Fan Data, Soccer, Sports Fan Data, Top 10

Top European Soccer Teams: #1 Real Madrid

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.

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The European soccer scene is unique in that it consists of 5 different comparable leagues. Unlike sports like football and basketball in the USA, which have teams that have competed against each other for years, some European soccer teams might face each other once every five to ten years. Naturally, ranking these teams is a challenge. FanWide’s goal in ranking the top ten European soccer teams was to use metrics that acknowledge the fact that not all teams get a chance to play each other. By using metrics like FanWide’s fan data, the focus in our rankings was split between on and off-field success. As a result, our top ten ranking consists of the most prominent, internationally significant European soccer clubs, accounting for but not solely relying on titles and wins. In the coming weeks, FanWide will be rolling out the top ten, building up to the reveal of the #1 soccer club in Europe. Check out this blog, for a breakdown of the metrics.

European Soccer Top 10:

10. Borussia Dortmund

9. Manchester City

8. Juventus FC 

7. Chelsea FC

6. Arsenal

5. Liverpool

4. Manchester United

3. Barcelona

2. Bayern Munich

1. Real Madrid

Real Madrid Ranked: 

Category Count Rank
Fan Clubs (FanWide) 7 10
Champions League Wins (all time) 13 1
UEFA Player of the Year Top Ten Finalists (since 2014) 14 1
Attendance (Average 2018) 62,640 5
Forbes Value (in billions) 4.01 2
Total Social Media Followers (in millions) 207 1
Domestic League Titles (all time) 33 2
Domestic League Titles (since 2009) 3 5 (tie)

Fan Clubs (according to FanWide): 7 (10th)

Real Madrid currently has 7 listed fan clubs in FanWide’s fan club network. This 10th place ranking is Real Madrid’s worst in FanWide’s metrics. More Real Madrid fan clubs are sure to pop up with time. If you are a Real Madrid fan who wants to set up a local fan club in your city, let us know!

All-Time Champions League Wins: 13 (1st)

Real Madrid has won the Champions League a record 13 times, including 4 times in the past 5 years. One constant in this recent stretch of success was Cristiano Ronaldo, but you can’t win the Champions League without a star-studded supporting cast. With Ronaldo’s departure, Luca Modric has taken over as the star player. Real Madrid has been eliminated from contention for the 2018-2019 Champions League title, and it will be interesting to see how they compete in the competition without Ronaldo in the future. In any event, Real Madrid will be hosting their 14th trophy at some point- it’s tradition!

UEFA Player of the Year Top Ten Finalists (since 2014): 14 (1st)

More Real Madrid players have been among the top ten UEFA Player of the Year Finalists in the past 5 years than any other team. To put it into perspective, 28% of all UEFA Player of the Year finalists in the past 5 years have been Real Madrid players. Luca Modric was the last winner of the award. Cristiano Ronaldo, who came in second last year, held the award for 3 out of the 4 years prior to Modric’s honor. In short, Real Madrid players have been dominant as of late. Their star power has driven them to tangible success and fans hope that it will continue to do so.

Attendance (Average 2018): 62,640 (5th)

In 2018, Real Madrid saw an average of 62,640 fans attend each home match. Real Madrid plays their matches in Santiago Bernabeú Stadium in Madrid, Spain. The stadium has a capacity of 81,000. Real Madrid does not always fill their stadium, but they do see impressive attendance. The departure of Cristiano Ronaldo has not actually affected game attendance as it has remained fairly constant over the past 3 years. Real Madrid’s attendance is not a problem, but management will continue to look for ways to fill their enormous stadium and give Real Madrid the best possible home-field advantage.

Team Value: 4.01 B (2nd)

According to Forbes, Real Madrid is worth 4.01 billion USD, making them the second most valuable soccer club in the world. Real Madrid is the most valuable club in Spain, no surprise considering their substantial success as of late. This valuation considers match day revenue, broadcasting deals, merchandise sales, and outstanding debts.

Aggregate Social Media Followers: 207 million (1st)

FanWide accounted for Real Madrid’s 70 million Instagram followers, 31 million Twitter followers, and 107 million Facebook likes in this ranking (as of February 2019). On social media, Real Madrid is the most followed soccer club in the world. This could be a product of their connection to Cristiano Ronaldo, the most followed person on Instagram 159 million followers. Their aggregate social media following is proof that Real Madrid is one of (if not the) most popular football club in the world.

Domestic League Titles (Averaging All Time + Recent Win Rankings)

Real Madrid has won 3 Spanish football titles in the past ten years and 33 in their history (ranking them 5th and 2nd respectively). Their 33 titles are the most in Spanish history, 8 ahead of Barcelona. Despite their Champions League success in the same span, Real Madrid has not been able to beat out Barcelona for most Spanish titles in the past 10 years. Still, Real Madrid has finished top 3 in La Liga each year for the past 14 years. La Liga is dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona. While teams like Atletico Madrid and Valencia have had success, the vast majority of La Liga titles have been won by either Real Madrid or Barcelona as of late (16 of the last 20). Real Madrid will look to edge out Barcelona and the field for La Liga titles in the future.

Real Madrid is the #1 team in FanWide’s European soccer club rankings. No matter where you live or travel, you can find Real Madrid fan clubs and watch parties near you through FanWide, the world’s largest fan club network.

After checking out the rest of FanWide’s Top 10 European Soccer Clubs, take a look at our Top 10 MLB, NBA, and NFL Franchises!

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