In an English Premier League season, 20 football teams compete for the title after 38 matches. Some get relegated to the lower division while some gets promoted from the lower to the main division. However, there are top teams that have been in the top flight for many years. Even if they don’t win the trophy at the end of the season, they make the top 4 or top 6 to compete in UEFA competitions.
Nigeria is a country filled with football fans. Compared to other leagues, premier league teams have the most fans in Nigeria. In fact, only Real Madrid and Barcelona are the not-English-teams with major fan bases in the country. So, which premier league teams have the most fans in Nigeria? Check them out;
Also known as the blues, Chelsea football club is arguably the premier league team with the most fans in Nigeria. You’ll literally find Chelsea fans everywhere, all over the country. Chelsea is based in London and the team contests in the UEFA Champions League and sometimes Europa League. The club was once home to Nigerian players including Mikel Obi, Victor Moses, Celestine Babayaro, and Kenneth Omeruo amongst other players. Although Chelsea is one of the most decorated English teams, the team has only won the UEFA champions league on one occasion. Nevertheless, they’ve won the UEFA Super Cup and UEFA Europa league on two occasions.
2. Manchester United
Whenever you hear the Red Devils, you should know Manchester United – Man U – is in the conversation. No Nigerian, except Odion Ighalo who played for a short time and on loan has played for Manchester United. However, the team has a very staunch fan based in the country. Manchester United was very popular in the country during the era of Alex Ferguson and particularly the Ronaldo, Rooney, Berbatov, Tevez, etc era. At that time, the Red Devils defeated the Blues in a historical UEFA champions league final. Nollywood even acted in a Man U vs Chelsea movie due to its popularity.
If you’re a Nigerian football lover, you’ll have to not be in the country to not know the high percentage of Arsenal fans in the country. Along with Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger is one of the most popular premier league coaches in Nigeria. Super Eagles legend, Kanu, is also a legend of this club. The team is referred to as the invincibles after a history reason where they won the EPL with zero defeats. The gunners got a golden trophy – the first of its kind – and till date, Arsenal fans in Nigeria brah about this. Arsenal has had lots of successes domestically but, in Europe, the team has won zero trophies.
4. Manchester City
Manchester City previously didn’t have lots of fans in Nigeria. However, things changed when the team acquired players like Aguero, Balotelli, Tevez, Yaya Toure, etc. They began dominating the premier league, wining the trophy on the last day to the disappointment of Man United fans and thus, their popularity grew. Currently, Manchester City is the best team in England as they keep dominating not just the league but cup trophies thanks to Pep Guardiola, the current coach. The team won the EPL back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. However, they’re yet to lay their hands on the prestigious UEFA champions league trophy.
Liverpool has been a team with mid-level fans in Nigeria. It’s almost like they’re not there but when the team wins, like when they won the UEFA champions league trophy, you see them in their Numbers. In Europe, Liverpool is the most successful English team having won the UEFA champions league trophy a record 6 times and Super Cup 4 times. Only Manchester United comes close with 3 UEFA champions league trophies and 1 Super Cup trophy. The current Liverpool team has African players – Mohammed Salah and Sadio Mane – as leading players.
6. Tottenham Hotspur
As a premier league team, Tottenham Hotspurs is popular in Nigeria. However, the team doesn’t have that many fans in the country. Nevertheless, lots of Nigerians support them when they play against a team they don’t like. Take for instance when they faced Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League 2019 final. Tottenham Hotspur is a top 6 team but, it’s about the least successful. In recent times, the team hasn’t won any major trophy Webster domestic or European. Their last trophy was the league cup in 2008.
7. Leicester City
Leicester City used to be a second division team. However, the team shocked not just Nigerian premier league fans but the entire world when they came from the second division to win the league. Top teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool etc were stunned. That’s the only time the team has won the top flight division. Since then, the team has garnered fans all over Nigeria who love their style of play. Different Nigerian players have played for Leicester City including Kelechi Iheanacho, Wilfred Ndidi, and Ahmed Musa.
Everton is one premier league team that has been home to many Nigerian players. Despite the fact that recently they don’t win a lot of trophies or matches, this has made many Nigerians support the Black Watch. Nigerian players who have played for Everton include Alex Iwobi, Henry Onyekuru, Victor Anichebe, Joseph Yobo, Aiyegbeni Yakubu, and Daniel Amokachi. Compared to other premier league teams that’s a lot. Everton has been very successful domestically having won the premier league trophy a record 9 times.
Football in Nigeria is more than just a game or an entertainment, to a lot of persons, it is life. You would know this when a particular team wins a major trophy and you see their fans wildly celebrating all over Nigeria. Football lovers get into debates, sometimes heated ones, both online and offline, on which team or team player is the best. It’s hard to win against a team with a huge fan base and from the article, you now know the premier league teams with most fans in Nigeria.