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Who's The Biggest?


E2K
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This is gonna cause arguments.

 

Who's the biggest club in the world?

 

No club has EVERYTHING. So if its a simple case of weighing up everything (how much success the club has had, the quality of player they've had, how powerful that club is (both financially and in terms of prestige), stadium, how many fans that club has worldwide, and the stature of that club in the wider context of the world in general), then I'll have to go with Barcelona or Real Madrid on that basis.

 

Rebuttle?

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Manchester United - any day of the week.

 

Richest club in the world. Massive, massive fanbase, not only all over England but all over the world. Arguably the finest football stadium in the world. Lots of advertising revenue, a squad full of internationals, massive sales turnover, massive replica kit sales, and tonnes of recent success, including the Champions League.

 

A lot of people will say Real Madrid, because of the Galacticos, but I would argue that these days, it is the players who are more famous than the club. However Manchester United is more famous than any of the players it has.

 

For sheer wealth you're looking at Real, Barca, Inter, Milan, Chelsea and Man Utd.

 

For sheer fanbase its Man Utd, Liverpool, Newcastle, Juventus, Benfica, Boca Juniors and Real.

 

Cheers!

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Real Madrid ain't wealthy' date=' there in debt, there only kept afloat because the spanish government like them because there a good tourist attraction.[/quote']

A few years ago, maybe. I remember they sold their training ground to the Govt for £600m and the Govt then proceeded to lend Real Madrid the training ground for virtually nothing.

 

However, since Florentino Perez has become chairman, Real are up with the big boys again. They're not in debt by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Here's a little site I found, btw:

http://money.msn.co.uk/investing/Insight/SpecialFeatures/TipsGuides/Richestfootballclubs/default.asp

 

Cheers!

Edited by Boyo
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Manchester United - any day of the week.

 

Richest club in the world. Massive, massive fanbase, not only all over England but all over the world. Arguably the finest football stadium in the world. Lots of advertising revenue, a squad full of internationals, massive sales turnover, massive replica kit sales, and tonnes of recent success, including the Champions League.

 

 

 

A lot of people will say Real Madrid, because of the Galacticos, but I would argue that these days, it is the players who are more famous than the club. However Manchester United is more famous than any of the players it has.

 

For sheer wealth you're looking at Real, Barca, Inter, Milan, Chelsea and Man Utd.

 

For sheer fanbase its Man Utd, Liverpool, Newcastle, Juventus, Benfica, Boca Juniors and Real.

 

Cheers!

 

Don't think I need to add anything else!

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Boyo really answered the thread for us all, Real Madrid are more famous for their players then anything not the history of the club... ask people who plays for Madrid then can tell you, ask em how many European cups they've won and they scratch their heads.

 

Man Uts on the other hand you can argue in recent success are no longer the biggest football team on the pitch, that would befall AC Milan. Just my opinon

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OK. I agree that United are close but . . .

 

Biggest and most important trophy for a club side? European Cup, the history of which is dwarfed by Real Madrid, who have won 9, including the first five. Liverpool have 4. United have 2. Barcelona have 1.

 

Fanbase. Barcelona have 100,000 season ticket holders, one of whom, I believe, is the Pope. I have to say, in these days of advertising campaigns, that United's worldwide fanbase is massive thanks largely to the club's name itself, not just cos they spend millions on advertising or cos Beckham was popular in Asia. Have to give them their dues for that. Liverpool are much the same.

 

Wealth. United may be the richest club in the world, but Real can buy whoever they want, whenever they want. Nuff said.

 

What the club means in terms of the wider world? Well Barcelona are less a football club than a symbol of Catalonia. More than any other club in the world, this club represents more to its local fanbase than just a football team.

 

Stadium? I'm sorry, Old Trafford is one of the ugliest stadiums I've ever seen. The Nou Camp and the Bernebeu are the best in the world.

 

So pound for pound, I say Real or Barca. United, Liverpool, Milan in the chasing pack.

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Im sorry, you think Nou Camp is better than Old Trafford? When i went to the Nou Camp, it was bloody disgusting. Rubbish everywhere, seats broken. It was a mess. Old Trafford is always in top shape.

 

Id also agree with Man Utd being the biggest.

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man utd are the biggest club in the world, i cant add anything to what boyo said about that.

 

i still dont see why madrid are allowed to spend tens of millions on players when they are so financialy unstable, like someone mentioned they a basically living off the spanish government and the figures they produce are some what inaccurate, at the point of the signing ronaldo, they were something along the lines os £62 million in debt, if they had all this money they would have been able to pay his transfer fee straight up!

