The Best Fans in the World

The Poznan has now been exported all over Europe
The Poznan has now been exported all over Europe

After Jose Mourinho and Emmanuel Adebayor both had some fairly robust words to say about the Chelsea and Spurs support respectively, and after research showed Manchester United's fans as the loudest in the country, Luke Moore runs down the top five best supports in world club football...

"According to German research company SPORT+MARKT, a frankly ridiculous 354 million people (or just over 0.5% of the world's population) identify themselves as Red Devils fans."

1. Borussia Dortmund

Although their team may be struggling on the pitch, off the pitch Dortmund fans remain some of the most impressive to be found anywhere in the world. With a membership in the 100,000s and a loyal support throughout near financial ruin, the Westfahlenstadion holds around 80,000 hardy souls and the Yellow Wall is a sight to behold on matchday. 25,000 fans stand on the terrace behind one of the goals and are responsible for such displays as this:

2. Flamengo/Fluminense

In 1963, Flamengo faced Fluminense in a fiercely-contested derby at the legendary Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro in front of a scarcely-believable 193,600 fans. As that's a record that is still yet to be broken for a game between club sides, it's only fair we include both of these teams in this list.

What's more, as of 2010 Flamengo hve a reported 39.1 million declared fans, making them the most popular club in Brazil. Imagine how hard it is getting tickets for a big game...

3. Penarol

Penarol are possibly the most underrated club in world football. They've won an incredible 49 league titles in Uruguay and three world club championships, yet many people outside of football fandom wouldn't have heard of them.

What's most impressive about Penarol though is their fanatical support, who make up half of the huge Montevideo derby (along with Nacional) which has legitimate claims as the biggest derby in world football. In 2011, Penarol fans marked their first Copa Libertadores final appearance for 24 years by unfurling the largest banner ever seen at a football game.

4. Manchester United

They're not just the loudest in the country - Manchester United deserve to be in this list by virtue of the fact that they're arguably the best supported football club in the entire world. According to German research company SPORT+MARKT, a frankly ridiculous 354 million people (or just over 0.5% of the world's population) identify themselves as Red Devils fans.

What's more, United's travelling away support has long been regarded as one of the best in Europe, so it's not just the armchair supporters in the Far East that the Old Trafford club can stake their reputation on. At home and abroad, Man United are simply massive.

5. Lech Poznan

Well known for the famous 'Poznan' celebration, appropriated by Manchester City fans after an away visit to Poland in the 2010-11 Europa League, Lech Poznan are actually one of the best supported clubs in Europe relative to the size of the city they play in.

Poznan only has about 500,000 residents, yet regularly get over 40,000 fans through the gate for home games and they're the best supported side in Poland by some distance. And it's not just numbers that make games at the Inea Stadium so memorable - the Railwaymen's support is passionate and vocal, as seen by their devoted die-hards following them all over Europe during their ultimately fruitless Europa League campaign four seasons ago. 

What do you think? Get your comments below and your tweets in to @Betfair on who you think have the best fans around...

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