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Most popular Premier League clubs worldwide according to Facebook data, A graphical view of which country supports Man United, Arsenal and Liverpool.

A study shows the most popular Premier League clubs worldwide as well as the clubs each country favours. Manchester United dominates worldwide but many countries favour another team – often because their own national football heroes played for the team.

Going Global is a study on worldwide popularity of Premier League teams. Premier League is England’s primary football competition and often claimed as the world’s best football league.

Most popular Premier League clubs worldwide according to Facebook data
Arsenal popularity all over the world

We know for sure that in England Premier League is the most watched sports competition (latest statistics tell us that 14.6M people watched the games and 39.6M watched the highlights of the games) but most of the fans are actually overseas, and we have found out where. ​

According to Going Global, Premier League boasts an estimated 1.2bn fans worldwide. By using Facebook Audience Insights data we were able to find out where the most fanatical supporters of different Premier League teams were. Moreover, we looked at the most popular teams in each country and compared the teams both worldwide and on a national level. 

Manchester United has the strongest global fanbase

Now 1.2bn people follow Premier League clubs worldwide. Manchester United has the strongest global support with 95M fans, followed by Chelsea (75M) and Arsenal (42.5M). The full list is below. 

Premier League clubs ranked by Facebook followers

1. Manchester United (95 million)
2. Chelsea (75 million)
3. Arsenal (42.5 million)
4. Liverpool (32.5 million)
5. Manchester City (32.5million)
6. Tottenham Hotspur (22.5 million)
7. Everton (8.5 million)
8. Southampton (7.5million)
9. West Bromwich Albion (7.5 million)
10. Leicester City (6.5 million)
11. West Ham United (6.5 million)
12. Crystal Palace (2.8 million)
13. Stoke City (2.8 million)
14. Sunderland (2.8 million)
15. Middlesbrough (2.3 million)
16. Hull City (1.8 million)
17. Swansea City (1.8 million)
18. Watford (1.3 million)
19. Bournemouth (750K)
20. Burnley (750K)

Where in the world is your Premier League team particularly popular?
If you're a Manchester United fan, you might be surprised to know that the highest concentration of ManU fans is in Tunisia, followed by Ethiopia and Malaysia
Chelsea fans find the highest concentration of their peers from Portugal, followed by Ivory Coast and Senegal
The highest concentration of Arsenal fans can be found from Ethiopia, followed by Kenya and Uganda
Liverpool is extremely popular among people in Uruguay, followed by Denmark and Ireland
Manchester City finds the highest concentration of their fans from Senegal, followed by Argentina and Ireland
Tottenham Hotspur's most passionate fans in comparison to global average can be found from Croatia, followed by Senegal and Egypt

Key players define what team the whole country supports?
It looks like only one player can define what team a whole country supports. Here are a few examples. 

Tottenham Hotspur's popularity in Croatia can be explained by the Croatian trio that played for the club between 2008-2012: Vedran Ćorluka, Niko Kranjčar and Luka Modrić. 

Uruguay have the highest concentration of Liverpool fans globally (600% average),outstripping second-placed Ireland by double (300%). Beyond the obvious links with the departed Luis Suarez, it’s fascinating to learn that Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital, is home to a team called Liverpool Futbol Club, which was named after the Merseysiders by virtue of the fact that they used to import the majority of their coal from Liverpool.

How Riyad Mahrez inspired a nation of Leicester City fans: Algeria have the highest concentration of Leicester fans globally (1200%). For comparison’s sake, the concentration of Leicester's UK fan base is just 129% above the global average. Thailand boast the third-highest concentration of Foxes fans (365%), which can be attributed to their Thai chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, and his efforts to market the club in Asia with pre-season tours. 

Finland is for Liverpool because of Sami Hyypiä's success as the team's captain: Finland stands out on the map. Unlike in the rest of the world where Manchester United dominates, Liverpool has the highest support. Could the reason for that be Sami Hyypiä, the Finnish defender who spent ten years (1999-2009) playing for the team and also served as its captain? 

Have a look at the results in full, press start and enjoy the interactive graphical view.

Going Global: The worldwide fanbases of the Premier League

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