Top 30 Clubs in Football

Darren - June 19, 2019

Top 30 Clubs in Football

Darren - June 19, 2019

Check Out the Official List of the 30 Biggest Football Clubs in the World… There Might be a Few Surprises… 

Football or soccer – depending on where in the world you are reading this from – is truly the international game. Does any other sport stir the same emotions as watching 22 men chase a ball around a pitch? The short answer is yes of course, but you get the point.

Some people love their football club more than they love their children. We’re not exaggerating here. If you’ve got to make the choice between watching your second child be born and win the Champion’s League final, it’s an easy decision.

Of course, some clubs are bigger than others. So let’s check out the 30 biggest in the world, as defined by France Football. They used a points system based on categories including annual revenue, average attendance, the market value of the current squad, record transfers paid, continental titles, world cup winners, and legendary status.

Santos. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Santos (18 points).

One of four South American teams on this list, Santos has produced some of the greatest Brazilian players ever to grace the game. The likes of Pele and Neymar have passed through the hallowed gates of the South American club. They became the first team in the world to reach the milestone of 10,000 goals back in 1998.

With Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental cup success, Santos has long been one of the powerhouses in South America. Now as European clubs throw their money around like Wayne Rooney in an old folk’s home, they are able to command massive fees for their young players.

Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte, USA TODAY Sports.

Club America (18 points)

Mexico’s biggest team earns a place on this list because they’re a powerhouse in Central and North America. No team has won more CONCACAF Champion’s Leagues than the Mexican side, who hold a grand total of 7. They’ve also won the Mexican Primera Division a record 13 times.

With a stadium capacity of almost 90,000, the Mexico City-based club is by far the biggest in the region, with a diehard support group. They’re even popular amongst immigrants in the US who are used to their success in the continental competitions. Their biggest rivalry is with Guadalajara.

Club Independiente win the Copa Sudamericana. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Club Independiente (18 Points)

You might think that River Plate would be one of the two Argentinian teams on this list, but no. Independiente are traditionally one of the strongest clubs in South America and regarded as one of Argentina’s big five. Successful on the regional stage, they won the Copa Sudamericana in 2010 and 2017.

They have an intense rivalry with their local rivals Racing. According to France Football, they have a higher points total than River because of their historic seven Copa Libertadores wins, including four in a row between 1972 and 1975.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Galatasaray (18)

The Turkish giants are one of the biggest clubs in world football. With passionate support, their orange and burgundy shirts are instantly recognisable. While they have been starved of success on the European stage, they are perennial contenders domestically.

Turkish fans are some of the most dedicated in the world and there are many in places like Germany and the UK, as well as further afield, so Galatasaray really has an international following. Big players like Wesley Sneijder have also come through their doors in recent years, bringing even more attention to the club.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

AS Monaco (21)

Despite narrowly surviving in Ligue 1, AS Monaco remains one of France’s great clubs. Able to offer their players extraordinarily lucrative contracts in the tax-haven principality, they’ve also got one of the world’s most amazing natural backdrops. They’re also the only team to put a dent in PSG’s dominance in recent years.

Owned by Russian tycoon Dmitry Rybolovlev, the club will be hoping to improve upon its disappointing 17th place finish. Avoiding the drop by a mere two points is not good enough for a team that has won eight league titles and been a Champion’s League runner-up.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

AS Roma (21)

Possessing possibly the most beautiful shirt in European football, AS Roma are one of Italy’s biggest clubs. They’re perennial top four challengers, although have only won Serie A three times, with their last victory coming back in 2000-01. Despite being based in the nation’s capital they’re behind the Milan sides and Juventus in fan support.

Roma has a rich history and several top class players have come through their ranks including the likes of Mohamed Salah and Alisson. However, they’ve been unable to hold onto them which shows that they’re still a class below the elite. Despite this, Roma is a fantastic club in their own right.

Benjamin Pavard. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

VFB Stuttgart (21)

Relegated to Bundesliga 2 for the first time in their history, Stuttgart is historically a massive club. Too bad they’ve just been treading water for the past number of seasons. They’ve won five Bundesliga trophies in their history, with the last one coming back in 2006/07. Now they’ve been dumped unceremoniously in the second tier after mismanagement.

