Football undoubtedly inspires passion from many of its fans, but some clubs seem to attract more fanatical support than others. We rounded up five clubs who, for better or worse, really took following a sports team to the next level.
1. Manchester United
While Manchester City may be having a moment at the moment, we’re giving this one to Manchester United due to its generational fan love. While all fans like to think their club is the greatest club ever, the Red Devils’ remarkable legacy may actually give the team’s fans true bragging rights to this distinction.
This isn’t to say the fans blindly go along with club leadership—quite the opposite, in fact. For the past few years, United fans have staged many public demonstrations objecting to the club’s current owners, the Glazer family. In one instance, protesters were so riled up that they stormed the pitch at Old Trafford before a match with Liverpool leading to the game’s cancellation for safety reasons.
These same fans had tried to block the Glazers’ purchase of the team, and were so outraged when the sale went through that they formed their own breakaway club, FC United of Manchester.
Those that stuck around, meanwhile, implored Elon Musk to abandon his plans to take over Twitter and use his $41 billion to buy the club instead.
Speaking of Liverpool, they’ve got some truly fanatical—and creative!—fans of their own.
If you take in a match at Anfield, prepared to be wowed by its awe-inspiring crowd mosaics. The idea of one longtime super-fan, Andy Knott, they involve thousands of fans coming together to create a cohesive living piece of art.
These massive displays may look seamless, but it’s a true labor of love—and the embodiment of the lengths Liverpool fans go to again and again.
No roundup of fan bases would be complete without mention of Chelsea Football Club, AKA the Blues and the Pensioners. True diehard supporters, Chelsea fans have passionately—and loudly!—backed their team for decades with cheering, chanting, singing, and seas of blue flags.
They’ve also backed their team with death threats. In 2005, top referee Anders Frisk quit his job after he and his family were inundated with threats for Chelsea fans.
They’ll also go to the ends of the earth for their team—or nearly so. In 2019, two Chelsea fans went above-and-beyond to make it to the Euro final: They took four flights, a train, a taxi, and a total of 8 days to make it to the match.
Europeans love their football…and their football teams. Barcelona FC’s iconic Culés are the embodiment of fervent fans. According to a Sport+Markt study, the Blaugrana has more fans than any other club in Europe—and nearly twice the fan base of rival Real Madrid.
Just how crazy are Barcelona fans? On the 10-year anniversary of Barcelona’s Champions League victory over Cristiano Ronaldo’s Manchester United, the shirt Lionel Messi wore when he scored the game’s second goal was going for a whopping $3,500 on eBay.
And then there’s how they react when players move on. Take in 2002, for example, when Barcelona fans hurled the severed head of a pig at former player Luis Figo during a match against his current team Real Madrid.
5. Real Madrid
While Barcelona may outnumber Real Madrid in European fans, Real Madrid reigns supreme in the teams’ home country of Spain.
This is no better evidenced than by the tens of thousands of crazed Real Madrid fans who swarmed the Bernabeu in the hours before the team’s Champions League semi-final against Manchester City in May. It’s hardly surprising that the crowd—and city!—went absolutely wild when Los Blancos took home the victory in extra time.
When things don’t go their way, they can be equally rapid. In 2015 after a loss to Barcelona, three Real Madrid fans attacked Gareth Bale’s car. (They were each fined and banned for their actions.)
History is filled with head-scratching decisions. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the bizarre world of football.
While players make poor moves on a regular basis, they can quickly make up for these mistakes with a timely goal or a clutch tackle. Management isn’t so lucky. A terrible decision can set a club back years — and it may even lead to relegation or financial ruin.
Ready for a good chuckle or a major eye roll? Keep reading to learn about the strangest decisions made by supposedly talented club executives.
Frank de Boer Hired by Crystal Palace
On the job at Inter Milan for only 85 days, Frank de Boer had the club in last place in both Serie A and the UEFA Europa League when he was sacked. Curiously, Crystal Palace decided de Boer was the right man for the job.
