IT’S NOT just the Premier League big boys who can boast of a fanbase in far-flung locations around the globe.

City have picked up some unlikely supporters across the world, including a corner of South America.

Francisco Martinez and Benjamin Martos have never seen their team play. But anyone who follows the club’s social-media pages will have noticed their regular presence.

Their @bantamsarg Twitter page is even followed by the club themselves – something that the friends from La Plata are very excited about.

They first became interested in City’s fortunes as young boys playing on the Xbox, attracted by the unique claret and amber colours.

“We discover Bradford City with the game called FIFA 11,” said Francisco. “We fell in love with the shirt at that time.

“Then in the following years, with the same gameplay too, we continue playing with Bradford City, from League Two or League One to the Premier League. We’ve played the Champions League and trying to win all the titles that we can!

“Along with that, we also followed the seasons of the club. But we can’t watch the matches so we see all the summaries.

“We have not subscribed to iFollow, and any other platform, because the economy in Argentina is too bad. But we want to because we want to see the matches.

“Normally, we follow matches by your tweets and the club tweets.”

The 20-year-olds hail from Pehuajo, a small town in the Buenos Aires province, and have known each other since 2009 when they went to the same primary school.

They are now both studying journalism at the National University of La Plata.

Francisco supports Racing Club in Argentina and Benjamin is a fan of Boca Juniors but they have a common affiliation with the Bantams.

“Football is something vital for a big part of the country here in Argentina,” added Francisco.

“Now with all this coronavirus, we miss it so much.

“But we will continue with our Twitter account because we have become very big fans of Bradford City and our dream is to travel there. Obviously, when the situation with COVID-19 has passed.

“We can remember the moment when we defeated Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. We couldn’t believe it and were so happy.

“In June 2019, we decided to create the Twitter account and now we have started up another on Instagram with the user name @bantamsargentina.”

Remarkably, they are not the only Bantams-oriented social media page in Argentina.

There is also another Spanish-language Twitter account, @BCAFC_LatAm, based in Rosario. Francisco and Benjamin spoke to them once but had different opinions of how to work with their pages.

The other one is run by 16-year-old Ivo Soboleosky, who was attracted to the Bantams by their FA Cup giant-killing at Stamford Bridge.

He said: "I was at home watching the match and wanted Chelsea to lose. I'm not a big fan of (Jose) Mourinho and I thought it would be a beautiful thing for a League One team to beat them - and that's what happened.

"After that match, I was always aware of the results and how the club was doing."

Francisco and Benjamin are approaching 800 followers in a year and are keen to keep spreading the word. They have compiled an “efemeride Bantam”, or Bantams diary, to chronicle the season - at least up to the middle of last month when it should have finished in normal circumstances.

Francisco added: “We think that Stuart McCall is the perfect manager for this situation.

“About the players, we understand the situation with the economy but we like (Jake) Reeves and (Shay) McCartan and would like Richard O’Donnell to stay at the club. We also like Connor Wood and Clayton Donaldson.

“Our favourites are Hanson, we want him back, Darby, we miss him), Billy Clarke, Nahki Wells, Marshall, Andrew Davies, McArdle, Duke and the manager Phil Parkinson.

“We like the lower divisions of the English football. We are happy to support the club in this bad situation, because we love Bradford City and we also follow the women's team on Twitter.

“When we talk about Bradford nobody (else) knows because all people in Argentina watch the Premier League.

“We always hate (Marcelo) Bielsa, and now that he is at Leeds, we hate him more!

“Our objective with this account is to be nearer to the club and learn more about the history. Hopefully, we can continue to build up our followers and be more recognised.

“Now we are starting to achieve that and preparing things to share that we are learning all the time.

“The dream for both of us is to travel to England. We want to go to the city and the stadium and meet the fans.

“We want to stay there and feel what Bradford means for the people living in the city and we hope that they will accept us and like us.”

City fans can also find out more about them by following their personal Instagram accounts at @franmartinezs99 and @benjamartos.