Since its inception, La Liga has been dominated by two football clubs: Barcelona and Real Madrid. Lionel Messi’s brilliance has kept Barcelona relevant for years, but he doesn’t do it alone. Aside from a star-studded supporting cast, Barcelona boasts one of the largest fan bases in the world, across all sports. While FC Barcelona’s claim to have 1 billion fans might be inflated (generally attributed to double counting fans on social media, visits to their website, etc.), they are not far off. A history of elite talent has lead to perennial Spanish football dominance, but where do they stand on the global stage? FanWide has collected data that measures both popularity and on-field success. The result? Barcelona ranks #3 among European soccer teams.
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:
8. Juventus FC
7. Chelsea FC
|Fan Clubs (FanWide)||15||8|
|Champions League Wins (all time)||5||3 (tie)|
|UEFA Player of the Year Top Ten Finalists (since 2014)||8||2|
|Attendance (Average 2018)||73,650||4|
|Forbes Value (in billions)||4.07||3|
|Total Social Media Followers (in millions)||195||2|
|Domestic League Titles (all time)||25||4|
|Domestic League Titles (since 2009)||7||1|
Fan Clubs (according to FanWide): 15 (8th)
Tied for their weakest ranking, Barcelona’s 15 FanWide registered fan clubs rank them 8th in European football. The number is still impressive, earning a top ten finish. Barcelona’s fans are global, and new fan clubs emerge all the time. If you are a Barcelona fan who wants to set up a local fan club in your city, let us know!