The Reds have always garnered a huge global following, but in the Nordic countries the club is arguably the most popular foreign team. We look at why this is the case.
Finland may not be a footballing giant, but with a country of only 5.5 million people and freezing winter conditions that halts competitive football for months at a time, it has definitely produced an impressive array of top class footballers. Arguably two of their best exports to the Premier League Sami Hyypiä and Jari Litmanen have both played for the Reds with the two collecting two FA Cups, two League Cups, a UEFA Cup, two European Super Cup and a Champions League trophy between them. It comes as no surprise that having these two footballing legends play for Liverpool, cemented the Reds as the country’s favourite team.
Norway, like Sweden, began to broadcast English football in a show called Tippekampen during the early 1980s. Liverpool’s domination during this period formed a generation of Liverpool fans, that have then passed on their fanship to their children.
Of course, years later the burly Norwegian John Arne Riise would sign for the club, further cementing the nation’s love for Liverpool FC.
Sweden’s love affair began when the state broadcaster began to broadcast English football in the late 70s and 80s in a show called Tipsextra.
This period not only heralded the domination of Liverpool both domestically and in Europe but also the transfer of Glenn Hysén who would go on to play alongside Alan Hansen between 89-92. He was a major factor in Liverpool’s league championship success in the 1989-90 season.
In recent years, online sportsbooks have capitalized on the Swede’s love for the Reds by including references to the club in their marketing. One such example is Glenn Hysén’s multiple appearances in Unibet’s advertising campaigns.
It was a similar story in Denmark who began to broadcast Tips Lørdag in the 80s forming a loyal band of LFC supporters. Many years later of course Jan Mølby and Agger would sign for the club, giving the Danes even more reason to cheer the Reds on.
Iceland & the Faroe Islands
The popularity of LFC in these two island nations is a little harder to explain since neither country has produced a Liverpool player. Iceland’s most famous export is of course Eiður Guðjohnsen who played for Chelsea and Spurs and the only Faroese footballer to play in the Premier League was Gunnar Nielsen who made one appearance for Manchester City. However, in both countries it is Liverpool who enjoys the largest support with thousands of fans part of LFC fan clubs that regularly pack out bars to watch the Reds.
One reason that has been suggested in the past for their love affair with Liverpool that the city was the primary exporter of music to these islands during the 60s, most notably the Beatles. Add to this the fact that Liverpool is a port city like Tórshavn and Reykjavik and you have a natural connection.