The biggest football clubs in the world

  • Real Madrid, Man Utd, Liverpool and Barcelona are among the biggest clubs in world football
  • European and South American sides have huge followings
  • Modern investment has seen clubs like Man City and PSG grow in stature

Real Madrid are arguably the biggest club in world football
Real Madrid are arguably the biggest club in world football / Mateo Villalba/GettyImages

Not all football clubs are made equal, with various sides across the world boasting unbelievable fanbases and deep trophy cabinets.

Plenty of clubs in Europe and South America have enormous global followings, with supporters cheering them on across the world.

Here are the 30 biggest clubs in world football.

Real Madrid

Real Madrid v Barcelona - Spanish Super Cup
Real Madrid have captured fans hearts' across the globe / Anadolu/GettyImages

Let's start with the biggest club in world football: Real Madrid.

The Spanish giants are gargantuan both domestically and in Europe, with a record 14 Champions League/European Cup trophies shining brightly in their vast cabinet.

They have boasted some of the best players the world has ever seen from all across the globe, with the pinnacle of a footballer's career donning that fabled white shirt.

Paris Saint-Germain

Kylian Mbappe
PSG have dominated France over the past decade / Xavier Laine/GettyImages

Paris Saint-Germain had once sat in the shadows of France's biggest clubs, with only the occasional trophy to boast in the capital. However, the arrival of Qatari investment transformed them into a European powerhouse and easily the strongest side in Ligue 1.

The likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe have all graced Parc des Princes in recent seasons, with PSG now a global brand associated with flair, style and excitement.

Tottenham Hotspur

Heung-Min Son
Spurs have an enormous following / Julian Finney/GettyImages

Tottenham's significant trophy drought over the past 15 years hasn't detracted from their status as one of England's most followed clubs. The north London side are a colossal force in the capital and have always been easily identifiable for their attractive brand of forward-thinking football.

The arrival of Ange Postecoglou has lifted the Spurs faithful and dreams of glory are not too far away given the Australian's impressive start to life in English football.

Boca Juniors

Edinson Cavani
Boca Juniors are giants in Argentina / Marcelo Endelli/GettyImages

Boca Juniors are an institution in Argentina and one of the biggest clubs in South America. They have claimed a staggering 35 Primera Division titles since their first in 1919, as well as six Copa Libertadores crowns.

They are the record holders for silverware in Argentinian football and the famous blue and yellow of Boca will forever be synonymous with the passion and fire of South American football.


Kenneth Taylor
Ajax have always been a dominant force in Dutch football / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Easily the biggest club in the Netherlands, Ajax remain a titan in Europe. The Amsterdam outfit are the most successful club in Dutch football, with seldom a trophy-less season passing in the capital.

With Johan Cruyff the face of the four-time European champions, Ajax have still been able to compete with the continent's big boys despite a lack of financial power in comparison to the other elite sides in Europe.


Juventus are on their way back to the top of Italy / MARCO BERTORELLO/GettyImages

Despite a difficult few years in Turin, few sides can match the history and quality of Juventus since their inception in 1897. No Italian club have more Serie A titles than the Old Lady's 36 or Coppas Italia than their 14.

The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane and Michel Platini have all worn the black and white of Juventus, with the club desperate to reclaim their spot at the top of Italian football once again.


Daizen Maeda
Celtic are one of the two biggest clubs in Scotland / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

The first British side to win the European Cup, Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' established the Scots as one of the biggest clubs in the United Kingdom. The Glasgow side have an enormous backing across Scotland and Ireland and have immense pedigree domestically with 53 league titles and a record 41 Scottish Cups.

The Bhoys' continental influence has waned slightly in recent years, but they remain one of the world's fiercest sides.

Manchester United

Marcus Rashford, Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes
Man Utd are one of the most decorated English clubs / Michael Regan/GettyImages

Sir Alex Ferguson helped establish Manchester United as one of the biggest and most decorated clubs in world football, with the Red Devils dominating English football for two decades under the Scotsman's tutelage.

20 Premier League/First Division titles is a record in England, while three Champions League trophies is an impressive total. They'll be back among Europe's best on the pitch sooner or later.


Wenderson Galeno
Porto are one of Portugal's biggest two clubs / Eurasia Sport Images/GettyImages

One of Portugal's big two, Porto are the second most decorated club in the country, boasting a mightily impressive 30 Primeira Liga titles. Not only this, the Dragons also have two European Cups to their name, most recently winning the competition under Jose Mourinho in 2004.

