In India, the number of Football fans and followers is increasing each year. In the past, the number of football followers was obviously less than the present numbers. It is good news, isn’t it? Will the football fan base finally outgrow the cricket fan base? Who knows? But I won’t be surprised if that happens. Because the beautiful game is capable of getting people attracted to it! Coming to the main matter, have you ever analyzed the football fan base in India? If you do that, you’ll find that a good share of football followers will turn out to be Manchester United supporters. And that is closely followed by Real Madrid and FC Barcelona fans. But how come these clubs gather so much support on Indian soil? What factor in Manchester United, Real Madrid or FC Barcelona attracted Indians towards them? Let’s analyze..
You see, long back, Football wasn’t as popular and followed as it is today, in our country. In India, only few areas and regions boasted of having passionate and fanatic football followership in the past! Some of the regions are Goa, Kerala, Bengal, Mumbai, Many Eastern states of India etc. And football was followed since the time when there was no cable TV, Ten Action or any such means! People used means like NEWS Papers to stay up to date with the latest happenings in the football world. Despite these limited means, they used to worship their football idols and follow the game with whole heart and also play the game!
Fast forward to the present and now we have different means to watch and follow the game. There are hordes of channels, which can be used to watch live game, replays, match analysis, pre match discussion and what not!
This, along with the beauty of the ‘beautiful game’, got many viewers hooked to the game. Now, people from other states, which didn’t had much football followership (like Gujarat, Rajasthan, UP etc), started taking interest in the game and started following clubs.
This trend started catching up some 8-10 years ago. And during that time, Manchester United was (and it still is) a hot entity. I agree that the likes of Arsenal were also strong around that time, and had been winning some trophies.
Slowly, after 3-4 years since the above mentioned events, Manchester United emerged to be one of the best in the business. Naturally, the newly formed Indian football fans started supporting them.
Then came the champions league win. All this while increased number of people in India were being introduced to football. And all of them happened to see Manchester United bathing in glory! Naturally, they started supporting the team and became Red devils!
Now, regarding Real Madrid fan base, I guess they have such huge followership in India due to the ‘stars’ they purchased. When a fans’ favorite player joined RM, he too would end up supporting the club!
And talking about Barcelona followers, here are couple of factors responsible for swelling the club’s supporter stats in India- Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Barca’s epic cup winning seasons under Pep Guardiola!