Top 10 Soccer Cities in the World
In all the major American sports leagues, cities that have more than one team in a league usually have one team that constantly dominates the other, be it through the media or through its accomplishments. New York is a perfect example: The NFL Giants are the bigger team and the Jets are just scraps for the rest of the city. The Yankees obviously dominate over the Mets and, of course, in L.A. the Lakers look down—waaayyyyy down—at the Clippers.
In soccer, however, this isn't usually the case. The major soccer clubs in the world are rarely the only important team in their own cities. This led me to think which city actually has the top soccer "atmosphere" globally.
I reached these results using an actual formula, albeit one I created, but it's important for me to say that I did not just simply pull these out of a hat. In an attempt to maintain fairness, I did not weigh differently local and national competitions but did award different points for international trophies. Cities needed to have at least two of the major clubs in that nation, only top-division sides and top-division trophies were incorporated into my formula.
The city of Liverpool boasts two of England's most traditional clubs, Everton and Liverpool. While neither team has won the Premier League as of yet, nor won the top division domestic league in 20 years, the two rivals have combined to give the city the following major trophies:
- 27 Top-division English titles
- 12 FA Cups
- 7 League Cups
- 24 Community Shields
- 1 European Cup Winner's Cup
- 3 UEFA Super Cups
- 3 UEFA Cups
- 5 European Cup/Champions league
The only thing missing is a world title. Liverpool will probably get there one day, as long as it doesn't have to play versus São Paulo again.
9. Mexico City
Mexico City is one of the largest cities in the world and boasts three of the country's most successful clubs. Club Universidad Nacional (UNAM), Cruz Azul and the most popular club in Mexico, Club America. These three sides have contributed the following to their city:
- 24 Mexican First Division titles
- 8 Copa Mexico titles
- 13 CONCACAF Champions League titles
8. Porto Alegre
A very recent addition to this list, Porto Alegre is the southernmost state capital in Brazil. Despite a modest population of just under 1.5 million residents, the city has experienced much international success. Porto Alegre also has something none of the English cities on this list have: a world title (two, in fact).
Porto Alegre also boasts one of Brazil's most intense derbies, the Gre-Nal—the meeting between Gremio and Internacional, southern Brazil's two most successful sides.
Although Gremio has not won an international trophy in the last 15 years, its older neighbor has kept the pace up, grabbing six international cups in the last four years.
Together they have given the city the following victories:
- 75 Campeonatos Gaucho (state league)
- 5 Copa do Brasil
- 5 Campeonato Brasileiro
- 4 Copa Libertadores
- 2 Intercontinental/FIFA Club World Cup
Porto Alegre is part of Rio Grande do Sul state, which runs the Campeonato Gaucho league, just as every other state in Brazil runs its own league. This is how soccer evolved in Brazil; the national league we see today did not come into existence until 1971, while the oldest state league still in existence began in 1902.
Internacional also has a great chance to add to this list when it takes part in this year's FIFA Club World Cup in December.
London brings us a vast number of professional clubs who have a strong history within England. International stars salivate at the chance to join two of the city's largest clubs, Chelsea and Arsenal.
We must also not forget London's other teams such as Tottenham, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Fulham, even though they range from the EPL to the lower divisions.
Despite so many clubs, London sides have not fared so well in international competition; they have yet to win a Champions League or a World Champion crown.
London soccer fans, however, have been able to celebrate the following titles, among others, over the years:
- 17 Top English Division titles
- 27 F.A. Cups
- 10 League Cups
- 24 Community Shields
- 2 UEFA Cups
6. Rio de Janeiro
Easily one of the world's most famous locations, Rio de Janeiro boasts its own very rich soccer tradition. For the 1950 World Cup in Brazil, the government ordered the construction of the world's largest stadium, Maracanã.
Rio was the location for the final of the 1950 World Cup and is slated to be the location for the final of the 2014 World Cup.
The city boasts four of the largest clubs in Brazil: Botafogo, Flamengo, Fluminense and Vasco da Gama, all of whom have legions of fans throughout the city's streets and beaches.
These four sides have won the city the following titles, among others:
- 102 Campeonato Carioca*
- 10 Rio-Sao Pãulo titles*
- 11 Campeonato Brasileiro
- 3 Copa do Brasil
- 2 Copa Libertadores
- 1 Intercontinental Cup
The Campeonato Carioca is the state league for the state of Rio de Janeiro. Like all other states in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro has its own state league. The national league did not form until the early 1970s.
The Rio-Sao Pãulo was a combination of the best teams in the Rio and Sao Pãulo state leagues; during its existence, the league was the single-most talented in Brazil.
Home to the first-ever World Cup Final, Montevideo is home to two of the world's most successful clubs, Nacional and Peñarol.
Peñarol was named the South American club of the century by IFFHS and forms one half of one of the most heated rivalries in the world when it plays against Nacional.
The city has enjoyed the following championships, not including Uruguay's two world titles, among others:
- 89 Top Division Uruguay Titles
- 8 Copa Libertadores
- 6 Intercontinental Cups
Madrid is home to the world's most successful club, Real Madrid, but it is also the base for another very large club, Atletico Madrid.
The two teams have brought the city the following honours:
- 40 La Liga titles
- 26 Copa del Rey titles
- 9 UEFA Champions League
- 4 Intercontinental Cups
Perhaps the single-most successful city in European soccer is the northern Italian city of Milan.
Home to two of the world's most famous clubs, Inter and AC Milan, the two not only share the streets of the city but also share a home field, the San Siro.
The best players in the world clamour for a chance to participate in this rivalry and hopefully add to the following list of trophies so far:
- 35 Serie A titles
- 11 Copa Italia
- 10 UEFA Champions League
- 6 Intercontinental/FIFA Club World Club
2. Buenos Aires
If there are two things that Argentinian men love, they are soccer and having long hair.
The largest city in Argentina boasts various squads, but two of them stand out to the world.
River Plate and Boca Juniors are easily the two biggest clubs in Argentina and the two have combined to give the city the following titles:
- 59 Top Division Argentine titles
- 9 Copa Libertadores
- 4 Intercontinental Cups
- 2 Copa Sudamericana
1. São Paulo
São Paulo has a ridiculous population that ranges past 20 million in the urban area, and all these people love one thing: their soccer.
The São Paulo state league, founded in 1902, is the oldest league in Brazil and is still in effect today.
Several of the city's most historic clubs now play in a lower tier, but São Paulo still boasts some of the largest clubs in the world: Palmeiras, Santos, São Paulo, and the city's largest team, Corinthians.
The four have combined to bring home the following titles, among others of course:
- 87 Campeonato Paulista
- 16 Rio-São Paulo titles
- 6 Copa do Brasil
- 16 Campeonato Brasileiro
- 6 Copa Libertadores
- 6 Intercontinental/FIFA Club World Cup