The European Cup season 2020/21 is about to start. Europe’s best clubs compete in the Champions League and Europa League in the race for sporting success and millions.
But there is also competition off the field. In the social media, clubs compete for fans and followers and thus increasing worldwide popularity as well as rising merchandising and sponsoring revenues.
ISPO.com has taken a closer look at the number of followers of the top European clubs and created a ranking of the teams with the most social media fans. The decisive factor here is the number of followers of the official club accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and TikTok.
- Total: 262.3 million
- Instagram: 91.2 million
- Facebook: 111 million
- Twitter: 34.8 million (Spanish), 11.6 million (English), 8.9 million (Arabic), 1 million (French), 381,000 (Japanese)
- TikTok: 3.8 million
As in the previous year, Real Madrid is the most successful football club in the social media at the beginning of the 2020/2021 season. However, the lead over the biggest rival is melting away: instead of 5.7 million followers as before last season, Real are now separated from their arch-rivals FC Barcelona by only 2.5 million fans. One reason: Real did not get off to a start on the video platform TikTok as good as Barca. The Spanish record champion is very strong in the Arabic-speaking community. No other Western team has even come close to accumulating such a Twitter following.
- Total: 259.8 million
- Instagram: 89.6 million
- Facebook: 103 million
- Twitter: 33.7 million (English), 15.5 million (Spanish), 5.8 million (Catalan), 2.9 million (Arabic), 1.6 million (French), 1.1 million (Portuguese), 423,800 (Indonesian), 302,700 (Japanese), 288,600 (Turkish)
- TikTok: 5.6 million
No club is more successful on TikTok than the Catalans, who, despite the disgraceful 2:8 in the Champions League against Bayern, have moved closer to the top and have a huge lead over the number three in the rankings. So while it hasn’t been a good year for Barca in sporting terms with their first season without a trophy in twelve years, the social media trend continues to point upwards. All the more so as the remainder of superstar Lionel Messi is now assured after a long struggle.
- Total: 135.7 million
- Instagram: 36.9 million
- Facebook: 73.2 million
- Twitter: 23 million (English), 854,700 (Arabic), 794,400 (Indonesian), 736,800 (Spanish), 237,800 (Malaysian), 77,700 (Japanese)
- TikTok: –
In terms of social media, Manchester United is still number one in the English Premier League, although the team has not won the league or Champions League in years. The success on the net is due in particular to the tens of millions of “old” Facebook followers from more successful days. Manchester United is the only team in the top ten to not yet have an official TikTok channel.
- Total: 97.7 million
- Instagram: 42.7 million
- Facebook: 42.4 million
- Twitter: 8.3 million (Italian), 2 million (English), 515,400 (Spanish), 286,000 (Indonesian), 222,400 (Arabic), 33,100 (Portuguese)
- TikTok: 1.3 million
Juventus Turin climbs one position to fifth place in the social media ranking compared to the previous year. The Italian record champion is the only team from its country in the top ten. On Instagram only Real and Barca are more popular.
- Total: 87.9 million
- Instagram: 23.3 million
- Facebook: 48.3 million
- Twitter: 15 million (English), 141,200 (USA)
- TikTok: 1.2 million
Chelsea has to relinquish fourth place and must be careful not to be overtaken by the advancing up-and-coming clubs in terms of fans. Especially on Instagram the Londoners are losing a lot of ground compared to the top 4.
- Total: 85.6 million
- Instagram: 30.8 million
- Facebook: 41.4 million
- Twitter: 8.2 million (French), 1.1 million (Arabic), 417,200 (English), 347,100 (Spanish), 274,900 (Portuguese), 53,000 (Indonesian), 20,100 (Japanese)
- TikTok: 3 million
Although Paris Saint-Germain did not manage to win the Champions League against Bayern in the final, the French are one of the big winners in this year’s ranking. Compared to last year, PSG climbed one place to 6th place. Extraordinary: While the Facebook numbers for almost all other teams rose only relatively slightly, the Parisians won 4.4 million fans there compared to last year’s figure. No other team managed that.
- Total: 85.3 million
- Instagram: 27.6 million
- Facebook: 36.7 million
- Twitter:15.3 million (English), 1.6 million (Arabic), 700,800 (Thai), 192,300 (Indonesian), 225,100 (USA)
- TikTok: 3 million
With the first English league title in 30 years, Liverpool FC under manager Jürgen Klopp has fulfilled the great longing of the “Reds”. And the social figures are also rising rapidly. Liverpool is gaining a position in the ranking compared to 2019. A total of 17.7 million new social media followers compared to the previous year is the biggest increase among all football clubs in this period.
- Total: 84.4 million
- Instagram: 23.2 million
- Facebook: 50.3 million.
- Twitter: 5 million (German), 1.3 million (English), 650,000 (Spanish), 462,800 (Arabic), 269,600 (North America)
- TikTok: 3.3 million
Despite the treble season and 10.5 million new social media followers within one year, FC Bayern loses two positions in the ranking. This is mainly due to the weakness on Twitter compared to the competition. Very promising are the numbers of the Bavarians on the relatively new platform TikTok, where only Real and Barca have more followers as football clubs.
- Total: 72.7 million
- Instagram: 18.1 million
- Facebook: 37.7 million
- Twitter: 16.3 million (English), 85,400 (Spanish)
- TikTok: 575,900
As in the previous year, Arsenal FC is ninth in the standings, but the “gunners” are losing touch with the top teams: while last year the Londoners were almost on a par with Paris Saint-Germain or Liverpool, the gap is now considerable. No other team in the top ten has gained as few social fans in 2020 as Arsenal. On TikTok, too, the club account is still relatively small. However, Arsenal, who once again failed to qualify for the Champions League, have had better days on the pitch as well.
- Total: 70.7 million
- Instagram: 20.6 million
- Facebook: 39.9 million
- Twitter: 8.4 million (English), 50,300 (USA)
- TikTok: 1.7 million
Manchester City continues to grow steadily in the social media and is expected to overtake FC Arsenal in the course of the season if the trend remains the same.