Nicknamed “The Red Devils” and also known as The Red Army, The Reds and MUFC, Manchester United belongs up there with the New York Yankees, Dallas Cowboys and Notre Dame University as teams people either love or hate. Seems like lots of soccer fans love them as they have an estimated 300 million around the world and a whopping 74 million followers on Facebook. Among Manchester United’s most noted celebrity fans are actor Justin Timberlake and Olympic Golf Medalist Usain Bolt.
They may not be as popular as a huge plate of Paella with some patatas bravas on the side and a bottle of Tempranillo wine, but Real Madrid is one of the most successful sports franchises on the planet. Their fans are, well, fanatical, and it’s an amazing site when the hometown team scores a goal in the 81,000-seat Santiago Bernabeu stadium and Spanish emotion erupts with booming roars and hugs in the crowd.
Blonde bombshell Instagram models might have lots of followers and pile up the “likes” with beach bikini photos, but they can’t even touch FC Barcelona on social media. Often referred to as just “Barca”, this Barcelona football club has more than 66 million followers on Instagram. Apparently, Barca fans can’t get enough of watching the lads cavort around in their beautiful blue and maroon strip jerseys and watch Lionel Messi vids.
The Blues, also known as The Pensioners, have been around since 1905. With its 40,834-seat Stamford Bridge Stadium, Chelsea provides the quintessential Premier League football experience. The intimacy of the stadium rewards everyone a great view of the pitch and the fans are some of the most vociferous in the global football world. Their fans have lots to cheer about, too, with a trophy case with 6 Premier League Championships, 8 FA Cups, 5 Football League Cups and one European League/Champions League Cup.
“The Gunners” have been around since 1886 and an integral part of the London sports scene. My oh my, you have to wonder how many millions of pints have been downed in pubs while fans cheered on The Gunners. Arsenal knows how to win on and off the pitch. They’ve won 13 Premier League titles and have more than 125 million fans worldwide. They also possess won of soccer’s most amazing winning streaks. Called “The Invincibles”, this Arsenal team has an unbeaten run of 49 games between 2003 and 2004. Perhaps no club has a better logo, either. The gold cannon on the red shield is one of the best and most recognizable sports logos in the world.
The only local lads more famous than the “Reds from Merseyside” are the original “Four Lads from Liverpool”, the legendary Beatles. But even John, Paul, George and Ringo would envy Liverpool FC’s worldwide following. The Reds have more than 32 million Facebook followers and an estimated more than 100 million fans. Nothing will give you goosebumps more, even just a casual soccer fan, is when the 54,000 spectators at Anfield Stadium sing the club’s anthem “You’ll Never Walk Alone.”
FC Bayern Munchen
They’re often referred to as “Die Roten”, The Reds, which is a reference to the club’s red kit. Founded in 1900, this uber successful club has the most titles in the Bundesliga and in the German Cup. Among its most famous footballers are Gerd Muller and Franz Beckenbauer. It has some of sports’ most vociferous fans, too, and there’s nothing quite like the booming roars of 70,000 fans at Allianz Arena after they’ve all downed a few brewskis. Ein Prosit!
With their Black & White jerseys that look a bit like the shirts worn by NFL football referees or Foot Locker employees, once you see them on the pitch, you instantly recognize them. While Juventus is truly beloved in Italy, they also have their share of haters who despise them for their success and the purchase of Ronaldo. The lads in Black & White have a huge social media following with 37 million followers on Facebook and 23 million on Instagram.
There are three great things you can buy in Milan–a sumptuous bottle of Lombardy wine, a beautiful Tasmanian Wool tailored suit and a world renowned red and black stripe A.C. Milan jersey. Founded in 1899, the Associazione Calcio Milan, it’s official name, plays in one of Europe’s largest stadiums, the 75,923-seat San Siro. With a look to the future, a new stadium is in the plans. With over 25 million Facebook followers and 95 millions fans around the world, A.C. Milan is popular in good times and bad.
With Brazilian great Neymar on their front line, PSG attracts lots of attention worldwide. Owned by Qatar Sports Investments, they have been very aggressive in recent years in building their team and global brand awareness. Founded in 1970, the “Parisians” have won nine Ligue 1 titles. With nearly 40 million fans around the world the “Red and Blues” are amazingly popular for a club that’s only 50 years old.