A club frequently in the latter stages of the Champions League, Porto have an enormous fanbase and are a huge production factory for some of the world's best talent.


Khvicha Kvaratskhelia
Napoli ended their Serie A drought in 2023 / Ivan Romano/GettyImages

Napoli brought over three decades of hurt to an end in 2022/23 as they finally won another Serie A title. It was only the Naples side's third scudetto, but they ran away with the title and played some glorious football under Luciano Spalletti in the process.

While some way off being the most decorated club in Italy, they remain one of the country's most passionate and well-loved teams.


Ferdi Kadioglu
Fenerbahce are one of Turkey's elite sides / Ahmad Mora/GettyImages

Fenerbahce are one of Turkey's most well-supported and decorated sides, with 19 Super Lig titles and seven Turkish Cup crowns to their name.

Their famous yellow and blue jersey has become iconic, with Fener desperate to get back to the summit of Turkish football having failed to win a league title in a decade - although that could yet change this season.

Newcastle United

Lewis Miley, Bruno Guimaraes, Callum Wilson
Newcastle are on the rise / Stu Forster/GettyImages

Newcastle United may not boast the biggest trophy cabinet in England, but they have some of the most loyal and passionate supporters of any team in the country. The Magpies have always packed out St James' Park, even in the darker days, and returned to the Champions League in 2023/24.

With Saudi Arabian investment in the club, Newcastle are back eating at the big table of English football.

Borussia Dortmund

Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, Ian Maatsen, Marcel Sabitzer
Dortmund have a special fanbase / Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Seeing the famous black and yellow wall of Borussia Dortmund in the flesh must be on the bucket list of every football supporter across the world, with Signal Iduna Park one of the most fabled grounds in Europe.

Borussia Dortmund are the second biggest club in German football and enjoyed huge success in the 21st century under Jurgen Klopp, also claiming a Champions League title in 1997.

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo are one of Brazil's finest clubs / Miguel Schincariol/GettyImages

Given the sheer size of the population in Sao Paulo, it's hardly surprising they are one of the biggest teams in all of Brazil. In fact, they are one of only two sides to have never been relegated from the country's first division.

Sao Paulo have an absolutely stacked trophy cabinet and were even crowned world champions in 2005 by winning the FIFA Club World Cup.


Christian Pulisic
Milan have boasted some of the finest players in football history / Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

A giant of world football, Milan are on their way back to rediscovering past glories. The Italian behemoths were dominant domestically in the 1990s and supporters of the club were lucky enough to witness the likes of Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit in their primes during the decade.

Milan have won seven European Cups - the most of any Italian team - and won a first scudetto in over a decade in 2021/22 as they return to being a European powerhouse.


John Lundstram, Glen Kamara
Rangers are Scotland's other giant / Ian MacNicol/GettyImages

Having been demoted to the fourth tier of Scottish football after entering administration in 2012, Rangers are now back where they belong. The Glasgow club, who boast a fierce rivalry with Celtic in the Old Firm, went unbeaten during the 2020/21 season in the league, and even reached the Europa League final the following campaign.

With a record 55 league titles to their name, there can be no doubting just how big an institution Rangers are, even if they don't have the same global reach as some other clubs.


FC Barcelona v SSC Napoli: Round of 16 Second Leg - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Barcelona are a historic side / Alex Caparros/GettyImages

Not only have Barcelona boasted the best player to ever take to the field in Lionel Messi, the Catalan club also produced arguably the greatest team in football history under Pep Guardiola in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

They have fans in every corner of the world and are always capable of producing generational talents through their famous La Masia academy.


Marseille are still one of France's major forces / CHRISTOPHE SIMON/GettyImages

Marseille may not have quite the same pedigree as they once did, but they remain a formidable side in French football. 1993 Champions League winners, they continue to be one of the most supported clubs across Europe.

While they may not have won the Ligue 1 title since 2009/10 due to PSG's dominance, teams don't relish a trip to the cauldron that is the Stade Velodrome.


Nicolas Jackson
Chelsea are one of the richest clubs in the world / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Chelsea's recent success was forged by former owner Roman Abramovich, whose investment helped the Blues to compete among the top sides in England and Europe. As a result, they have have won five Premier League titles and two Champions League trophies, but Todd Boehly has since taken over at Stamford Bridge.

The Blues have always had that 'X factor' since the turn of the century, fielding stars such as Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Eden Hazard.


