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Top 5 Fan Bases In World Football

Beware the club that forgets about its supporters. Here we delve into one of the biggest participants in football, Fans. A look at Top 5 Fan Bases in World Football.

Vinayak Manoj
Last updated: 20.09.2019
Top 5 Fan Bases In World Football | Sports Social Blog

Football is emotion. It comes from the heart. It has the power to cross landscapes and bring down barriers. Football has been in the lives of people since times immemorial. It brings people and communities together. There have been various instances where football has been used as a tool to bring peace in war-torn and calamity struck nations, for instance the Rwandan Genocide; the conflict between the Hutu and the Tutsi tribes. Football without its fans and fans without football are nothing. Fans give life to the game, they control the spirit of every single player on the pitch, irrespective of whether the player plays for them or against them. 


Fans drive clubs to strive for more. Clubs yearn for a larger support base because the size of their fan base is directly proportional to their profits through the sale of their jerseys, tickets and other kinds of merchandise. They pay the players, coaches, and staff of the club. More financial support often leads to better performances, for instance, there has been a major improvement in Manchester City since they gained the support of Sheik Mansour- their “oil money” might just have won them the Premier League twice consecutively.


The fervour of fans is what earns various stadiums the title of fortresses. While playing against teams in these so-called fortresses, the battle is not only against 11 men rather it is against 30-60,000 screaming men, women and children. Having that power behind you not only wins you matches but trophies. Sometimes a football club is more than just a club, it is an ideology. It is something behind which people can rally themselves against adversity and oppression. For instance, in Mexico Cruz Azul was a club solely made up of workers from a cement factory. They became the champions of the working class in Mexico, who would come up against Club America, to rival the urban elite. 


Fan following often goes beyond trophies, it is a tradition, it is more of abstract ideology. For instance, Newcastle United always had a huge fan base even though they went in and out of the Premier League. It is a family of sorts, something that provides a community with a sense of belongingness. 


Here are Top 5 Fan Bases in World Football


1. Borrusia Dortmund

Undoubtedly it is this German club that takes the title for having the best fans in the world. Dortmund’s fans travel across large distances to support their team. The Champions League final in 2013 saw nearly 90% of the population was willing to travel from their Rhineside houses to witness their team's European glory. Signal Iduna Park averages a footfall of about 80,000 in every fixture. Out of these 80,000 people, the 25,000 strong Yellow Wall consists of the fans that stand behind one of the posts- on the Sudtribune Terrace. It is the largest terrace for standing supporters in Europe. They have the ability to bash opponents with the amount of noise they generate. 


2. Liverpool

“That night in Istanbul”- a statement embedded deep in the hearts of every single Liverpool fan in the world. The club is all about history and tradition. The scousers had the best night in the history of their club against the well oiled Milanese machine, where they supported their team vehemently even though they were down by 3. Kopites are spread all across the world. The extraordinary YNWA anthem is sure to leave you spell bound even if you are listening to it over the radio or TV. The anthem is belted out by the fanatical supporters in pre-season games as well and the experience is sure to give you literal chills.


3. Manchester United

The Old Trafford has always been known to be one of the loudest stadiums in the Premier League. The good times never really go away at Old Trafford. The stadium is the most important part of United’s legacy as it houses the statue of Sir Alex Ferguson. Thanks to its fans United boasts to be one of the biggest clubs in the world. The Red Devils are not only supportive fans, but they happen to be the best at editing as well, photoshopping the faces of desirable faces in their blood-red kits, inciting countless transfer rumours. 


4. Celtic F.C.

Celtic may not be the continental force that it once was, but they do have the greatest supporters in the world according to FIFA, which awarded them The Best FIFA Fan Award in 2017. Watching a match at the legendary Celtic Park has been a part of almost every football fan’s bucket list. 


5. Boca Juniors

Although this club is not very widely known outside the South American football scene, their fans are known far and wide for their maniacal behaviour and blind support for the team. The Buenos Aires derby, between Boca Juniors and River Plate, is one of the most extreme fixtures in the world. It has a history of violence from both sides. Los Xeneizes flock to the Estadio Alberto J. Armando from far and wide to support their team. They make life very difficult for the visiting fans as they have to face a horde of extremely passionate and almost delirious fans. 


Honourable Mention- 


Tolfan, Iceland

Tolfan- Tolfan means twelfth man, refers to the fans of the Icelandic Football Team. Known all over the world for their thunderous Viking Clap. At the first drum beat the stadium goes absolutely silent, the “Hoo” follows a second later. It seems like the footsteps of a behemoth giant. The Thunderclap finds everyone on edge. The synchronised claps turn into a rapid-fire of thundering hands, every single fan exuding passion and admiration for their national heroes. 



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