When the clubs are formed, when the players play, when transfers happen or when the mnagers direct; there in all remains a keyword for whom the game becomes a beautiful game. Yes, the fans.
The fans cheer for their favorite clubs, stand up for their players, shout against their opponents, worship their winning managers and do a lot of unending things that have made soccer a so much vibrant and successful game in world today. As we salute every world football fan from all corners of the world, we understand that each and every fan has their own favorite club. It may be a multi-billionaire club rolling in England, or it may be a club you have never heard of.
While I decided to write on this, it was never so easy, as there have been no such concrete proof to tell that how much supporters a club has in this vast world. It is just like an ever-explorable ocean of mysteries, where the fanbase goes on changing year by year. However, to make this possible, the basis has been taken as the average home ground attendance, the numbers of selling shirts as well as some private research results.
Let us take you through a slideshow of the 15 best supported clubs in world football today. The teams have only been taken from club level football, and any suggestions or criticisms are welcome.
The Scottish football side has an average of 50,000 fans cheering for them at home ground. They also rank by a survey as one of the top five supported teams in Britain.
Here, the Rangers fans are thanking their ex-manager Walter Smith, who was one of their best managers to date, winning many trophies at the club level.
Schalke is the second largest football club in Germany and has had a rich history in their early years. Though they have not achieved any major success in recent years, still they hold one of the largest membership bases in world.
They record an average home ground attendance of over 60,000 fans in the Veltins-Arena.
Another football club from Scotland, Celtic overtakes Rangers, as their average home attendance is slightly higher than the former.
This has been attributed by many to the larger capacity of the satdium of Celtic, and both these clubs go on neck-to-neck in this. However, Celtic wins the margin by a close call we can say.
Marseille is one of the top supported French clubs. They have won the French league nine times, and the Coupe de France a record 10 times.
They are also the first and the only club in France to win the UEFA Champion's League.
With a huge home fanbase, and also an Asia-Pacific fanbase, they are regarded as the most important club in the French league.
Internazionale football club is one of the most supported clubs in Italy and also over the world. Popularly known as Inter Milan outside Italy, the blue and black striped shirts are proud of their rich historical background and also modern day success.
They have won the European Champions League three times, and the Italian domestic league 18 times. They share the San Siro as the home stadium with AC Milan and hold an average home attendance of over 80,000 fans.
AC Milan is also one of the most important clubs in Italy Serie A. The red and black home crowd shares the San Siro with Inter Milan and averages an attendance of around 80,000 fans.
AC Milan also is one of the best supported clubs in Italy and hence the world, and is also the most successful club in terms of international football titles, with 18 official FIFA and UEFA titles to its name.
The jersey sales figure of around six lakhs per year is also an evidence of its large fanbase around the world.
Juventus is the third oldest club in Italian league soccer and is the most successful club in Italian football. They have won over 51 official titles in national and international stage, more than any club in Italy's Serie A.
Juventus has the largest number of fans in Italy, and also, the fanbase spreads to many Italian immigrants all over the world. The black and white striped jerseys adhere to their club's major success in world football, the rich heritage of the club starting from its political and socio economic backgrounds. Juventus is also known to be highly influential in contributing to the national team for years, and thus, is one of the most admired clubs around the world.
Chelsea is a club that became a vital force in world football only during recent years. The club underwent a massive regeneration by wining some of the major trophies. They are four time Premier League champions and have also won the UEFA cup twice.
Chelsea's fans are said to be lower if only home ground attendance is taken, as the Stamford Bridge stadium has only a capacity of 40,000. However, many reports claim that Chelsea has already a rich fanbase, owing to major success in world football. The jersey sales record for the club per year was around nine lakhs from Adidas.
Liverpool F.C. is the second most successful club in English Premier League, having won the league title for a record 18 times. They are also the most successful English club in European competitions, having won the European cup for five times.
With a brilliant history and glorious era, Liverpool is also called to be the most supported club in English football in Britain. Painted in red, the supporters have always believed in the club motto of "you will never walk alone."
However, when we move to a bigger stage with the world football fans, then Liverpool loses out the race to the clubs like United and real Madrid. The average jersey sales per year was recorded at around nine lakhs for Liverpool.
Though the fan hoarding shown in the picture may be a vulnerable thought at the moment, Arsenal fans are amongst the largest bases in the world.
Popularly known as the "Gooners," derived from the club's nickname "The Gunners," Arsneal fans have grown in number over years throughout the world. The United states and huge portions from Asia, mainly from China, India and Indonesia, account for the Arsenal fanbase outside the United Kingdom.
The London based club has also been sometimes referred to as "The Club of the Neutrals", as many supporters who do not support any club as such even support Arsenal in any of their matches.
Borussia Dortmund is a much surprise entry to the list, and they record an average home attendance of nearly 80,000 fans in their home stadium.
Dortmund has also been said to have an increasing number of fans everyday, which is attributed to their recent form and a strong youth squad, and are in close competition with the fanbase of German giants Bayern Munich.
Bayern Munich is the top German club till date with the biggest achievements in the league. It may be said that the club almost enjoyed a monopoly period of winning the club for quite a time until recently, when some challengers came up to the throne.
To explain the stadium in the picture, we can say it is just wonderful with the red and white crowd waving across the stadium. A club with a rich heritage, Bayern has built its own strong fanbase over years throughout the world.
As per reports, the sales of club shirts was recorded between seven to nine lakhs per year for the club, which is one of the highest on the world.
Barcelona is more prominent with a recent time history. The Catalan giants have won nearly everything achievable in modern times, and with the names like Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andres Iniesta and others, Barcelona is one of the most admired clubs in the world.
Even if you are a non Barcelona fan, you just cannot deny their supremacy in world football. With jersey sales of over 1.2 million per year, Barcelona stands out as a club with a massive and increasing fanbase.
Real Madrid is surely one of the biggest dreams for any football player. Be it the pop popularity star David Beckham, be it the wizard Zinedane Zidane or the score-master Raul Gonzalez, every big player can never throw away a chance to play for Real Madrid.
Owing to its excellent club heritage and history and records established in the European championships, Real stands second in the world with the fanbase. As per reports, Real accounts for over 1.5 million jersey sales through out the world.
Manchester United comes out as the winner in this race. With millions of fans world wide and record breaking home ground attendances, seconded by the most number of jersey sales over the world, United stands out as the king to the supporters.
The Red Devils has a rich history, starting from the era of the Busby Babes under Sir Matt Busby, to the recent evolution of United under Sir Alex Ferguson. United has the record of the most number of wins in the Premier League as Champions, and have been regarded as one of the most successful sports team ever in history.
Though some people complain that most United fans are outside England and may have never seen the United home ground, none seems to stand against the fact that United are the winner among the most admired clubs in the world.