A study reveals that Barça is the foreign club with the most followers in Brazil. One in four Brazilians follow Barça, a figure that today could be even higher, since the study was carried out in July, just around the time when Neymar signed for the Catalan club . The second club, way behind Barça (24.9%) is Real Madrid (11.8%), followed by Milan (3.7%), Chelsea (2.7%), Manchester United (2.5%), Bayern Munich (2%), Boca Juniors (1.4%) and PSG (1.1%).
Fans of Club Atlético Mineiro, Ronaldinho’s current team, are the ones who most follow Barça: up to 30%. Gremio fans come second, as 29.8% consider themselves Barça followers, followed by Fluminense (29.1%), Cruzeiro (29%), Vasco da Gama (28.7%), Corinthians (27.6%), Santos (26.2%), Palmeiras (24.2%), Botafogo (23.9%), Flamengo (23%), Sao Paulo (22.5%) and International (17.1%).
The Brazilian interest in foreign football has been on the increase in recent years. In 2010, more than half of fans (58.7%) admitted that that they did not follow any other club, although Barça was already the favourite amongst the fans, but with only 13.3%. Today, 45.9%, less than half, admit not being fans of any foreign club, but Barça is still at the top, and has almost doubled its percentage of followers (24.9%).
The study was carried out by Stochos Sports Entertainment and figures were obtained from an analysis of 8,345 qualitative interviews, carried out on people over 16 years old.