Football is one of the biggest sports in this world. The Beautiful Game is played, watched, loved and celebrated in every continent habituated by mankind. Football creates stories and drama like no other. The joy of winning, the agony of losing are all shared by fans all over the world.
European Leagues in particular draw a huge crowd to fill up the stands along with millions around the globe sitting in front of their televisions and computers every weekend. The players are nothing short of superstars or heroes to their fans. Similar to the players, the clubs are followed religiously by millions of supporters, who get season tickets, club merchandise and become a part of the club.
Let’s talk about the top 5 most influential football clubs in the world. These are also the greatest football clubs of all time. This list will take into consideration the club’s ability to lure in top players, social media following and of course the number of trophies won.
Instagram followers: 25.4 million
Twitter followers: 14.4 million
Facebook followers: 36.8 million
One of the most decorated club in football history, Liverpool arguably is the most successful English club of the 20th century. With 18 League titles in England’s top flight, 7 FA Cups and 6 European Cups/UEFA Champions League (most by any English team) they have truly cemented their elite status among world’s elite. The famous night in Istanbul still resonates with every football fan, regardless if you are a supporter or not. The fans singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” at Anfield creating an electrifying and emotional atmosphere portrays the fans love for the club. The club has a value of 2.18 billion USD and ranks 8th in Forbes’ list of most valuable football clubs.
FC Bayern München
Instagram followers: 20.9 million
Twitter followers: 4.8 million
Facebook followers: 49.6 million
Bayern Munich is the most successful club in German football history with 29 league titles, 19 DFB-Pokal titles and 5 European Cups/UEFA Champions League. Their dominance in German football is next to none. The 1970s saw the club winning 3 consecutive European trophies from 1974-1976 under the leadership of Franz Beckenbauer playing along side Bundesliga’s top scorer till date Gerd Müller. Bayern’s influence in German football is seen by it ability to lures top players from rival clubs such as Lewandowski, Götze, Hummels, Goretzka. In the 2014 World Cup winning German side Bayern had 7 players on the squad all of which played an important part in their triumph in Brazil. The club has 4,433 officially registered fan clubs with over 390 thousands members, making it the club with largest fan membership. On Forbe’s list of most valuable football club, the club ranks 4th with a value of 3.02 billion USD.
Manchester United F.C.
Instagram followers: 35.1 million
Twitter followers: 21.7 million
Facebook followers: 72.1 million
Nicknamed the Red Devils, Manchester United have won more trophies than any other club in English football. The club has won record 20 league titles, 12 FA Cups and 3 Champions League. In 1998-99 season, the club became the only team in history of English football to win the continental treble (Premier League, FA Cup & Champions League). The 1999 UEFA Champions League Final, played at Camp Nou, is regarded as one of the greatest comebacks in the competition’s history. Sir Alex Ferguson whose name is synonymous with the club, arguably is the greatest manager to have ever graced this sport. United’s fall from grace, post Ferguson era have not diminished their ability to lure top players like Alexis Sanchez, Lukaku, Zlatan and the then world record signing Paul Pogba. The club is ranked 3rd in Forbe’s list with a value of 3.81 billion USD.
Lionel Messi is part of FC Barcelona
Instagram followers: 85.3 million
Twitter followers: 32.4 million
Facebook followers: 101.6 million
Fouded in 1899, this club has become a symbol of Catalan culture. One of the most successful club of the 21st century. The club has won a record 74 domestic titles which includes 26 La Liga, 30 Copa del Rey, 13 Supercopa de España, 3 Copa Eva Duarte, and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies,. The club has won the UEFA Champions League 5 times and is the only European club to have won the continental treble twice. The 2008-09 Barcelona team was the first ever Spanish team to win the treble. On Dec 19, 2009 the club won the FIFA Club World Cup, winning its 6th trophy in 2009 completing the historic Sextuple. The club shares a historic rivalry with Real Madrid. Players that have graduated from Barcelona’s famous youth system, La Masia, played an important role in Spain lifting the 2010 World Cup. In 2010, the youth academy became the first ever to have all three finalists (Messi, Xavi & Iniesta) for the prestigious Ballon d’Or award. Barcelona players have won the Ballon d’Or a record 12 times and the FIFA World Player of the Year awards a record 7 times. Barcelona had one of the most successful team in world football in 2008-09 season, one of the best front trio in MSN (2014-17) and arguably has the best player to have ever played this game.
The club is the 4th most valuable sports team in the world and the 2nd most valuable football club, worth 4.06 billion USD. It is also the world’s richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of 840,8 million Euros.
Real Madrid C.F.
Instagram followers: 86.6 million
Twitter followers: 8.8 million
Facebook followers: 109.8 million
13 European Cups, 33 La Liga titles, 19 Copa del Rey titles, the only club in Champions League era to defend the title as well as winning it 3 years in a row (2016-2018). The club has seen a lot of world-renowned players dawn its iconic white jersey. The Galácticos, consisting of players like Casillas, Raul, Zidane, Beckham, Figo, Ronaldo, Roberto Carlos and Fabio Cannavaro is one of the iconic teams in European football history. In its yesteryears, the club has seen the likes of the late great Alfredo Di Stéfano lead the team to five consecutive European Cups. Real Madrid’s dominance in football is portrayed by the club’s ability to lure talents like Luis Figo (from rival Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Eden Hazard from other top European clubs. In the year 2000 the club was recognised as the FIFA Club of the 20th Century.
The club is one of the most richest football clubs in terms of revenue, the most valuable football team and the third most valuable sports club in the world, with an estimated worth of 4.24 billion USD. The word “Real” (Spanish for Royal) was bestowed by King Alfonso XII in the year 1920 along with the royal crown in the crest, which is a symbol of the club’s apex position in the world of football.