They’ve got all the ingredients to be a top side. The Mercedes-Benz Arena is a massive 60,000 seater arena that has been totally renovated and restructured. A good stadium doesn’t translate to a top side and poor investments and weak performances have seen them slide down this table.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Schalke 04 (22)

Schalke are seen as the Spurs of Germany. They’ve fallen short of success in recent years despite being the second best-supported club in Germany. Their rivalry with Borussia Dortmund is probably the most passionate derby match in the country and the club was ranked as high as the seventh best team in Europe by UEFA in 2015.

They’ve definitely fallen quite a bit after struggling massively in 2018/19. Schalke, like the rest of the Bundesliga, has struggled to stop Bayern Munich and the English giants from poaching their best players like Leroy Sane and Manuel Neuer. Trophies are the main thing that they are missing right now, with their last cup win back in 2011.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter.

Al Ahly (23)

Known as ‘The Club of the Century’ in African football, Al Ahly might not be famous in Europe but they are by far the most successful team in Africa. With a record 40 national league titles and a record 8 CAF Champion’s League titles, the Cairo-based team has also appeared numerous times at the Club World Cup.

Their international trophy success makes them the second most dominant team in the world behind Real Madrid. They have a massive and fanatical fanbase in North Africa, making them one of the most influential clubs globally right now. Just because they’re not European doesn’t mean they aren’t big.

Celtic. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Celtic (23)

Celtic are a massive club no doubt about it. They sell a tonne of shirts and have a rich history, including being the first British side to win the European Cup. However, let’s not forget that they do play in Scotland in 2019. Playing in the SPL is like playing football in purgatory. This has led to less lucrative sponsorships and their squad is of less value than ten years ago, despite inflation.

As the Premier League has moved ahead so drastically, Celtic has been left behind. Ironically, Steven Gerrard’s move to city rivals Rangers has helped to reignite interest in the Hoops after a few years where they were overwhelmingly dominant. Celtic Park on a European night is still glorious though and they still maintain massive support.

Mandatory Credit: Twitter.

Borussia Moenchengladbach (24)

Traditionally one of Germany’s biggest clubs. Based in Prussia, they have won five league titles, three domestics cups and two UEFA Cup titles in their history. Over the past few years though they have been playing catch-up with the likes of Bayer Leverkusen, Hoffenheim and the much despised nouveau-riche RB Leipzig.

An exciting side with decent players like Christoph Kramer, Ibrahima Traore and Denis Zakaria, they also have a great stadium in Borussia-Park. They also have a very loyal traditional fanbase. The 70s were their heyday with European Cup final appearances against Liverpool.

Benfica. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Benfica (24)

The Lisbon giants are the most decorated side in Portugal ahead of FC Porto and Sporting Lisbon. It’s obvious why they’re placed so high on this list of the biggest clubs in the world. They’re ranked seventh in Europe for most UEFA trophies won. Back-to-back European cups in 1961 and 1962 are two of their most glorious moments.

With a 65,000 seater stadium, it’s clear that they have a massive fanbase. While they don’t have the spending power of their Spanish neighbours, they have a reputation for finding and nurturing young talent and selling players on for massive profit. Joao Felix looks likely to be next to leave for mega-money.

Boca Juniors. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Boca Juniors (31)

Boca Juniors are officially South America’s biggest club right now. The Buenos Aires side is half of one of football’s great rivalries with River Plate. They’re also the most successful club side in Argentina with the most domestic titles and 22 international titles. As such they’re also the most valuable team on the continent.

Diego Maradona, Carlos Tevez and Joan Roman Riquelme are just some of the stellar names to come through this incredible club. The name Boca Juniors is synonymous with Argentinian football and conjures up images of flare and excitement at its finest.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

Marseille (35)

Marseille have fallen away in recent years but look to be growing in confidence once again. They had a great spell during the noughties when they were league and cup contenders, appearing regularly in Europe as well. The Stade Velodrome is their home and its an imposing structure with over 67000 seats. Les Olympiens regularly hosts the biggest attendances in the entire league.

The club is owned by American businessman Frank McCourt and was ranked as the 23rd most lucrative in the world in 2015. Right now though they’re trying to reestablish themselves as one of France’s strongest teams. Their ten league wins give them a very strong pedigree.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

16. Ajax (37)

Ajax is in the strongest position they’ve been in in years. The Dutch champions made it to the Champion’s League semifinals last year, totally against the run of expectation. A golden generation of young players has come through including Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech. They’ve also got David Neres who has replaced the injured Neymar at the Copa America.

