Manchester United prove popular in survey of Australian football fans

Conducted by English Premier League major sponsors Barclays, the survey illustrates firmly where the allegiances of many Australian football fans lie Indonesia   By GOAL.COM

They lead the English Premier League, and Manchester United also topped several categories in a survey of Australian football fans conducted by the competition's major sponsor Barclays.

Strike duo Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie - with 17 goals between already this Premier League season - have been voted the equal-most popular players, each gaining 13 percent of Australian fans' votes.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard [12 percent] and another United player Ryan Giggs [eight percent] were the other players to prove popular among more than 1500 Australians who took part in the survey.

The Barclays survey - completed by more than 30,000 fans worldwide - also demonstrated what other competitions are followed closely in Australia.

The Uefa Champions League proved the second-most followed competition behind the Premier League, gaining 82 percent of Australian votes. 

The A-League came in equal-third with Spain's La Liga with 32 percent, with the Europa League [12 percent] also proving popular.

Returning to the player categories, Gigg and Thierry Henry were equal-top of the best Premier League player of all time with 12 percent, with Gerrard [10 percent] again figuring highly.

In the dugout, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is clearly regarded as the league's best with 35 percent, while former Chelsea rival Jose Mourinho - with 29 percent - was the coach most fans wanted to see return to England's top flight.

With an eye on the future, it was Arsenal attacker Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with 16 percent, who beat out Jack Wilshre [12 percent] and Tom Cleverley [seven percent] as the player fans think will have the biggest impact on the Premier League over the next five years.

Wrapping up United's domination of the survey, 18 percent of Australian fans believe veteran Red Devils defender Rio Ferdinand is their 'top tweeter' on social media platform Twitter.

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