He was gone less than three months later — after leading Crystal Palace to four losses in four games and without a single goal scored. These results were — quite frankly — very predictable given de Boer’s recent track record.
Steve Kean Appointed as Manager of Blackburn Rovers
Without any credentials to his name, Steve Kean was appointed the manager of Rovers in 2010. Unfortunately, it’s possible that Kean landed the job through dubious measures. Kean’s agent was an influential figure within the new ownership group, which almost certainly gave Kean a significant leg up over the competition. After two subpar seasons and a relegation, Kean was shown the door at Rovers.
Southampton Sign Ali Dia
In 1996, a man posing as football icon George Weah convinced Southampton manager Graeme Souness to sign his cousin. Souness took the bait and offered the man a contract despite having never seen him play in person.
Against all odds as well as good sense, the man found his way into a match and managed to stay on the pitch for more than fifty minutes. The man was quickly exposed as a fraud and released from his contract with the team.
Tottenham Sack Jose Mourinho before EFL Cup Final
Consecutive North London derby victories — as well as a brief stint atop the Premier League — gave Spurs and Jose Mourinho all the momentum heading into 2021.
After hitting a rough patch that saw the club knocked out of both the FA Cup and Europa League, Spurs ownership decided to show Mourinho the door after less than 18 months on the job. This lack of patience was only exasperated by the fact that he was sacked just days before Spurs were set to play Manchester City in the EFL Cup Final. Predictably, Spurs dropped the match 1-0.
Juventus and Barcelona Swapping Arthur Melo for Miralem Pjanic
After greatly exaggerating the value of their respective players, Barcelona and Juventus swapped Melo for Pjanic in a move that some journalists — and even the Prosecutor’s Office of the Italian Football Federation — suspect was illegal. Neither player made a splash with their new club, with Pjanic appearing in only 19 games for Barcelona, while Melo has quietly existed on the Juventus roster.
Not all football decisions make sense to passionate fans, but therein lies the fun of the game: you never know what to expect. Whether foolish, unethical, or simply bizarre, these twists and turns keep us watching.
The post-match interview feels like a dreaded chore to some footballers, but others find it as exhilarating as any athletic pursuit. Some of the world’s best players use this platform as a chance to show off their distinctive personalities. From self-deprecating humor to dry wit and sarcasm, these five players are even more entertaining to watch after they leave the field:
This slick striking Swede always has something on his mind after a match — whether it’s disdain for the referees, his opponents — or sometimes, even his teammates.
One notable Zlatan moment saw the gregarious Manchester United star prodding teammate Paul Pogba over his hesitancy to pass the ball Ibrahimovic’s way. Pogba took it all in stride and was eventually forced to pass one thing Zlatana’s way: his Premier League Man of the Match award.
Former Chelsea and Arsenal star David Luiz can make even the most boring post-match interview entertaining. One particular conference found Luiz trapped between Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres. As the two droned on in a sleep-inducing tone, Luiz tried his best to bring some lightheartedness to the proceedings through non-verbal expressions. After nearly three minutes, Luiz was finally allowed to speak, with his only words being an exuberant “Come on Chelsea!” as he threw his arms around his teammates.
During a very heartfelt and sincere acceptance of his Man of the Match Award, Free State Stars striker Mohammad Anas had an unfortunate slip of the tongue. While thanking his fans, Anas also thanked “my wife, and my girlfriend.” Anas quickly attempted to correct himself, but at that point he had already gone viral throughout the world. Thankfully, his speaking error didn’t lead to a red card at home, as Anas is still happily married.
Sometimes an interview is made more entertaining by what isn’t said. Case in point: Erling Haaland — the Manchester City striker who refuses to elaborate when asked inane questions about what makes him great. Ironically, when the striker finally did speak up during his first Premier League post-match interview, he let slip some profanity that quickly got him reprimanded by the interviewer (but that fans enjoyed nonetheless).