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An interesting point that I didn't mention earlier but thought of later.

 

The biggest players in the world right over the past six or seven years? Ronaldo, Zidane, Rivaldo, Figo. Why? Cos the World Player of the Year award has been their personal property in that time.

 

What clubs did they decide to play for? Not Manchester United.

 

Now, I realise that they earned more money with Barcelona & Madrid than they could at Old Trafford, but players start off as fans the same as the rest of us, and aside from financial considerations, they want one thing - to play for the biggest club in the world. Every player wants that. They chose Barcelona in some cases, Madrid in others.

Ronaldinho chose Barca as well.

 

Look to where the best ply their trade to see who THEY think is the biggest.

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The biggest players in the world right over the past six or seven years? Ronaldo, Zidane, Rivaldo, Figo. Why? Cos the World Player of the Year award has been their personal property in that time.

 

What clubs did they decide to play for? Not Manchester United.

 

Look to where the best ply their trade to see who THEY think is the biggest.

Maybe, E2K - but that wasn't the thread topic.

 

Your question was not: "which club is the biggest draw for the top players?"; if that was the case then yes, Real, Barca, Juve, the Milans and Arsenal would contest that list, although, clearly, Real would top it.

 

Your question was:

Who's the biggest club in the world?...how much success the club has had' date=' the quality of player they've had, how powerful that club is (both financially and in terms of prestige), stadium, how many fans that club has worldwide, and the stature of that club in the wider context of the world in general?[/quote']

Success? Real Madrid, AC Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Ajax, Liverpool, Manchester United

 

Quality of Player? Real, AC Milan, Juventus, Manchester United, Arsenal

 

Power - Financially? AC Milan, Real, Manchester United, Juventus, Chelsea

 

Power - Prestige? Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Ajax, Juventus, AC Milan, Manchester United

 

Stadium? Manchester United, Real Madrid

 

Fans Worldwide? Manchester United

 

Worldwide Stature? Manchester United

 

Also, your point about FC Barcelona being recognised worldwide as the "symbol of Catalonia" - rubbish. In Spain, maybe. I bet fans outside of Spain do not understand what Catalonia is. They merely think Barcelona is a symbol of Barcelona.

 

Cheers!

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Also' date=' your point about FC Barcelona being recognised worldwide as the "symbol of Catalonia" - rubbish. In Spain, maybe. I bet fans outside of Spain do not understand what Catalonia is. They merely think Barcelona is a symbol of Barcelona[/quote']

 

Ok, I DIDN'T say that they were recognised as the symbol of catalonia worldwide. I said that IN TERMS OF THE WIDER WORLD (i.e. things that have nothing to do with club football, such as politics, national pride, etc), that Barcelona mean more to their immediate fanbase than any other club does to theirs, maybe more than even Celtic. This is a fact, whether people worldwide recognise it or not. But then, I never said they did.

 

As for attracting top players, again, that wasn't my point. My point is that, when a top quality (as in, best in the world) player moves to a big club, he's obviously gonna want to move to the biggest. That the players I mentioned decided to go to either Barca or Real speaks volumes for the stature of those clubs in their eyes. I KNOW the topic was "biggest club in the world". I believe that, where the top players consistently choose to go, is a major factor in making a judgement.

 

Cheers!

Edited by E2K
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Ok' date=' I DIDN'T say that they were recognised as the symbol of catalonia worldwide. I said that IN TERMS OF THE WIDER WORLD[/quote']

Oh right...just a funny double-entendre of a question. No worries!:)

 

Barcelona mean more to their immediate fanbase than any other club does to theirs' date=' maybe more than even Celtic.[/quote']

Fair dues, Barca is one of the most politically motivated clubs around. But if you say that then surely you MUST add Real Madrid to that list? That's what makes "El Gran Classico" so hotly contested.

 

I wouldn't say Barca are the most politically relevant club - not by a long shot. They are in the top 10, for sure, but I'd say Athletico Bilbao are numero uno. Hell, they only allow Basque players to play for them. Imagine if Barca suddenly sold all their players and kept all the Catalans? Now THAT is dedication!

 

Croatia are far more politically relevant than Barca, too. As are Boca and River Plate. Holy moly, don't go down to Argentina when THIS match is on. Nothing worse than a derby match where both clubs were formed because some fans were wealthy (River) and some are poor and from the barrios (Boca).

 

A lot of the South American clubs are psycho, anyhow. Botafogo and Corinthians are much the same as Boca and River. Hell, I think it's Flamingo and Sao Paulo who are funded by the corrupt opposing political parties!

