Manchester United were declared the world’s most popular club today after a survey found they had 659 million fans.
The Old Trafford club, which has 19 top-flight titles to its name, topped the popularity list after, Kantar, a market research agency, who gathered 54,000 respondents from 39 countries.
United – recently named the most valuable club in world sport – was identified as the favourite team of 659 million followers around the world, with 325 million fans in Asia, while football remained the world’s most popular sport as Kantar found that it had 1.6 billion followers globally.
Richard Arnold, the club's commercial director, praised the long-term strategy that has made Manchester United the number one club in the world’s number one sport.
He said: "Manchester United has built on a tradition of iconic players, iconic teams and iconic achievements – Beckham, Busby, Benfica ’68.
“Now our games are broadcast to 1.15 billion households globally, to an audience of over four billion a year.”