With 20 English football titles, Manchester United is the most decorated football club in England. Their history as an English football powerhouse is undeniable. Because of this reputation, Manchester United has attracted some of the most talented English footballers. English players like Wayne Rooney, Bobby Charlton, and David Beckham have all called Manchester United their home at some point. With better players comes more wins, a cycle of success that has worked in Manchester United’s favor over the years. The club’s tradition of success has given them one of the largest fan bases in the world. Each year, United is always in the mix for a title. Their prominence in English football and beyond has earned them the #4 spot in FanWide’s European soccer rankings.
The European soccer scene is unique in that it consists of 5 different comparable leagues. Unlike sports like football and basketball in the USA, which have teams that have competed against each other for years, some European soccer teams might face each other once every five to ten years. Naturally, ranking these teams is a challenge. FanWide’s goal in ranking the top ten European soccer teams was to use metrics that acknowledge the fact that not all teams get a chance to play each other. By using metrics like FanWide’s fan data, the focus in our rankings was split between on and off-field success. As a result, our top ten ranking consists of the most prominent, internationally significant European soccer clubs, accounting for but not solely relying on titles and wins. In the coming weeks, FanWide will be rolling out the top ten, building up to the reveal of the #1 soccer club in Europe. Check out this blog, for a breakdown of the metrics.
European Soccer Top 10:
8. Juventus FC
7. Chelsea FC
4. Manchester United
Manchester United Ranked:
|Fan Clubs (FanWide)||38||6|
|Champions League Wins (all time)||3||5|
|UEFA Player of the Year Top Ten Finalists (since 2014)||1||7|
|Attendance (Average 2018)||74,500||3|
|Forbes Value (in billions)||4.12||1|
|Total Social Media Followers (in millions)||118||3|
|Domestic League Titles (all time)||13||5|
|Domestic League Titles (since 2009)||3||5 (tie)|
Fan Clubs (according to FanWide): 38 (6th)
Manchester United currently has 38 listed fan clubs in FanWide’s fan club network. Over time, the club has established a widespread fan base with devoted fans across the globe, especially in America. If you are a Manchester United fan who wants to set up a local fan club in your city, let us know!
All-Time Champions League Wins: 3 (6th)
Manchester United has won the Champions League 3 times in their history- they took home the trophy in 1968, 1999, and most recently, in 2008. The 2008 title was won by a Manchester United squad lead by Cristiano Ronaldo (though goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar was the hero of the final). A lot has changed since then. Manchester United’s 3 Champions League wins have given them significant international attention. Their ability to contend for a title each year is what has allowed them to attract star players. Like all clubs, Manchester United hopes to add another trophy to the case soon.
UEFA Player of the Year Top Ten Finalists (since 2014): 1 (7th-tie)
Manchester United has fielded many top-tier players in their history. From Ryan Giggs and Bobby Charlton to Wayne Rooney and David Beckham (to name a few), many great footballers have called Old Trafford their home. While they have seen historically iconic players, in the past five years, only 1 United player has cracked the UEFA Player of the Year Top Ten. Speaking of icons, this player happened to be Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who managed to make the list at #10 in 2017 (at age 35). With one of the most talented managers in soccer, Jose Mourinho, and as much prestige as one could ask for, Manchester United is sure to see more superstars in the future- and all of the success and popularity that come with them.
Attendance (Average 2018): 74,500 (3rd)
Manchester United’s impressive home-match attendance is made possible by their iconic arena, Old Trafford. The second largest football stadium in the United Kingdom (behind Wembley), Old Trafford has given Manchester United the gift of capacity since it became their home in 1910. Even with approximately 75,000 available seats, Manchester United manages to fill the stadium to capacity during almost every match. Manchester United’s ability to sell out games is a testament to their prominence in their community. With rival club Manchester City just a few miles away, Manchester United does not have a monopoly on the territory, but their attendance data wouldn’t let you know it. There are enough football fans in Manchester to go around.
Team Value: 4.12 B (1st)
According to Forbes, Manchester United is worth 4.12 billion USD, making them the most valuable soccer club in the world. The club is unique in that it is essentially a publicly traded company. Stock in the parent company, Manchester United plc. is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Manchester United is owned by the fans (and savvy investors), and as the stock price rises, so does the club’s worth. The Forbes estimation considers match day revenue, broadcasting deals, merchandise sales, and outstanding debts.
Aggregate Social Media Followers: 118 million (3rd)
FanWide accounted for Manchester United’s 25.4 million Instagram followers, 18.7 million Twitter followers, and 73.9 million Facebook likes in this ranking (as of February 2019). Their social media portfolio proves that Manchester United is one of the most followed soccer clubs in the world.
Domestic League Titles (Averaging All Time + Recent Win Rankings): 5th
Manchester United has won 3 English football titles in the past 10 years and 20 in their history. Their 3 titles since 2009 are tied for the most in the EPL in that span (Chelsea and Manchester City have also won 3). With a whopping 20 league trophies, they hold the record for the most English titles won. Team for team, the English Premier League is arguably the most competitive football league in the world, and historically, Manchester United has led the pack. Because of this, they have often been able to attract the best English talent. English born players like Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, and Bobby Charlton have fueled Manchester United’s success. Manchester United’s knack for winning titles has made the club one of the most prestigious in the world. Now, nobody can talk about English football (or soccer in general for that matter) without mentioning “The Red Devils”.
Manchester United currently sits at #4 in FanWide’s European soccer club rankings. No matter where you live or travel, you can find Manchester United fan clubs and watch parties near you through FanWide, the world’s largest fan club network.
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