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.
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.