It has to be admitted though that they are financially vulnerable compared to the clubs in the four biggest European nations and that their squad is already been cherrypicked apart. The Amsterdam team are looking much better than they have since the 90s though and their recent improvement is good for football.

Inter Milan. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

15. Inter Milan (60)

The second most successful team domestically in Italy, Inter Milan still lag behind their city rivals AC Milan in terms of European success with 3 Champion’s League titles compared to 7. From 2006-10, Inter won five titles with a golden spell under then-manager Jose Mourinho.

With their distinctive black and blue striped shirts and their home in the San Siro, the side is European royalty. They are struggling to catch up with Juventus on the pitch though and look like losing their prize asset Mauro Icardi. However, with Antonio Conte their new manager, the good times could be on their way back.

Son Heung Min. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

14. Tottenham Hotspurs (61)

Tottenham Hotspurs have had a slow but steady rise over the last number of years. One of the best-managed sides in the UK, Spurs’s chairman Daniel Levy is renowned as one of the game’s most feared negotiators. Their new stadium is also a technological marvel which their board hopes will bring them on to bigger and better things.

They’ve also got Harry Kane; one of the three most valuable players on the planet. Off the pitch though is where they’ve struggled. Despite appearing in a Champion’s League final in 2018/19, Spurs have struggled to win trophies in recent years. However, this is an exciting team growing sustainably on and off the pitch.

Diego Costa of Atletico Madrid. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

13. Atletico Madrid (67)

The third biggest club in Spain, Atletico lacks the glamour of their city rivals Real Madrid and the Catalan giants Barcelona. However, they’re a club who’ve traditionally had a staunch following that has grown substantially since Diego Simeone brought success to the club. League and European success have exposed them to new eyes.

Off the pitch, they continue to grow as well. Shirt sales are consistently strong, with the Atletico shirt a solid hipster alternative to the big two. Their new stadium the Wanda Metropolitan is also set to bring massive revenue to this traditionally working-class club. They’ve also just broken the bank on wonder kid Joao Felix.

Christian Pulisic of Borussia Dortmund. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

12. Borussia Dortmund (70)

One of the great clubs in world football, who doesn’t love a Dortmund shirt? The yellow and black is a favourite choice of hipsters in five-a-side games around the world. Their Westfalenstadion has one of the greatest stands in football, and they’re fan owned which just makes this club even better.

It has to be said though that they don’t have the financial punch of league rivals Bayern Munich, who have poached their star players in the past. Current Munich stars Robert Lewandowski and Max Hummels are two of the names who hurt the most when leaving. Still, though, Dortmund is in a very strong position in Germany.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

11. AC Milan (78)

If this article was written about 10 years ago AC Milan would be one of the top three on the list. Their collapse since their 2007 Champion’s League win has been remarkable though. The red and black half of Milan suffered the consequences of allowing their side to age too much and mismanagement.

They’ve yet to recover fully, missing out on the Champion’s League for next season. One of the game’s most decorated and legendary sides, they still retain commercial power off the field. Their shirts sell well and they have many sponsorship partners. It’s very much a rebuilding job though.

Arsenal. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

10. Arsenal (88).

Another team who have fallen away over the past couple of years, it’s been a long time now since Arsenal looked invincible. The Gunners were a great team during Arsene Wenger’s heyday, with the likes of Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Robin Van Persie all big stars at different points. It’s not the same there now.

The Emirates Stadium was supposed to be a gamechanger for Arsenal – and in some ways it was. It stunted their ability to grow on the pitch as their ability to sign players was limited. Now owner Stan Kroenke doesn’t seem to care a bit. It’s a hard time to be an Arsenal fan. Why would anybody in Asia want to support them?

Manchester City. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

9. Manchester City (89)

Definitely the strongest squad on the planet right now, Sheikh Mansour’s oil money backed Manchester City are turning into a footballing powerhouse. They’ve won back-to-back Premier League titles and don’t look like faltering anytime soon. Shirt sales have gone up massively across the world since their recent investment.

Commercially speaking though City are still playing catch-up to their city rivals Man United and the Spanish giants and they’ve no European pedigree. However, with the development of City Football Group and expansion sides being bought across the world, they are set to rise up the points table of the biggest clubs in the world. Can you buy a history?

Chelsea FC. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports.

8. Chelsea (91)

Is Chelsea still considered nouveau riche? It’s 16 years since Roman Abramovich bought the London side and transformed football. With European success and league success in the last few seasons, Chelsea still commands a high place on this list of the world’s biggest clubs.