Sky Sports couldn’t help themselves from exposing the planned celebration of West Ham forward Michail Antonio after he set the club’s Premier League scoring mark. When the interviewers showed Antonio stashing a cardboard cutout of himself in the crowd, the gig was up — and Antonio had no choice but to have a laugh about the whole thing.
When asked if he could stay atop the Premier League scoring table, Antonio remarked “Obviously!” Given his penchant for memorable goal celebrations, this won’t be the last time everyone has a laugh over his pitch antics.
There’s no denying that the best footballers are as comedically gifted as they are athletically capable. There’s no better opportunity to get a sense of this than with the post-match interview, which should be essential viewing for every true football fan.
Far, far before the days that rifles were used in hunting or sport, humans used bows and arrows. This is why archery is one of the oldest sports in the world, dating back to ancient times when we had to use arrows to take down animals for food. Now, archery is seen as more of a hobby where we attempt to hit small targets from varying distances. Archery has maintained its spot as a global sport, staying on the Olympic stage throughout the years.
A lot of people get interested in archery every few years when they see it at the Olympics, and there was also an influx of intrigue when “The Hunger Games” series became popular. Getting into archery isn’t the easiest thing, and beginners can tend to feel overwhelmed. For starters, there are different types of bows, with the two primary being the compound and recurve, with the latter being the ideal for beginners who want to know the intricacies of archery.
You’ll want to get familiar with the bow and its parts, including the string, sight, riser, limbs and nock point. As for which bow you select, it’s really up to how comfortable you feel. The best practice is to work with an expert and find a range that allows you to both learn and get some practice. Bows aren’t as expensive as they used to be, thankfully, with archery being one of those sports where the technology has become more accessible to the average person.
With that said, you don’t have to be Robin Hood on your first try to really get into archery. The most valuable tool is working with someone that has knowledge and can coach you into finding your comfort zone. Practice, of course, makes perfect, so don’t give up on your archery dreams before they even start. For some added motivation, here are some reasons why you should get started in archery.
People tend to think that archery is standing around and shooting an arrow then calling it a day, while not taking much physical fitness. However, good archers tend to be in better shape than most of your favorite baseball players. That’s because archery requires tremendous core strength, as well as strength from the arms, back and shoulders. You’ll likely be tremendously sore from archery at first, but less so when you build your strength up over the first few weeks.
Think about the time you’ve done a physical activity like jogging/walking, cycling or really anything else. You’ve probably been hyper focused and afterward felt like you were in a better overall mood. This is especially true for archery, as it requires the physical activity that produces natural endorphins to help improve your mood, and there’s the mental aspect of archery, especially when it comes to focus and patience. Archery is basically meditation in this regard, and you’ll feel a lot calmer overall.
The great thing about archery is that you don’t need it to be sunny with no wind and 70 degrees outside. There are plenty of indoor ranges that make archery a sport that you can participate in all 12 months of the year. With that in mind, it doesn’t feel like a waste of money when you can pick up archery at any point. It also helps to combat some of those winter blues when you find an indoor range.
Sports are something the entire world shares in common. But which sports are the most beloved? Do Americans and Europeans enjoy the same sports? The answer may surprise you! Here are the top 5 most popular sports in the world.
Football is also called soccer and is consistently ranked the top sport around the globe. It has over 4 billion fans! It was codified in the 19th century in England around the time of Queen Victoria. One of the reasons that football is so popular across the world is because of its extremely low cost. You really only need a soccer ball to get started! Other countries where football is popular include Africa, Canada, China, and the United States.
Cricket is the second most popular sport in the world, but many people in America don’t know what this sport is. For those who are unfamiliar with the game, it is a bat-and-ball sport similar to baseball, where players try to score runs. Cricket has 2.5 billion fans worldwide and is most common in Australia, India, and Pakistan. The main difference between cricket and baseball is that a cricket field has a long, rectangular pitch at its center instead of a baseball mound. A pitcher in cricket is called a bowler, whose purpose is to put down the wicket at either end of the field.
