Football fans – for the most part – are a fiercely loyal bunch. And because of this loyalty, the football fanatics of clubs around Europe boldly claim that their club has the best fans in all the world.
There’s no doubt that every team will have its share of world class fans, but fortunately there is one way we can use actual data to measure a club’s support: match attendance.
Thankfully, the folks at CIES Football Observatory – a research group that specialises
Real Betis – 35,664
We start with Betis, a club whose nickname, Viva el Betis aunque pierda!
Persepolis FC – 36,025
What, you never heard of the Red Army? Founded in 1963, Persepolis have been a heavyweight in the Iranian top flight ever since, winning 11 league titles.
As such you’d expect some vociferous support for the side, though the club is owned by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, so how true the attendance figures at the Azadi Stadium are is up for debate. With that said, last year women were allowed to attend their games for the first time in 40 years, so their attendance figures could continue to rise.
Urawa Red Diamonds – 36,468
The Urawa Reds play in Japan’s J1 League, and are one of the nation’s most successful club sides, boasting five league titles, seven Emperor Cup triumphs and two J. League cups.
Despite their success and boasting a 63,700-capacity stadium, the Reds have ‘only’ managed an average attendance of just under 36,500, which explains why they aren’t higher on the list.
Valencia CF – 37,615
Los Ches are one of the most famous clubs in Spain, with
The Oranges have played their games at the
AS Roma – 37,621
The Serie A giants have enjoyed fanatical support for generations, with their somewhat annoying/somewhat humorous Twitter admin account doing their part to increase their following worldwide.
All Roma players banned from taking photos with Drake until the end of the season
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) April 15, 2019
Like Valencia, Roma have plans to move to a new stadium in 2022, which will have a smaller capacity than their current ground, the Stadio Olimpico, but with all the modern bells and whistles one can expect Stadio della Roma to house more visitors for years to come.
Everton FC – 38,451
SSC Napoli – 38,475
I Partenopei have regained their fame of late, though the club that once broke the world record transfer to sign Diego Maradona in 1984 are still playing second fiddle to Juventus in Serie A.
But that doesn’t tell the whole story, as Napoli – and their fans – have overcome a lot on their journey to becoming one of the world’s most recognisable teams, including relegation, bankruptcy, and having to play in Stadio San Paolo, which is falling apart.
Beijing Guoan – 38,761
Beijing Sinobo Guoan Football Club’s nickname is the Imperial Guards, and since that’s one of the coolest nicknames in football, not much else needs to be said.
Juventus – 38,778
This number might seem low for the Old Lady, especially considering Juve just won their eighth successive S
Athletic Club Bilbao – 38,974
Olympique Lyonnais – 38,995
Sporting CP – 39,068
Sporting Clube de Portugal – or Sporting CP as they’re more commonly known – is one of the most famous teams in Portugal. They’ve never been relegated from the top flight since they were founded in 1906.
They’ve also produced some of the most famous footballers in history, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Figo.
Sunderland – 39,249
Well, this is a surprise isn’t it? League One Sunderland, who suffered relegation from the Premier League and Championship in back-to-back seasons, have enjoyed a higher average attendance then footballing giants including Juventus and Roma.
Even when the Black Cats were in the Premier League the team enjoyed some of the best support in the division, but their recent struggles (including the sale of the club) has not dented the loyalty of their supporters.
CF Monterrey – 40,658
Fun fact about
Werder Bremen – 40, 860
The club have four Bundesliga titles to their name, as well as a host of German cup and European trophies in their history.
Tigres de la UANL – 41,091
Club de Fútbol Tigres de la Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, possibly the longest club name in football, compete in Liga MX.
Their stadium, the 41,650 capacity Estadio Universitario, is located inside the University complex in San Nicolás de los Garza – which we think you’ll agree is pretty awesome.
Tottenham – 41,355
Spurs’ attendance figures are certain to soar over the years following the Lilywhites’ move to their brand new stadium in 2019, which has a capacity of 62,062.
Their old home, White Hart Lane, had a capacity of 36,284, but Tottenham also spent almost two full seasons playing at Wembley whilst their new ground was being built, hence the higher number for attendance.
Chelsea – 41,463
Chelsea play their football at Stamford Bridge, one of the oldest and most iconic stadiums in England.
However there is some uncertainty as to where fans of the Blues will be watching their team in the future, as the initial plans to expand Stamford Bridge have been put on hold following owner Roman
AC Milan – 41,495
I Rossoneri might not be the European powerhouse (or even Italian, for that matter) they once were, but the club’s recent troubles hasn’t prevent diehard fans from flocking to the San Siro to watch their side.
However it seems that Milan are on the verge of beginning construction on a new stadium after almost 100 years at the San Siro.
