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Volume 6 No. 211

International Football

Consulting agency Futebol Finance conducted a study to find out which football clubs have the most followers on Facebook. The top-100 list consists of teams from 30 countries and more than 239 million Facebook followers. Close to 84% of those 239 million followers are fans of a European club. Brazil is the country with the most teams in the top 100 with 12. England and Germany both followed with 10. Spain's Barcelona and Real Madrid top the list with both having more than 30 million followers. In comparison to the ranking done in April, this updated study shows a significant increase in the number of followers for clubs in South America, Indonesia and India. For the full chart click here (Futebol Finance).

Facebook Followers
Ranking Club Country
# Of Followers
1 Barcelona Spain 36,619,000
2 Real Madrid Spain 32,858,000
3 ManU England 28,533,000
4 Chelsea England 13,762,000
5 AC Milan Italy 12,206,000
6 Arsenal England 11,778,000
7 Liverpool England 10,529,000
8 Galatasaray Turkey 7,581,000
9 Fenerbahce Turkey 6,099,000
10 Bayern Munich Germany 5,279,000
11 Juventus Italy 4,524,000
12 Boca Juniors Argentina 3,764,000
13 Besiktas Turkey 3,746,000
14 Manchester City England 3,627,000
15 Corinthians Brazil 3,038,000
16 Flamengo Brazil 2,883,000
17 Persib Bandung Indonesia 2,370,000
18 Chivas Mexico 2,197,000
19 Marseille France 2,022,000
20 Al Ahly Egypt 1,875,000

Brazilians like to say that  "theirs is the country of football," but the next World Cup host "struggles" to fill its stadiums, according to Andrew Downie of REUTERS. Fewer people in Brazil go to see professional football matches than in China or the U.S. With attendances falling further this year, Brazilian clubs "are using different strategies to try to fill their grounds, but they are hampered by antiquated stadiums, a lack of respect for fans, television stations that show every game live and insufficient policing and security." Well-known Brazilian sports writer Juca Kfouri said, "Lots of people confuse the phenomenon of the World Cup in Brazil with a true love of the game. Brazil is not a country where people love football. It is a country where people love to party around the World Cup." That assertion "got factual backing from two recent reports on attendances." One, by the Stochos consultancy, "showed the average crowd at Brazilian first-division matches has fallen 8% this season to less than 13,000." A second study "put Brazil 13th on a world table of attendances for '11." Brazilian sports consultancy Pluri, which used slightly different methodology to Stochos, reported that "an average of 14,987 fans attended first-division matches." Brazilian clubs "are trying creative solutions to remedy the situation." In Recife, fans of the city's three biggest teams "get tickets in return for requesting invoices for purchases in stores." Under the program, first-division teams Sport and Nautico "get 8,000 tickets for each home game paid for by the state government." The 20,000 tickets given to third division Santa Cruz "have helped it to become one of the best-supported clubs in the country." Other clubs "have selectively reduced entry fees" (REUTERS, 11/14).