However, with Manchester City effectively replacing them as the league’s major money spenders and a transfer ban looming, things look slightly bleak for Chelsea. Star player Eden Hazard has gone to Real Madrid and Roman Abramovich appears to be losing interest. They may drop a few places soon.

Neymar. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

7. Paris Saint-Germain (94)

After a number of years languishing behind Marseille and Lyon, PSG was bought by rich Qatari owners and now they’re one of the richest clubs in the world. With Neymar and wunderkind Kylian Mbappe in their ranks, they possess the two most valuable players on the planet. However, there still is a lot to desire on the pitch.

Like Juventus, Bayern Munich, and even Celtic, if you’re crushing your own league, you tend to be judged on European success. So far they haven’t come close to a Champion’s League win under their oil-money regime. Off the pitch, though they are making massive commercial moves and are definitely one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

6. Juventus (107)

The Celtic of Italy, Juventus looks untouchable in Serie A right now. Winners of the domestic league for the past eight seasons, they have barely been challenged at the top over that time. The Old Lady are traditionally Italian football’s powerhouse, however, it’s the European Cup that has alluded them over the past few years.

Cristiano Ronaldo was signed for massive money to solve that problem, but they fell short in the semi-final. Commercially they’re making big moves, even drastically changing their kit style so that they can sell more shirts with Ronaldo’s name on it in the US.

Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson. Mandatory Credit: Instagram.

5. Liverpool (120)

Having just won their sixth Champion’s League title and falling short of the title by a single point, it’s a bright time to be a Liverpool fan. Jurgen Klopp’s men are in as good shape off the pitch as they are on it. They’re looking for a record-breaking kit deal when their current terms with New Balance expire and their Main Stand expansion has boosted stadium numbers.

The likes of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane are some of the most valuable players on the planet. With their rich heritage and the smart investments of their Boston-based owners Fenway Sports Group, the Reds are one of the top clubs on the planet right now.

Robert Lewandowski of Bayern Munich. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

4. Bayern Munich (135).

Overwhelmingly the most dominant team in Germany, Bayern Munich are a global force. They have the second most Champion’s League titles with seven. This year they had to dig deep after a surprising challenge from a resurgent Borussia Dortmund. Niko Kovac came under pressure as ageing stars took time to fire.

However, while they’re a team in transition on the pitch, off it is a different story. They are a massive commercial power with one of the world’s most recognizable shirts. German fans are some of the most fanatical in the world and Bayern Munich has the most in the Bundesliga.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

3. Manchester United (151)

The most successful league team in England, Manchester United were one of the world’s greatest teams under Sir Alex Ferguson. Since his retirement, the results have plummeted. If they were as effective on the pitch as their marketing team is off it, then there would be no stopping the Red Devils.

Despite their recent struggles, their shirt sales remain massively popular and they are sponsored by literally everybody. That can only last for so long though as their noisy neighbours in blue are seriously threatening their dominance and are way ahead of them on the pitch. Another season outside the Champion’s League could affect their place on this list.

Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

2 FC Barcelona (177)

The second most powerful club in the world according to France Football’s statistics, most of the last ten years is synonymous with Lionel Messi. Their 2009 and 2011 sides are regarded as two of the greatest teams in the history of club football, with Xavi, Iniesta and Gerard Pique longterm standouts.

While they’re still capable of spending massive money like their 140 million outlay on Phillipe Coutinho, they also are more vulnerable to a bit than before as Neymar’s crazy move to PSG proved. Currently, they are the strongest team in Spain, but less success in the Champion’s League compared to their bitter rivals in the capital sees the Catalans in second place.

Real Madrid. Mandatory Credit: USA TODAY Sports.

1 Real Madrid (184)

While 2018/19 might have been a disaster of a season for Real Madrid that saw their season basically end in April, Los Galacticos remain a global force. Their iconic shirts have been worn by some of the best players in the world: Both Ronaldos, Luis Figo, Di Stefano, Puskas, Jonathan Woodgate. The list goes on and on and on.

With a record 13 European cups and a record 33 La Liga titles, they are the world’s most successful team.. They’ve also got more pulling power than any other club because they will just chuck money at you. Also, the weather in Madrid is a lot nicer than in Manchester so they have that advantage as well. Can Zinedine Zidane bring the good times back to the Santiago Bernabeu?