Latest figures, collected from Going Global, a study based on Facebook audience insights, show the Blues have an ever-growing fanbase in a host of countries outside the UK.
United are still comfortably the most popular team worldwide, but Chelsea’s success on the pitch and the influx of players from different areas of the world in the Roman Abramovich era has seen their attraction increase.
Despite Jose Mourinho’s second departure from Stamford Bridge, Portugal has the highest concentration of Chelsea fans worldwide, 275 per cent above the global average.
Mourinho brought in Ricardo Carvalho, Deco and Paulo Ferreira during his first stint in charge of the Blues and the Portuguese affinity has remained very much in tact.
Antonio Conte’s arrival in west London has also swelled Chelsea’s popularity in Italy, although the likes of Gianfranco Zola, Gianluca Vialli, Roberto Di Matteo, Claudio Ranieri and Carlo Ancelotti had already established a solid fanbase.
Didier Drogba’s huge influence at Stamford Bridge shows with Chelsea’s fanbase across Africa, aided by Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Samuel Eto’o, while Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois have helped boost their popularity in Belgium.
Liverpool also challenge United’s dominance in some countries, enjoying particularly big followings in Uruguay, Denmark and Finland.
Luis Suarez’s contribution has seen Uruguay attract the highest concentration of Reds fans globally, over 600 per cent the worldwide average.
That figure is halved in Denmark, with no less than 10 Danes representing the Anfield giants including Jan Molby and Daniel Agger.
Sami Hyypia was a rock in the heart of Liverpool’s defence for a decade and over 300 appearances, helping to make the Reds the most popular team in Finland.
- For a full interactive breakdown of which Premier League teams are most popular in which countries, click here.