls to his historic 6 rings. With other strong teammates such as Ron Harper, Steve Kerr, Horace Grant, Dennis Rodman, and of course Scottie Pippen, the Bulls seemed unstoppable with Michael Jordan. After this streak of success faded, Derrick Rose was drafted in 2008 with the first overall pick. He carried the Bulls to a lot of success and even managed to win MVP in the 2011 season, making him the youngest player to win the MVP award. Currently, the Chicago Bulls are rebuilding and waiting for their next spark, yet their historical dominance allows them to place 4th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
Road Watch Party at Real Time Sports Bar and Grill. Photo courtesy of NBA.com
At #8 in FanWide’s Top NFL Teams Ranking is the Chicago Bears. The Bears seem to never be forgotten when mentioning the top NFL teams. The Bears, otherwise known as the Monsters of the Midway, have a history like no other. Since the Bears’ establishment in 1920, the Bears have had quite a lot of success. The Monsters of the Midway have a record of 761-583-42. That is a respectable percentage of victory of 56.4%. This dominance has been seen through the presence of legends like Walter Payton, Gayle Sayers, Mike Ditka, George Halas, and Sid Luckman. The Bears dominance, although lost in recent years, has been restored due to the acquisition of all-pro linebacker Khalil Mack. Although the 2018 season ended on a sour note for the Bears, Bears fans have a lot to look forward to. The Bears have a solid foundation with a more-than-legitimate quarterback and a ferocious defense.
“With the first pick in the 2003 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select LeBron James”. This statement, delivered by David Stern (commissioner of the NBA at the time), changed everything for not only the Cavaliers, but the city of Cleveland as a whole. All the way up until 2010, LeBron was committed to the Cavs and made them into a team that was not only well respected, but also feared across the league. After the (first) departure of LeBron, the Cavs no longer seemed to hold the same amount of strength as they had in previous season; however, they hit the jackpot with the #1 pick in the 2011 draft with future All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving. Although Irving struggled to bring the Cavs success in his first few years, he reignited the team’s spirits and potential. When LeBron returned in 2014, the city was joyous and the passion to win was back. During all of LeBron’s next four years as a Cavalier, he carried them to 4 straight NBA Finals appearances. Their most notable performance was coming back from being down 3-1 in the Finals and winning. The city of Cleveland was then branded as “The Land” as it was the center of focus across the league. This season, the team is fresh and young and is led by young guard Collin Sexton who has nothing but success in his future. With all of this going on for the Cavs, it is clear as to why they rank 5th in FanWide’s Top Ten NBA Teams ranking.
Photo courtesy of the Cavaliers Grandmother Club