 

As for attracting top players' date=' again, that wasn't my point. My point is that, when a top quality (as in, best in the world) player moves to a big club, he's obviously gonna want to move to the biggest.[/quote']

Then how do you explain Henry, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Vieira, arguably the best in the world in their positions, NOT wanting to go to Real?

 

Does this make Arsenal a "bigger" club than Real? No. When dealing with players it's all about individual circumstance. It's about loyalty, love, how settled you/and family are.

 

Yes, Real, have the Galacticos but they are continually scuppered by Arsenal when they try to improve the quality of their Galacticos. Nothing to do with size of club, my friend.

 

Don't get me wrong, in terms of prestige, status, star players and heritage, Real dominate Man Utd, but in terms of everything else you mention in your list: money, sales, turnover, worldwide fans...Man Utd beat Real.

 

Cheers!

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Then how do you explain Henry' date=' Ruud van Nistelrooy and Vieira, arguably the best in the world in their positions, NOT wanting to go to Real?[/quote']

 

Well, as I recall, Viera was a Milan reserve when Arsenal signed him. So if Milan had handled him a bit better, he might have never signed for Arsenal. As for Henry, well he was having a hard time at Juventus when they picked him up. Van Nistlerooy, well he obviously saw United as the biggest stage of them all, and that's fair enough. It's all about individual perception, which is why I started this thread; to gauge everyone's perception.

 

Don't get me wrong' date=' in terms of prestige, status, star players and heritage, Real dominate Man Utd, but in terms of everything else you mention in your list: money, sales, turnover, worldwide fans...Man Utd beat Real[/quote']

 

Thats true, but we're taking this on the whole picture. So I guess its really a question of whether prestige, status, star players and heritage takes precedence over money, sales, turnover and worldwide fans. Thats a tough one.

 

I feel like I haven't really explained my arguments very well today. Let me put it this way; I take it on history (prestige, status, worldwide fans, success etc) COMBINED with the present day (current success & status, turnover, worldwide fans, etc). And I know I've probably left out some factors there, I don't care.

 

Take this example; on history, Liverpool beat Man United for me, but on the present day, United beat Liverpool well, so overall, United would probably be ahead of Liverpool. Know what I mean? I think if you take absolutely every factor and put it on the table, I believe that Real and Barca come out on top. And in the immortal words of Charles Barkley "I might be wrong . . . . . but I doubt it". (Oh my God, that is SO my new signature!")

 

But I respect your opinion as always Boyo. You talk an awful lot of sense. But Jesus, I was only looking for the five minute argument :)

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Let's run over this again...

As for attracting top players' date=' again, that wasn't my point. My point is that, when a top quality (as in, best in the world) player moves to a big club, he's obviously gonna want to move to the biggest.[/quote']

Ok, so:

Then how do you explain Henry' date=' Ruud van Nistelrooy and Vieira, arguably the best in the world in their positions, NOT wanting to go to Real?[/quote']

So that means:

Well' date=' as I recall, Viera was a Milan reserve when Arsenal signed him. So if Milan had handled him a bit better, he might have never signed for Arsenal. As for Henry, well he was having a hard time at Juventus when they picked him up.[/quote']

That doesn't answer the question. We both know neither manager at Juve or Milan recognised/maximised Vieira's or Henry's potential. It's their loss.

 

You didn't answer the question: If Real are the biggest club in the world and have all the top players (the best in their positions in the world), WHY can't they sign Henry? And why has Vieira rejected them three times?

 

So I guess its really a question of whether prestige' date=' status, star players and heritage takes precedence over money, sales, turnover and worldwide fans. Thats a tough one.[/quote']

A very tough one, but I'd sway with money and sales. Not even that. Just money. A club can have all the prestige it wants but if it cannot afford the top players, it's not going to GET the best players.

 

Real are lucky as they have both money and prestige, just as Man Utd and Milan do, and that's what this topic is about.

 

However - to make a point over what should take precedence, consider:

 

Wayne Rooney - Everton need money to buy squad players, he's an easy sale. They can get millions for him. *Now suspend your disbelief...*. Only two teams come in for him; Tottenham, with their history of great players, some European Trophies, a strong fan base, and aspirations to recapture the prestige they once had by winning the Premier League in a couple of years, making a team based around Rooney's talent. And Chelsea, and they'll pay you £150k per week.

 

And in the immortal words of Charles Barkley "I might be wrong . . . . . but I doubt it". (Oh my God' date=' that is SO my new signature!")[/quote']

That's a nice new sig you've got there...