Club America – 41,527
The Eagles play their football at the iconic Azteca, the seventh-largest stadium in world football.
So, combined with the fact that America is the most successful team in Mexico (with 13 league and six Copa Mexico titles to their name), it’s no surprise to see them make the top 50 – although one wonders if they shouldn’t be higher.
Hannover 96 – 41,966
No idea why Hannover 96 don’t use their full name:
Seattle Sounders – 42,797
The Sounders were only founded in 2007, but are already well known among most football fans.
That’s because, in addition to being one of the most successful teams in MLS and having famous players including Clint Dempsey, the club
West Ham – 43,567
West Ham United is delighted to confirm that the brand-new claret pitch surround at London Stadium will be installed this coming week. pic.twitter.com/mW6Ve4rGG7
— West Ham United (@WestHamUtd) April 13, 2019
Olympique Marseille – 44,169
Guangzhou Evergrande – 44,905
Paris Saint-Germain – 45,912
Feyenoord – 46,314
They almost have as many nicknames as trophies: De club aan de Maas
Inter – 46,654
I Nerazzurri get the bragging rights over their Milan rivals, since the two clubs share the same stadium (San Siro), yet Inter enjoys a higher average attendance – by more than 5,000.
With that said, Inter and Milan have each won 30 domestic trophies – though Milan won the last Scudetto prior to Juventus’ dominance. Prior to Milan’s win in 2010, Inter had finished top of Serie A for the previous five seasons.
Atletico Madrid – 47,553
Los Colchoneros are Spain’s third most successful team (in terms of league titles), with 10 La Liga triumphs to their name.
Atletico played their games at t
Liverpool – 47,861
A one-home club, Liverpool have played at Anfield since 1892. During that span, the Reds have won five
Despite not cracking the top 10 of this list – partially because Anfield, before its renovation and expansion in 2016, had a seating capacity of 45,276 – Liverpool still enjoy tremendous worldwide support, with
Eintracht Frankfurt – 47,942
Die Adler, despite being one of the ‘smaller’ clubs on this list – with one German championship
They’ve also had the same home since 1925, the
FC Köln – 48,346
The German clubs seem to be dominating this list, don’t they? And we’re not even in the top 10 yet (just wait).
I could go into the club’s honours list and all that, but would rather tell you about their nickname: Die Geißböcke (the Billy Goats).
FUN FACT: FC Cologne’s mascot is an actual goat!
His name is Hennes, he never misses a home match, and sometimes the players go over to celebrate goals with him…
— Football Super Tips (@FootySuperTips) November 23, 2017
Rangers – 49,054
Hertha Berlin – 49,476
Celtic – 49,697
Of course, that’s doing a disservice to the Bhoys, who were the first British team to win the European Cup – to go along with their 49 league (soon to be 50) and 38 Scottish Cup triumphs. Oh, and 40,000 Celtic fans travelled to Spain for the 2003 UEFA Cup Final. Crikey.
Ajax – 49,781
Like the mythical Greek hero that shares the same name, the Dutch giants are a legendary club, and have captivated the footballing world this season in their Champions League conquests of Real Madrid and Juventus.
Historically, Ajax have been one of the most successful clubs in the world – not just Holland. The Sons of the Gods (legendary nickname, literally) are one of only four clubs to
SL Benfica – 50,077
Newcastle United – 50,721
Manchester City – 50,664
Borussia Mönchengladbach – 51,369
Back to Germany we go as we visit Die Fohlen,
Atlanta United – 51,547
VfB Stuttgart – 52,012
Verein für Bewegungsspiele Stuttgart 1893 e.V. (full name – amazing) were founded in, well, 1893, and are five-time Bundesliga winners (the most recent coming in 2007).
Hamburger SV – 52,349
ANOTHER German team makes the list, and one of the oldest.
Der Dino trace their origins all the way back to 1887, when its predecessor, SC Germania, was founded. HSV was the only club that had played in the top tier of German football since its founding, until they were relegated in 2018.
Arsenal FC – 59,973
Bet you thought we’d have another German team next, eh? Not to be, as the Gunners come in seventh.
Arsenal’s records and trophy haul (despite what some opposition fans may have you think) remains extensive. They hold the longest streak for playing in England’s top division,
Schalke 04 – 61,328
Real Madrid – 69,822
Bayern Munich – 73,781
FC Barcelona – 74,876
Manchester United – 75,218
The Red Devils are England’s most famous club (yes, they are), and for good reason.
They’ve won more trophies than any other English side, they were the first English side to win the continental European treble, and are the world’s most valuable football club, valued by Forbes at
Borussia Dortmund – 80,230
Outside of their tremendous support, Dortmund have won the German league title eight times, the DFB-Pokal four times, and also have one Champions League title to their name.