The final whistle blew. As the last cleat left the field, World Cup fans began the four-year long wait for the internationally revered tournament’s return. However, soccer junkies around the globe have found another outlet to feed their addiction: club soccer.
When the World Cup ended this past July, fans were already beginning their preparations for their favorite clubs’ return just a month later. The clubs began training in July because they had taken a break so their players could play for their national teams’ selection.
The first official games would come later in August and September for La Liga, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions league, the English Premier League, and among other soccer leagues.
The yearning for soccer did not remain in Europe, however. All over the world supporters were waiting to see their favorite players hit the field again, Miami included. The city was running rampant with jerseys for some of the most popular teams; girls were wearing Real Madrid C.F. jerseys with “Ronaldo” written across the back, men had FC Barcelona kits with the number 10 highlighted, and Red Devils supporters had Manchester United running proudly across their chests.
At MAST Academy, soccer jerseys fill the halls. Of 152 MAST Academy students polled, 22.7 percent of club soccer supporters root for Real Madrid C.F., 20.5 percent for FC Barcelona, 9.1 percent for Manchester United F.C., and 6.8 percent for FC Bayern Munich, with the remaining 40.9 percent supporting clubs like Paris Saint-Germain F.C., Manchester City FC, and Chelsea F.C., among others.
Freshman Gregory Healy supporter of the Spanish giants, FC Barcelona said,“I grew up around friends who always watched their games, and I love their style of play.”
Worldwide, when taking into account the club’s respective social media following, FC Barcelona sits atop the list as the most popular club, with Real Madrid C.F and Manchester United F.C. coming in a close second and third.
Social Studies teacher and Red Devils supporter Kevin Mullin, spoke about his passion for the club. “Life’s always great as a Manchester United fan,” he said.
Both Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona play for the Spanish league, La Liga BBVA, while Manchester United F.C. plays in the English Premier League.
The rivals face off in the UEFA, Champion’s League games, occasionally meeting in the final viewed by over 400 million viewers. Soccer, worldwide, has been growing at an exponential rate. The UEFA Champions league final had nearly 300 million more viewers than the Super Bowl, and the World Cup surpassed a billion viewers this summer.
Additionally, every year soccers biggest rivals, Real Madrid and Barcelona, face each other in a match dubbed El Clásico.
The fiery passion for soccer has been burning throughout the rest of the World for a long time now, and the United States are just now catching up.