With billions of followers following their favorite teams and players, football is one of the most widely watched sports in the world. South Asians are not an exception, as the region has a sizable population of ardent football supporters. Football teams in South Asia for fan support have a passionate love for football that transcends national boundaries, linguistic barriers, and cultural differences, from British Asians in the UK to those in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. South Asians are passionate football fans for a variety of reasons. One reason is that the sport is thrilling and unexpected, with each game presenting fresh difficulties and chances for both teams. Also, football has the ability to unite people by fostering a sense of belonging and a common identity among its supporters.
1. Manchester United
The football team that is most favored among South Asians and Brits is Manchester United. The club enjoys a huge fanbase both domestically and abroad. A sizable chunk of their fan base is made up of South Asians. 325 million Manchester United supporters are just in Asia, according to the BBC.
There are many factors that contribute to the club’s appeal with South Asians.
The club’s historical success is one of the main causes. A record 20 Premier League championships and three European Cups have been won by Manchester United. Yet, the 1999 treble-winning season is the most remarkable season Manchester United has ever had. Winning the domestic league, domestic cup, and the European Cup was a momentous occasion. They hold the distinction of being the “largest football club in the world” as the only English team to ever win the Triple Crown. A claim that still holds true for many people today. South Asians are proud of the team’s tenacity and never-give-up mentality, which have defined the organization over the years.
The club’s popularity is further enhanced by its lengthy history and tradition. The addition of South Asian players to Manchester United’s roster, such as Zidane Iqbal, is another factor in the club’s success. South Asian football supporters adore seeing members of their ethnic groups playing for one of the top clubs in the globe. The club has a sizable fanbase throughout South Asia, which further contributes to its appeal. Manchester United is one of the most well-known football clubs in the world, with over 20 million Facebook fans in India alone.
Liverpool is another soccer team with a large following among South Asians. The team has won 19 English League championships, one FIFA Club World Cup, and six European Cups. Due to the club’s enduring popularity and committed following, South Asians adore it. One of the reasons Liverpool is admired by South Asians is because of their long history. A handful of the well-known players who have represented the club throughout its lengthy and illustrious history include Kenny Dalglish, Steven Gerrard, and John Barnes. The Liverpool-related song “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” which promotes unity, has motivated the club’s fans all around the world. The organization launched the “Red Together” program in 2019 to promote diversity and inclusion. Many campaign-related events were held in Mumbai where Liverpool legends Robbie Fowler and Ian Rush could be met by supporters. Due to the success of these programs in recent years, the club is now better known internationally and among South Asians.
Another soccer team that South Asians like is Arsenal. The club has a long and illustrious history that includes players like Tony Adams, Dennis Bergkamp, and Thierry Henry as well as 13 English Premier League championships. The play of Arsenal is one of the factors that draws in South Asian fans.
Arsenal is renowned for playing exciting, offensive football, and as a result, they have numerous fans all around the world. South Asians have become more aware of the club as a result of its success under Arsene Wenger in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
Also, Arsenal has taken the initiative to interact with its global fan base, especially those in South Asia.
The club has a sizable online following on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, which has helped it connect with local supporters. Arsenal has also started a number of programs to interact with South Asian supporters, such as the “Arsenal Kicks” programme, which offers coaching to young people from underprivileged backgrounds.
South Asians support Chelsea for a variety of reasons, including the team’s success on the field, its attractiveness on a worldwide scale, and its star players. Over the years, Chelsea has enjoyed a great deal of success on the field, taking home a number of trophies, including six Premier League championships, five FA Cups, and one UEFA Champions League. Due to the club’s successes and ability to regularly compete, South Asians have become more interested in it and its winning mindset. Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and John Terry are just a few of the iconic players who have played for Chelsea over the years.
These players are now well-known around the world, and some South Asians will never forget the best moments they ever had playing football thanks to their contribution to the club’s championships.
Celebrities from South Asia have also gushed about how much they like Chelsea. Abhishek Bachchan, a popular actor in Bollywood, is a devoted supporter of Chelsea and has been seen sporting the team’s jersey numerous times. He stated in an interview with The Times of India: “I have been a Chelsea supporter for more than ten years now. I’ve always been awed by the club’s prowess on the field, international appeal, and star players.
Since its founding, Barcelona has attracted millions of followers, making it one of the biggest and most successful clubs in the world. The team has a reputation for playing a sophisticated brand of football known as “tiki-taka,” which was made popular by club legend and former manager Johan Cruyff.
High levels of possession, brief passes, and rapid movements are all characteristics of this style of play
The club has won 26 La Liga championships, five European Cups, and four FIFA Club World Cups as a result of their ability to control games. Yet Lionel Messi is arguably the major factor in how popular Barcelona is among South Asians and Brits.
The Argentinian, who won the 2022 World Cup, cemented his claim to being the greatest football player in history. Messi spent more than 20 years at Barcelona, where he excelled in their youth and dominated their first team. His enormous fan base drew admirers from all around the world, especially those in South Asia, where Messi’s name is still widely known. Similar to how many South Asian celebs have gushed about the club. With the words, “I have been watching Barcelona for years, and I think they are the best team in the world,” Indian actor Arjun Kapoor expressed his admiration. Their playing style is simply wonderful, and it’s fun to watch them.
They have a sizable fan base in India, which I believe makes them a fantastic example for other clubs to follow. Millions of viewers from all around the world tune in to watch major football competitions like the FIFA World Cup and UEFA Champions League, demonstrating how popular football has grown on a global scale. This has made it possible for South Asians to interact with people from all origins and cultures while also displaying their own passion for the game. Perhaps more intriguing is the growth of South Asian-born football players in the league. Numerous young British athletes have accepted professional contracts and are playing for more diverse clubs. A new generation of South Asian football players and fans has been motivated by this, and they are ready to demonstrate their skills and represent their nations abroad.