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Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Spanish Soccer Clubs by Far the Most Popular Sports Teams on Social Media in the World Today

First Posted: Feb 25, 2015 12:30 PM EST
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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona's Lionel Messi

Photo : Getty

When it comes to sports popularity worldwide, it isn't even remotely close.

There are two teams that stand far above everyone else globally. Real Madrid and Barcelona are by far the two most popular sports franchises in the world today.

To no one's surprise, soccer has by far the highest online search results among sports teams. Among the top 10 most popular sports teams on Facebook, nine of them are soccer clubs, the exception being the Los Angeles Lakers of the National Basketball Association.

Leading the way at the top of Twitter and Facebook are the Spanish giants, Barcelona and Real Madrid. The English Premier League is represented very well with five teams in the Top 10 among most Facebook "likes," with Manchester United leading the way.

Comparing Barcelona and Real Madrid on Facebook and Twitter:

Facebook

Barcelona: 83,065,391 million likes with 985,630 visits

Real Madrid: 82,483,044 likes with 1,158,104 visits

Twitter

Real Madrid: 14.9 million

Barcelona: 14.2 million

Barcelona and Real Madrid each have a combined 97 million fans on Twitter and Facebook, by far more than anyone else. Their biggest dominance comes from the Twitter world. While both Real Madrid and Barcelona each have an eye-popping 14 million-plus followers, no other sports team in the world even has more than six million!

Arsenal FC has 5.4 million followers, good enough for third place.

As for the United States, the Lakers once again lead the way with 4.21 million followers, 10 million less than both Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Dallas Cowboys have the most followers in the National Football League with 1.16 million, and the New York Yankees are the most popular Major League Baseball team with 1.33 million followers.

One of the biggest reasons Real Madrid and Barcelona are so extremely popular on social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook is because of their superstars. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are two most "liked" athletes on Facebook. At press time, Ronaldo has a Facebook-leading 107,100,849 likes, while Messi has 78,236,232 likes. Soccer stars Neymar and David Beckham are the third- and fourth-most popular athletes on Facebook, respectively.

But, the social media dominance doesn't end there for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Ronaldo has the most followers on Twitter of any athlete in the world with 33.8 million. Although Messi does not have an official Twitter account, his teammate does. Neymar has 17 million followers, the fourth-highest of any athlete behind LeBron James and Kaka.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are also the two most valuable sports franchises in the world, each worth over $3 billion.

The English Premier League and La Liga are always battling for soccer supremacy. It appears as if La Liga has the two most popular players in the world as well as the two most popular teams. But, England can still take credit for having five of the top 10 most popular teams on Facebook. Regardless of which league or player is on top, one thing is for sure; soccer is king worldwide.

Most Facebook Likes (in millions)

1. Barcelona: 83

2. Real Madrid: 82.48

3. Manchester United: 65.44

4. Chelsea: 41

5. Arsenal: 32.59

6. Bayern Munich: 27.42

7. Liverpool: 25.33

8. Milan: 24.72

9. Los Angeles Lakers: 22.33

10. Manchester City: 18.57

Follow Damon Salvadore on Twitter

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