 

Cheers!

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For me, it has to be Real Madrid more than Manchester United. As has been said, Real have had the World Player of the Year come to them on a number of occasions. The fact that Vieira, van Nistelrooy and Henry haven't (yet) signed only shows what three players think. Why didn't Henrik Larsson leave Celtic sooner when he was the European Golden Boot winner, or why did Ronaldinho choose Barcelona? The fact is that it's down to personal choice, so you have to judge it on what a majority of top players think of these clubs. At the time of their transfers Zidane, Figo, Beckham and arguably Ronaldo (although probably not Ronaldo compared to Henry now) were hotter property than Vieira, Henry and Van Nistelrooy. Other teams have made bids for Raúl but he hasn't gone anywhere. Players can be happy at certain clubs and not want to move for reasons other than purely footballing ones. It's when they do move that you can judge their views of the prestige of other clubs (unless they leave a bigger team to try and get a regular game at somewhere not as highly regarded, but that doesn't apply when debating between Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona or Juventus, for example). As fa as that goes, that for me puts Real Madrid above anyone else.

 

As for marketability, that's the only point of contention for Manchester United for me. Most of their market power, in my view, was down to Beckham, now that he's at Madrid more and more people are buying Real tops rather than Manchester United ones. Real Madrid are an internationally recognised name and while the same can also be said of Manchester United I don't think they're quite up there. They don't have the same prestige as Real Madrid in terms of honours won or tradition in my view. Barcelona challenge Real Madrid as perhaps do Juventus and Boca Juniors, but while I think Manchester United could be on a par with those teams, I wouldn't put them above Real Madrid. I'll agree that they have better marketing initiatives than Real Madrid (in the United States for example), but I don't think they're a bigger name.

 

As for their team's history, Real Madrid have nine European Cups and plenty of league and cup wins. Manchester United have two European Cups. If you apply the old 'you have to have been the champions to have a European Cup count' criteria, then Manchester United only have one European Cup while Real Madrid have, I think, seven. Put simply, they've just been better.

 

I would say it has to be a European team because the top South American players all seem to want to come over to Europe and play in European leagues for financial reasons as much as anything, but in terms of the whole package, I would say it is definitely Real Madrid who are the biggest club in the world.

 

As for the comment about the Nou Camp (Camp Nou), it might have rubbish floating around in places but it's hardly in disrepair. I was last there two years ago and even if it wasn't spotlessly tidy (hardly the defining factor in being a big club) it was still a very impressive place, more so than the Bernabéu or any other grounds in Britain I've attended. I've not been to Old Trafford so I couldn't say what that's like, but I'd hardly label the Nou Camp a toilet (Celtic Park and the Bernabéu look nicer but they're not as imposing as stadiums go in my view). However, I still think that's irrelevant in deciding how big a club is, especially when you bear in mind Schalke's stadium and even at a lower level the George Reynolds Arena!

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I think most of you seem to be missing the major factor as to why players like Ronaldo, Zidane, Figo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo would rather play for Real Madrid or Barcelona instead of Manchester United, it's because 2 of the aformentioned teams reside in sunny sunny Spain, whereas the other resides in rainy rainy Manchester.

 

United are the best supported club in the world, with millions of fans in the US, Asia and Scandinavia. I disagree with MLM saying Beckham was behind United being succesfull in sales of merchandise etc. The United merchandise machine was in full swing long before Beckham made his name but I can't dispute the fact that the guy sold a few T-Shirts, I just dont believe it's mainly down to him.

 

If you're going on money, you have to say Chelsea, with Mr Abramovich willing to freely chuck his billions down the Kings Road toilet, they can match any transfer fee for any player they want.

 

Real Madrid and Manchester United are inseperable for me in this argument, you can make strong arguments for both. Yes Real Madrid have won 9 European Cups, but many of them were won before any other teams of any calibre bothered to take part.

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I'll try to make this my last post in this thread.

 

MLM, you basically said it all in your post. My own personal opinion is that Real are bigger, but its not like they're MILES bigger, they just about edge it for me. My point about the best in the world consistently going to Barca & Real wasn't to say that ALL the best players in the world play for them; it was merely to show that United can't attract the same calibre of player that Real or Barca can, which I think must have at least SOME bearing on your decision as to who's the biggest. Yes, Manchester is rainy, but most players are very career-driven, and won't mind a little rain if it means that they are playing for the best.

 

I know a lot of people think United. I personally think Real. But I'm not gonna try and change anyone's mind. Let's just agree to disagree :)

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