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A worldwide survey conducted by Barclays has seen the Manchester United talisman overtake Torres as the most highly-rated footballer, with Ryan Giggs hailed as the best ever

The Red Devils' chief striker, Wayne Rooney has been voted as the best player in the Barclays Premier League according to the 2012 Barclays Global Fans Survey.

30,000 strong supporters participated in a survey through a dedicated website on the league over the past 12 months, with one in five fans voting for the England international.

The 27 year old Rooney topped the vote with almost one third of Malaysia fans voting him as the best current player in the Barclays Premier League. 

Upon hearing the news, Rooney said: "It’s great to be recognised by the fans in this survey. I get messages from fans all over the world so I know how popular the Barclays Premier League is outside of the UK.”

The Croxteth born striker takes over from 2008 favorite, Fernando Torres.

Arsenal’s prodigious forward, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain on the other hand has been voted as the most exciting new prospect over the next five years with the young England star claiming 19% of the votes.

David Wheldon, Barclays Managing Director of Brand, Reputation and Citizenship said: "It is fascinating to get fan views on the Barclays Premier League. With more than 30,000 fans from nearly 200 territories taking part in the poll we are able to show some genuine insights into who fans follow, their favourite players and how they enjoy keeping up with the Barclays Premier League.

"Social media is having a real impact allowing fans to debate and interact with other fans, something that has grown hugely since the last survey in 2008 when channels such as Twitter and Facebook were still in their infancy."

From the current set of the Barclays Premier League players, 27% would select Rooney as the first name on the team sheet, followed by Robin van Persie (15%) and Steven Gerrard (12%).

The best Barclays Premier League player of all time category meanwhile is dominated by Manchester United with Ryan Giggs voted first with 15% of votes, Wayne Rooney trailing with 10% of votes and closely followed by United legend, Eric Cantona lying third with 9%.

At the other end of the career scale, 19% ranked Arsenal youngster Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as the most exciting prospect over the next five years, Tom Cleverley (12%) and Jack Wilshere (10%) close behind.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson topped the poll yet again as the fan's favourite Barclays Premier League manager with a dominant 52%, whilst the Malaysian viewers are desperate for a Jose Mourinho return with (43%) for bosses who they would like to see in league.

Behind the Barclays Premier League in most popular leagues, the UEFA Champions League (88%) was way ahead of its nearest challenger La Liga (69%).

The Barclays Premier League is most appealing to the Malaysian viewers due to the players plying their trade in the league (57%). Very close behind were style of play (52%) and competitiveness (47%).

Fans pointed to a club’s style of football as the key reason behind supporting a team with 37%, with an impressive average of 13 years is spent following the outfit.

On the social media front, Rio Ferdinand takes the honor of being the top tweeter with 33% of the votes followed by his teammate, Wayne Rooney with (20%)

Another interesting fact revealed by the survey is the average number of hours spent by watching the Barclays Premier League per week is 4.26.

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