Hockey is next up on the list of most popular sports across the globe. At 2 billion fans, hockey is almost as popular as cricket! The two types of hockey that people like to play are ice hockey and field hockey. Ice hockey is very popular in Canada and Europe. The main difference between ice hockey and field hockey is the aggressive body checking seen in ice hockey. Field hockey takes place outdoors in a field and involves players using a hockey stick to guide a ball down the field and into the other team’s net. Field hockey usually does not allow body checking. If you want to play a safer version of hockey, field hockey is your best bet!
Tennis is the fourth most popular sport in the world with 1 billion fans. This sport requires players to apply both their cognitive abilities and their physical prowess. The most famous tennis player in the world is Serena Williams, followed by Roger Federer. The word “tennis” is derived from the French word “tenez,” which means to “receive” or “take” something. As both a non-contact and low-impact sport, it’s one that many people can enjoy even if they aren’t able to do things like jogging or swimming.
The fifth and final most popular sport worldwide is volleyball with 900 million fans. It can be played indoors on a basketball court or volleyball court, or on a beach. All you need to play volleyball is a net, a volleyball, and enough players. Volleyball is more popular in some countries than others, like Australia, Asia, and the U.S. This is a very physical sport, with players jumping on average around 300 times every game! In professional or college-level volleyball, the ball can go as fast as 87 MPH! The sport originated in America in 1895 and at that time, the ball was called a “mintonette.”
Sports clubs generate enthusiasm and loyalty from its fanbase. Millions of fans the world over dedicate hours of their time following and watching their favorite sports teams play. They also spend millions of dollars supporting their favorite sports clubs. Sales money coming into sports clubs includes tickets, official team merchandise, and more. The five biggest sports clubs in the world have both a huge fanbase and make the most money. Let the countdown begin.
Number 5 on our list is Real Madrid. Real Madrid is a soccer team based in Madrid, Spain. The value of Real Madrid is an estimated $4.75 billion, so if you want to buy this team, start saving now. They hold the record for the most Champion League victories, including the inaugural competition. The team rarely disappoints fans.
Number 4 on our list also comes from Spain. It’s Barcelona soccer team. Valued at $4.76 billion, this team is only slightly ahead of Real Madrid in terms of size and popularity. Interestingly, FC Barcelona was founded in 1899, by a motley group of footballers from Spain, Germany, England and Switzerland. Today its team members hail from even more countries, worldwide.
Number 3 on our list of the five biggest sports clubs in the world is the New York Knicks, NBA champions. Valued at $5 billion, the Knicks are owned by Madison Square Garden Sports. Knicks is actually shortened from Knickerbockers, which is the name the original founder gave his new team. Knickerbockers are a style of rolled up pants that used to be popular in the 1600s.
Number 2 is the New York Yankees, of Major League Baseball. Owned by the Steinbrenner family through an LLC, the Yankees are still based out of New York City. The Steinbrenners paid a handsome $8.8 million for the team back in 1973. We would call that a good investment, considering that their current value is $5.25 billion. The Yankees major fan competition is the New York Mets, but they aren’t even on our list. Of the five biggest sports clubs in the world. The Yankees have been called the most successful professional sports team in the U.S., with 27 World Series championships under their belt. Not too shabby.
Finally, we get to the top player on our list of the five biggest sports clubs on the globe. It’s the Dallas Cowboys, owned by Jerry Jones. Jones paid a mere $150 million for this football team in 1989. It’s now valued at $5.7 billion. The Cowboys have an estimated 8.35 million Facebook fans, and that’s not even counting fans who aren’t on social media. The home games of the Dallas Cowboys are attended by over 727 thousand people annually.
