Football is arguably the most loved sport in Nigeria. The game has attracted numerous fans across the country that support many local and international teams. The advent of online sports betting in Nigeria by industry leaders like Betway, made the support even more intense, and fans got a way of upping the thrill of supporting the game.
Moreover, it is also critical to note that international football leagues, especially European-based leagues, have attracted many fans with many Nigerian superstars playing in the biggest teams.
Many Nigerians support European Football clubs for various reasons. Some love the teams’ football style while others support a team simply because one of their own plays there. So, what is the football team with the most extensive fan base in Nigeria? Read on to discover more.
Top Five Football Clubs with the Most Fans in Nigeria Ranked by Order
- F.C. Barcelona
In the past, Barcelona was not a popular team in Nigeria. However, things changed with the arrival of young Lionel Messi in 2004. Nigerian football enthusiasts did not have much interest in non-EPL teams. Moreover, they did not love Messi, especially Manchester United fans.
However, it became too difficult to hate the Argentine as he took the world by storm with his brilliant skills. He was soon a darling to many football fans in Nigeria. After a short while, Barcelona started having a bigger fan base in the country.
- Liverpool FC
Liverpool fans have been bragging about the club’s triumph in the EPL and UEFA Champions League. The new generation of Nigerian football fans might be tempted to think Liverpool fans are just overnight supporters and glory hunters. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Demographically, Liverpool is the club with the oldest fans in Nigeria. However, they have had to remain silent as their team has not been performing well, especially in the EPL, for almost two decades. But Liverpool has managed to change their fortunes and are now one of the EPL’s best teams.
The Gunners established an invincible status when they won the EPL title in 2002/2003 unbeaten. The achievement won them an enormous fan base in Nigeria. To date, the team managed by Wenger and Vierra on the pitch remains the only team in the world to have won the league without losing a game.
However, after that achievement, The Gunners have been in a state of decline. They have even lost the trust of the bettors on Betway as a team that can easily be predicted to win a game. Their new manager, Mikel Arteta, is still trying to find a winning formula as The Gunners fight to return on top of the EPL table. Their fans have remained loyal as they hope their team goes back to the glory days.
- Manchester United
Manchester United has a massive following in Nigeria. In fact, that is why they are rated joint top as they would rip you apart for ranking them second. Its fans are arguable the loudest and most aggressive in Nigeria. You would be surprised to find that one out of every three Nigerian football fans is a Manchester United fan.
Despite their poor performances on the pitch, the club’s fan base seems to be increasing by the day. The club also acknowledges its fans by sending them messages on social media to thank them.
In Nigeria, the Chelsea and Manchester United fans are like Liverpool and Manchester United fans in England. The fans’ rivalry is intense, to say the least. Chelsea’s fans are also among the loudest and most passionate football fans in the country.
The fans usually clash verbally in match-watching centers even when their teams are not playing each other. Their love for their teams is what has attracted even more fans.