Paulo Dybala
Roma are Serie A stars / Silvia Lore/GettyImages

Associated with the great Francesco Totti, Roma are one of Italy's elite clubs. They may only have three Serie A titles, but they are a club steeped in fame for their immense presence in the Italian capital.

Roma won their first European trophy since the 1960s in 2021/22 when they lifted the Europa Conference League under Mourinho.

River Plate

Rodrigo Aliendro, Miguel Borja
River Plate are huge rivals with Boca / Hernan Cortez/GettyImages

River Plate are Argentina's most successful domestic side having won 54 titles, besting huge rivals Boca Juniors. They also have four Copa Libertadores crowns, most recently lifting the trophy in 2018.

River won the Primera Division for a 38th time last season and the South American giants continue to relentlessly search for more silverware.


Galatasaray v Rizespor- Turkish Super League
Galatasaray are Turkish royalty / Seskim Photo/MB Media/GettyImages

Galatasaray are Turkey's most successful club and have a record 23 Super Lig titles in their cabinet, including one they picked up last season. They are one of the few sides from the country to have won European silverware, lifting the UEFA Cup in 1999/00.

While they may not have the financial muscle to compete at the top level in Europe, they still have the capacity to spring a surprise on the continent.

Manchester City

John Stones
Man City won the treble last year / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Manchester City have risen to prominence since hefty Middle Eastern investment in 2008 and have now become one of Europe's most frightening teams under the tutelage of the world-class Pep Guardiola.

The Cityzens have now won everything on offer under the Spanish coach, including a famous treble last season that saw them end their Champions League hoodoo.


Benfica are arguably the biggest side in Portugal / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

Benfica are a side with incredible history, winning two European Cups consecutively in 1961 and 1962. However, they are still one of Portugal's giants in the modern day, having won a record 38 Primeira Liga titles.

Benfica have won six of the last ten Portuguese league titles on offer and are one of Europe's greatest talent factories.

Atletico Madrid

Atletico de Madrid players celebrate their victory during...
Atletico have unsettled Barca and Real's dominance / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Atletico Madrid are one of the few Spanish sides who have upset the dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent years, even reaching two Champions League finals under Diego Simeone.

The capital side have also managed two La Liga titles under the Argentine coach, most recently triumphing during the 2020/21 campaign, and continue to defy the odds year on year.


Leandro Trossard
Arsenal are one of England's biggest sides / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The Gunners are record FA Cup winners, the only side to go unbeaten throughout the entirety of the Premier League season and have the third-most trophies of any English club. They are a colossal force.

Mikel Arteta has helped re-energise a side that had fallen on hard times and they are now back among Europe's most exciting sides.


Leo Pereira, Fabricio Bruno
Flamengo are one of Brazil's best clubs / Buda Mendes/GettyImages

Flamengo are Brazilian superstars and the most followed club across the country, winning two Copa Libertadores trophies since 2019. The black and red stripes of their kit have been worn by the likes of Zico and Romario over the years.

Other than Sao Paulo, the Rio de Janeiro side are the only team to have never been relegated from the top division of Brazil.


Kristjan Asllani
Inter reached last season's Champions League final / Marco Luzzani/GettyImages

Inter were incredibly close to winning their fourth European Cup last season after reaching the Champions League final against Manchester City, but narrowly missed out on adding another piece of silverware to their bulging trophy room.

They did at least grab the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana last year and look set for a 20th Serie A crown this campaign.

Bayern Munich

FC Bayern Muenchen v 1. FSV Mainz 05 - Bundesliga
Bayern are the biggest side in Germany / Franz Kirchmayr/GettyImages

The biggest club in one of the grandest footballing nations of all time, Bayern Munich are a success machine. They are the record winners of the Bundesliga, DFB Pokal and DFL Supercup, while they also secured a sixth Champions League victory in 2020.

Unless they suffer a mighty downfall in the near future, no German side is ever catching their records at the top of the tree.


Chelsea v Liverpool - Carabao Cup Final
Liverpool have added to their silverware this season / Nigel French/Allstar/GettyImages

Liverpool are the most successful club in English football and added yet another trophy to their cabinet in the Carabao Cup final earlier this season. Jurgen Klopp has got the Reds back to their best after a difficult period, and the club's next manager will want to continue his success.

They also hold the record for the most European Cups won by any English side, grabbing a sixth in 2019.