Football is and has long been the world’s most popular sport – and it isn’t particularly close. According to one estimate, there are some four billion people in the world who consider themselves to be football fans, with cricket in second place at roughly two and-a-half billion. That’s an extraordinary number of football followers, and an even more extraordinary margin, laying to rest any doubts as to what sport the majority of the world would label its favorite.
In keeping with this popularity, there its now quality football just about everywhere in the world. While the established hot spots, so to speak, are in Europe and South America, these regions don’t tell the whole story. Africa and Australia have incredibly rich football traditions; East Asia and the United States are making major pushes to establish stronger football; even some more remote or isolated nations like Iceland have produced inspiring football stories. The sport is simply played at a high-quality level all around the globe.
This is wonderful for supporters, but it also means that following world football is often more complex than simply watching matches on TV or even buying a specialized football television package. There are too many leagues, players, teams, and nations to effectively monitor in this fashion. For the informed, enthusiastic fan, more is required – ideally, a combination of television programs, streaming services, and apps.
Bearing this in mind, here are some of what we’d recommend as the best services for following world football across multiple platforms and mediums. Note: You may need a VPN like IPVanish to unblock some services in your country.
- Fubo TV – Fubo TV is a fairly extensive cable alternative that costs $45/month to subscribe to. However, unlike some of its alternatives in this ever-expanding category, Fubo TV is also sports- and football-centric. While football isn’t the entire point of the service, the leagues you can watch through Fubo TV are unmatched in covering the bulk of world football. It’s a must-have service for a true football fanatic who wants access to as many live matches as possible.
Note: You may need a VPN to unblock Fubo TV in your country.
- Sling TV – Sling TV is one of the other cable alternatives worth mentioning here. It is actually among the most popular options in general for cord-cutters, whether or not they have interest in football or sports, and offers a range of regular channels as well (for news, entertainment, etc.). However, it can be a cheaper alternative to most cable packages that include a range of football channels. For between $25-$40/month, users can gain access to the ESPN family of channels, FS1 and FS2, NBC Sports, Fox Sports, and more, all of which are among the popular channels that show the most football.
Note: You may need a VPN to unblock Sling TV in your country.
- ESPN+ – ESPN+ is a fairly new services, and a way for ESPN to hang onto cord-cutters for televised content. It was initially billed as a sort of second dimension of ESPN’s long-running “Insider” program, but has quickly evolved into a full-fledged streaming service – and one that frequently shows international sports beyond what’s regularly available in the United States. This includes football from various parts of the world. It’s not as extensive as Fubo or Sling, but it’s also far cheaper.
Note: You may need a VPN VPN to unblock ESPN+ in your country.
- Onefootball App – As you’re likely aware, or would expect, there are dozens of apps out there designed to help people follow football, and truth be told many of them are fantastic. Onefootball might be the best for customization however, which is why it’s essential for football fans around the world. Carrying news, analysis, live scores, and schedules, the app can be configured such that you follow the teams and leagues that interest you, and receive the alerts you want regarding those subjects.
- Forza Football App – Forza Football is a lot like Onefootball in its ability to help people follow the teams and leagues they’re most interested in, and receive the notifications they want. However, with this app there’s more of a focus on live action. While it doesn’t stream matches, Forza Football is essentially the next best thing, providing real-time, in-match updates, as well as offering fan polls and some other interactive features. For those who want up-to-date analysis but may not always have time to sit and watch matches, it’s essential.
- FootballScores UK – FootballScores UK is a service primarily built for browser use, though compatible with mobile viewing as well. And it’s more or less exactly what it sounds like, posting live football scores and updating the moment a goal is scored. The service also provides mobile updates, such that it’s essentially another alternative to some of the apps just mentioned, though also one suitable for those spending time on a computer or tablet and seeking a desktop option. This site also has a “quick click” betting component, for those who like to wager on their football interests.
- ESPN – It’s almost dull to include ESPN because it’s essentially the closest thing to an all-inclusive sports coverage platform in the world. The fact remains though that even without focusing primarily on football, this site carries a ton of football information. For written analysis and news updates, as well as scores and statistics, ESPN is still a spectacular service to use, as is its accompanying app.
- BBC Sport – Similar to ESPN, BBC Sport is a legitimate rival when it comes to comprehensive sports coverage, and arguably focuses more on football. Here again, the website and app alike are ideal for news, updates, scores, statistics, and highlights. BBC Sport doesn’t necessarily solve streaming needs, but it’s still a necessary website to have on hand, and app to download.