So that’s it, sports fans. If you’ve ever wondered which are the five biggest sports clubs in the world, now you know. So if you want to root for the biggest sports clubs, you’ve got your list to choose from, among soccer, American football, basketball and baseball.
By far the most popular sport in the world, football tends to attract a lot of billionaires to the pitch. Because of the television rights bringing in massive revenue, the wealthy want to line their pockets by getting into athletic ownership, and football is more lucrative than ever. While some clubs are run like a well oiled machine, there are others that suffer from ownership interference (or a complete laissez faire approach) that hurts them, and here are five of the most specific examples of just that.
5. Arsenal F.C.
In many cases of a billionaire buying a professional sports team, it’s because they’re truly passionate fans of the squad. Then there’s the legend of billionaire Stan Kroenke, who is strictly into sports in terms of business. Take his United States ventures for example. Both the Los Angeles Rams and Colorado Avalanche won titles in 2022, both of which are owned by Kroenke. Meanwhile, his football team in England is toiling since it’s a bit of an afterthought. After winning the Super Bowl with the Rams, one fan tweeted “Kroenke lifting the Vince Lombardi trophy may well be the closest Arsenal get to winning a major honour this season.” Ouch.
4. Ujpest F.C.
The Premier League is the main attention getter for club football, but then there are random leagues that we have to pay attention to for some fun headlines. For this one,w e turn to Hungary and NB I for the strange offerings of Ujpest FC. Back in 2011, Roderick Duchatelet purchased the team and despite promises of returning to glory, have not won any domestic or international honours since 1998, far before his ownership. In 2022, Duchatelet wanted to sell the team, but the Russia-Ukraine War caused the new owners to back out of the deal, leaving Duchatelet with a team he doesn’t even want.
3. San Jose Earthquakes
Back in 1996, the United States had their biggest entry into the professional club football world with the introduction of Major League Soccer. One of the original teams was the San Jose Clash, which is now known as the San Jose Earthquakes. SInce their inception, they have won two MLS Cup titles, but it’s been nearly 20 years since that happened. In an anonymous poll amongst those in the MLS, it was San Jose that was picked as the ownership that’s holding the team back the most thanks to their stinginess, but have been able to hold onto a team simply because of being a charter member of the league.
2. Barry Town F.C.
Heading to Wales, we find a fascinating story of a semi-professional team that was once on top of the world during the 1990s when they won multiple Welsh Cups. That was, until, businessman Stuart Lovering came along to buy the team in 2003. Lovering backed out on a lot of promises financially, causing the team to plummet in stature until there was essentially a mutiny. Things haven’t been smooth ever since, with Barry recently finishing toward the bottom of the standings.
1. Milton Keynes Dons F.C.
We finish where we started, in jolly old England, to find the MK Dons from Buckinghamshire. Owned by a music promoter, Pete Winkelman, it hasn’t gone well since his purchase. The club had a split (separating Wimbledon and MK) and the team was almost immediately relegated due to poor performance. Their highest finish since their formation is a runner-up claim in 2014-15…; Football League One.
There are all sorts of clubs and organizations worldwide, but some are a little stranger than others. Here are the five weirdest international sports clubs you’ll ever hear about.
1: The International Footbag Players Association
Founded in 1974, the International Footbag Players Association is the world’s governing body for the sport of footbag. If you’ve never heard of a footbag, it’s a Hacky Sack game played with your feet instead of your hands. The association sponsors tournaments and events worldwide and has its own Footbag World Championships.
2: The International Federation of Competitive Eating
You might not think of competitive eating as a sport, but the International Federation of Competitive Eating takes it very seriously. The organization was founded in 1997 and hosts eating competitions worldwide. If you think you have what it takes to compete, you can sign up for events like the Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest or the World Pie Eating Championship.
