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Real Madrid or Barcelona? Which Clásico club has the most followers in the USA?

Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona have global appeal, but how popular are they in the United States?

¿Real Madrid o Barcelona? Quién tiene más seguidores en USA

Real Madrid, the current leader of LaLiga EA Sports (that’s the league’s main sponsor, in case you were wondering), welcomes Barcelona to the Santiago Bernabéu on Sunday, in what will be the last Clásico of the season, a match that will be broadcast in homes, bars and clubs all over the planet. In certain parts of the world they will get up at dawn to tune in, while others will no doubt struggle to stay awake.

Fans in the United States will be no different and evidence exists to argue that there is no other soccer match in world soccer which gets fans going more than El Clásico.

What is the most popular league in the United States?

Gilt Edge Soccer Marketing carried out a study in 2020 whose aim was to find the most popular soccer clubs in the United States. They had already done something similar in 2016 but used only data from a survey on that occasion. Four years later, they stepped things up a gear and also added Google Trends results and Facebook advertising reach to put together their results, which only included clubs from what they deemed to be the top seven leagues (MLS, Liga MX, Premier League, LaLiga, Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1).

What is the most popular club in the United States?

Although their findings showed that the Premier League was the most popular league based on team rankings, the first and second most popular clubs came from LaLiga (guess which two).

Drum roll please…

The study revealed that Barcelona are the most popular soccer club in the US ahead of Real Madrid. No other Spanish clubs made the top 10, which contained six Premier League teams, explaining the league’s overall popularity. Similarly, there were just six LaLiga teams in the top 50, compared to 12 from the Premier League.

Looking further afield, MLS clubs accounted for 14 of the top 50 (more than any other league) but just two – LA Galaxy (12th) and Atlatnta United (16th) made the top 20. Mexico’s Liga MX, the third most popular league overall, was also the third most represented league in terms of teams in the top 50 (10), four of which – Club América (9th), Chivas (13th), Monterrey (15th) and Cruz Azul (20th) - featured in the top 20.

In which U.S. states Barcelona and Real Madrid websites most viewed?

At the end of 2022, a separate study conducted by FBref, a website specialising in Football History and Statistics, then put together two maps of the United States, one showing top page views per state for players and the other doing the same for clubs.

As you can imagine, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo dominated the player map, which nevertheless threw up some amusing results in the shape of Bayer Leverkusen teenager Florian Wirtz receiving most page views in New Mexico and Lyon midfielder Maxence Caqueret doing so in Rhode Island.

The team map was an eclectic mix of all sorts of clubs from all different kinds of leagues and competitions, including Crystal Palace (Colorado) and Hull City (Alabama). But where did Barcelona and Real Madrid come out on top?

It turns out that fans in Indiana and Delaware are those most likely to wolf down their lunch to be able to catch Barcelona away at Cádiz on a Sunday, for example, while Nebraskans are the most likely to kick off their weekend by watching a Real Madrid trip to Celta Vigo over breakfast.