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Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern & Co. in the Social Media

Top 10: Europe's Most Popular Football Clubs on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter

Before the start of the Champions League, ISPO.com takes a close look at the social media figures of the top European clubs. Spaniards dominate, FC Bayern Munich drops out of the top 5 and Cristiano Ronaldo helps Juventus Turin to fly high.

Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus Turin) and Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich) and their teams have tens of millions of fans worldwide.
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona), Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus Turin) and Robert Lewandowski (FC Bayern Munich) and their teams have tens of millions of fans worldwide.

The 2019/20 European Cup season is in the starting blocks. The best clubs in Europe compete in the Champions League and Europa League in the race for sporting success and sums of millions.

But even off the field there is fierce competition. In the social media, clubs fight for fans, worldwide popularity and thus rising merchandising and sponsoring revenues.

ISPO.com has taken a close look at the number of followers of the top European clubs and created a ranking of the teams with the most social media fans. This is due to the number of followers of the official club accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

1) Real Madrid

  • Total: 241.4 million
  • Instagram: 77.8 million
  • Facebook: 110 million
  • Twitter: 32.9 million (Spanish), 10.8 million (English), 8.7 million (Arabic), 813,400 (French), 383,400 (Japanese)

Real greets from the top! Even the departure of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in the summer of 2018 could not push Real from the throne. Striking: Among the Twitter followers, Real has a clear lead over archrival FC Barcelona among the Spanish-speaking followers. Even more striking, however, is Reals' popularity on Twitter among Arabic-speaking users, which is ultimately one of the decisive factors for the leading position of the Madrileneans.

2) FC Barcelona

  • Total: 235.4 million
  • Instagram: 76.6 Mio
  • Facebook: 103 million
  • Twitter: 30.7 million (English), 14.5 million (Spanish), 5.9 million (Catalan), 2.1 million (Arabic), 941,500 (French), 805,000 (Portuguese), 402,900 (Indonesian), 276,700 (Japanese), 215,300 (Turkish)

The 30.7 million followers of the English-language Twitter account are not even achieved by English clubs. The 5.9 million followers of the Catalan Twitter account show how important Barca is for the Catalans - and that with "only" 7.6 million Catalans worldwide. The 7 million Facebook fans less make the difference to the front runner.

3) Manchester United

  • Total: 126.6 million
  • Instagram: 31.1 million
  • Facebook: 73 million
  • Twitter: 20.1 million (English), 751,800 (Indonesian), 672,800 (Spanish), 694,300 (Arabic), 217,100 (Malaysian), 70,800 (Japanese)

Although Manchester United have been trailing the glory days under coach legend Sir Alex Ferguson for years without success, the Red Devils remain the most popular club in the English Premier League in the social media. And this despite the fact that United will only be playing in the Europa League this season. The more than 750,000 Indonesian Twitter fans are a record for a western football club. Overall, however, the gap to the big two from Spain is gigantic. United has on Instagram less than half as many followers as they have.

4) FC Chelsea

  • Total: 79.7 million
  • Instagram: 18.3 million
  • Facebook: 48 million
  • Twitter: 13.3 million (English), 71,500 (USA)

Chelsea still has room for improvement, especially when it comes to Instagram, where the "Blues" are only ranked 6th. The lack of accounts in other languages is also noticeable on Twitter. But in the end it is still enough for fourth place in the ranking - even if a competitor approaches from behind with big steps.

5) Juventus Turin

  • Total: 79.5 million
  • Instagram: 30.9 million
  • Facebook: 39 million
  • Twitter: 7.2 million (Italian), 1.6 million (English), 418,000 (Spanish), 245,500 (Indonesian), 161,000 (Arabic)

Juventus Turin is the big winner in the social media - and that mainly because of one man: Cristiano Ronaldo. Juventus has been catching up in the social media since the Portuguese player plays for the Italian champion in 2018. On Instagram alone, the number of followers rose by over 16 million compared to the same period last year!

6) FC Bayern Munich

  • Total: 73.9 million
  • Instagram: 18 million
  • Facebook: 49 million
  • Twitter: 4.7 million (German), 1.1 million (English), 559,000 (Spanish), 293,900 (Arabic), 204,000 (North America)

The most popular German team is pushed out of the top 5 by upstart Juventus. FC Bayern is especially successful on Facebook, where it takes fourth place. But with Instagram and Twitter it's not enough for the top. In a national comparison with Borussia Dortmund, however, Bayern is unchallenged: The BVB has a total of 26.7 million social followers and is eleventh in the worldwide club ranking.

7) Paris Saint-Germain

  • Total: 69.9 million
  • Instagram: 23.9 million
  • Facebook: 37 million
  • Twitter: 7.2 million (French), 1 million (Arabic), 326,800 (English), 230,000 (Spanish), 179,400 (Portuguese), 43,000 (Indonesian), 8931 (Japanese)

No other team in the Top 10 has so few English-speaking Twitter followers, but the French champion is not only showing off his skills in his own country, but also in the Arabic-speaking world. On Instagram, Paris even makes it into the Top 5.

8) FC Liverpool

  • Total: 67.6 million
  • Instagram: 19.3 million
  • Facebook: 34 million
  • Twitter: 12.4 million (English), 861,900 (Arabic), 660,000 (Thai), 177,700 (Indonesian), 128,400 (USA), 109,000 (Portuguese)

With coach Jürgen Klopp, FC Liverpool is not only experiencing a return to successful old days, the current Champions League winner is also catching up in the social media: 16 million new social followers in the last twelve months alone. FC Arsenal has been overtaken. No English club has more Arabic-language Twitter followers than Liverpool. One reason for that: Mohamed Salah, the Egyptian attacking star.

9) FC Arsenal

  • Total: 67.5 million
  • Instagram: 15.5 million
  • Facebook: 37 million
  • Twitter: 14.9 million (English), 66,000 (Spanish)

The big loser in the top 10 is FC Arsenal: Not only did the "Gunners" miss the qualification for the Champions League for the second time in a row. Even in the social media, not too much would succeed. An increase of "only" 4.2 million followers in the last twelve months is not sufficient among the top clubs. Two years ago Arsenal was still in the top 5, now the Londoners have to fear for their top 10 place.

10) Manchester City

  • Total: 59 million
  • Instagram: 14.8 million
  • Facebook: 37 million
  • Twitter: 7.2 million (English), 22,300 (USA)

Almost 10 million new followers have joined Manchester City in the last twelve months. Especially on Facebook, the English champion is now quite competitive with the top teams. On Twitter, the limitation to English-speaking accounts is taking revenge.

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