3: International Club of Ice Swimming
Most people would never dream of swimming in water that’s below freezing, but that’s exactly what members of the International Club of Ice Swimming do. The club was founded in 1992 by a group of hardy souls who wanted to swim in every body of water on earth, no matter how cold. Since then, the club has grown to include members from all over the world. If you’re interested in joining, you’ll need to be prepared to swim in water from -5 to -35 degrees Celsius.
4: The World Egg Throwing Federation
Yes, you read that correctly. There is an international federation for egg throwing. The sport (if you can call it that) originated in England in the early 1800s as a way to settle disputes between farmers. The rules are simple: two teams of three people each throw eggs at each other, and the team that hits the most targets wins. The World Egg Throwing Federation was founded in 2002 and now hosts an annual world championship. So if you’ve ever wanted to hurl eggs at strangers (and who hasn’t?), this is the club for you.
5: The International Society for Sand Swimming
If cold water doesn’t appeal to you, maybe sand swimming will. The International Society for Sand Swimming is a group of people who, well, swim in sand. The practice is said to have health benefits, like improved circulation and lymphatic drainage. And it’s also just plain fun. If you want to join the society, you’ll need to be prepared to swim in the sand at least two feet deep.
So there you have it, five of the weirdest international sports clubs you’ll ever hear about. Whether you’re interested in swimming in freezing water, throwing eggs at people, or just exploring the world, there’s a club for you. So get out there and join one today!
Are you looking for a way to improve your health and well-being? Martial arts can offer a lot of benefits, both physical and mental.
You might be surprised at how martial arts can improve your life. From gaining strength and flexibility to improving focus and discipline, there’s something for everyone who wants to get started in martial arts.
Gain Strength and Flexibility
One of the most surprising benefits of martial arts is the way it can help practitioners gain strength and flexibility. Contrary to popular belief, martial arts is not just about physically striking an opponent.
Many martial arts styles place a strong emphasis on using proper form and technique to execute moves. Martial arts students often develop significant muscular endurance and flexibility.
In addition, many martial arts styles also involve a great deal of body weight exercises, such as push-ups and squats. As a result, practitioners often develop significant strength and power.
Improve Your Coordination
Many people turn to martial arts to improve their physical fitness or self-defense skills. However, martial arts can also have a surprising impact on your coordination.
The repetitive motions and strict form of martial arts exercises can help to improve your body awareness and control. As a result, you may find that your coordination improves in your martial arts training and other areas of your life.
If you’re looking to boost your coordination, martial arts may be the perfect activity for you.
Increase Your Focus and Self-Discipline
One of the most surprising advantages of martial arts is the way it can improve your focus and self-discipline. When you have to remember a complex series of movements and techniques, you quickly learn to pay attention and focus your thoughts.
You can then transfer this heightened concentration level to other areas of your life, such as work or studies. Regularly attending classes and training sessions helps to develop self-discipline.
Over time, you will find it easier to stick to goals and resist temptation. If you’re looking for a way to boost your productivity and discipline, martial arts may be the solution.
Boost Your Mental Health
Martial arts can also have a significant impact on mental health, helping to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, martial arts can promote feelings of relaxation and well-being.
When you train regularly, you will release mood-boosting endorphins. Increased focus helps sharpen your mind, while the discipline and structure of martial arts can help to give your life a sense of purpose.
While the physical benefits of martial arts are well-known, the mental benefits are often overlooked. For anyone looking to boost their mental health, martial arts is excellent.
Get in Shape Quickly
Martial arts is an incredibly effective way to get in shape quickly. The high-intensity workouts associated with martial arts can burn hundreds of calories in a single session. The discipline required can help push the limits of what the body is capable of.
Martial arts can help to improve cardiovascular health, muscle tone, and weight loss, making it a fantastic activity for those looking to get in shape quickly.
There are many advantages to practicing martial arts, some of which you may not know. These surprising benefits can help to improve your physical and mental health, making martial arts an excellent activity for anyone looking to improve their overall well-being.