While all fans may think their favourite football club is of top interest to search for news and updates on, this may not be the most popular within their own country of origin. JD Sports has collated search data to look at which football clubs in the world are most popular based on Google data, with some insightful results showing the top picks may not necessarily be the expected.
Our research collated the average monthly search volume for the club names, filtered by countries, which was then drafted into a list from highest to lowest for each area.
(where grey there was inconclusive search data for the country)
Without even digging into the numbers specifically, the map clearly demonstrates an overwhelming interest in Real Madrid across the globe. The Spanish La Liga club came top of the list for a total of 97 countries of all, by far outdoing the second place runner-up Arsenal who won in 17 countries on search. Coming a close third, Manchester United gained just 1 less than Arsenal, at 16, bringing strong presence in territories including Asia and Africa.
When delved into, Europe shows a different agenda to some other continents, demonstrating a greater sense of national loyalty to home teams. Most countries within Europe tended to stick to their own teams in the top club of interest, with examples from Germany, France, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal amongst those opting for local interest.
UK neighbour Ireland opted for a British team as top of it’s list, choosing North West club Liverpool as number one. Similarly Norway and Iceland also rated Liverpool worthy of interest compared to other top league teams.
Players can certainly make a difference to the results in some European countries, look at Sweden as a prime example. Manchester United was the top team based on average monthly searches, which, when looking at interest on trends showed massive spike in 2016, coinciding with the transfer of Swedish national Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Man Utd may not stay top for long though, as interest has begun to drop since his departure from the club earlier this year.
Looking at the UK in more detail, the top 10 clubs reflect many of the clubs coming top internationally overall. Arsenal pulled in the highest levels of interest, with an average search volume of 869,000 every month, whilst northern clubs Manchester United and Liverpool made the top 3. Interestingly, Barcelona was the only non-British team to make the top 5 cut and the only other besides Real Madrid to make the top 10.
Notably some top performing teams of recent times haven’t generated interest to make the list, with Premier League clubs including Manchester City, Everton and others missing out.
Success may play a part in the increase in interest in other clubs however, looking at Leicester specifically shows an enormous surge in interest since early 2016,which saw the midlands based club defy odds to win the Premier league. Since then search has stayed above previous levels, although not quite hitting the peaks reached during that winning season.
African countries showed a clear split by region in club of interest. The southern countries swayed more toward Manchester United, whilst the north was dominated by queries for Real Madrid. Arsenal additionally did will, in the East particularly, but local clubs showed little to no interest as a whole, proving the success of top worldwide clubs was too much to compete with even on a local level.
Egypt was the only country not to favour one of the aforementioned three clubs, opting instead to search for Liverpool, which comes as no surprise considering the clubs Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.
Interest in the Merseyside club has risen in line with that of Mohamed Salah’s transfer to the club in 2017, clearly being the biggest contributing factor in the rise in interest for Liverpool.
Asian countries follow a resemblance to African ones, choosing Arsenal, Man Utd and Real Madrid for most places, with a few searching for Liverpool. Man Utd showed a specifically strong interest in South East Asia, coming first in countries including Singapore, Malaysia and Myanmar.