Taking into account various things like attendances, social media presence and engagement, shirt sales, and a number of other factors in order to have an accurate gauge, we have compiled our list of most passionate fan bases in world football.
Here are the top 12 most passionate fan bases in world football –
12. Flamengo – Brazil
The most popular team in Brazil, the adopted home of football, Flamengo has a history of fanatic support. Although the club has flitted between stadiums in recent years, the iconic Maracanã is thought of as the club’s spiritual home. Registering attendances of over 150,000 on multiple occasions in the past (before tighter stadium restrictions), the team can rely on the vast and passionate support to lift the players’ performances to the exceptional standards that are expected.
With supporter groups in Europe, the Middle East, Japan, China, the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Africa, it is probably safe to assume that Flamego have at least 50 million supporters worldwide. Flamengo are one of four Rio-based top flight clubs, and therefore face stern competition for fans, but appear to be having no trouble in garnering huge support.
11. Al-Ahly SC – Egypt
Africa’s best supported club, Al Ahly are said to have 50 million supporters in Egypt alone. The first African team to have organised “ultras” fan groups, they pack out the 75,000 seat Cairo Stadium for home games.
Having won over 130 official trophies, Al-Ahly are recognized by FIFA as the most successful football club in the world. Their enormous success, twinned with the fact that they’re based in a city of almost 8 million people and a country of over 80 million, has made Al-Ahly one of the best supported clubs in world football.
10. AS Roma – Italy
Nobody wants to come and play in Rome. Whether this be down to the intimidating atmosphere, the ultras or that fact that there are no easy games here, the Eternal City has a stadium with an eternal atmosphere.
For their fans ,“Roma is not just a club, it is a faith.” Roma against Lazio is another of the most famous derbies in the game. And in particular, the loyal followers of the Giallorossi have earned themselves a reputation for being one of the most committed fan bases in the world.
9. Red Star Belgrade – Serbia
In the 1990s, Red Star Belgrade’s intimidating Delije, the fanatical supporters in the north stand, were led by the notorious paramilitary leader Zeljko Raznatovic. The incredibly violent riot between Delije and Dinamo Zagreb fans in May 1990 was seen by some as the first sign that the war was about to begin. Thankfully, it is not just their connection with a dark chapter in the region’s history that the Red Star fans are known for.
In 1991 they had their greatest chance to shine when the club went on to win the European Cup. Delije and the rest of the Red Star supporters regularly fill the stadium, particularly the north stand, with a flood of flares that creates an intensely hostile environment for opposition teams and fans.
8. Fenerbahce – Turkey
Fenerbahçe SK have developed a strong following since their founding in 1907. One of the most passionate fan bases in world football, Fenerbahce fans, are so dedicated to their team that they will set fire to their own ground and riot in the city when they lose important matches.
Fenerbahçe SK’s longest-running and deepest rivalry is with their nearest major neighbours, Galatasaray SK, with matches between the two being referred to as Intercontinental derby.