This from the Barclays Premier League press office:
US SOCCER FANS AMONGST THE MOST FANATICAL IN THE WORLD
Thousands of American fans take part in Barclays Global Fans Report – the world’s biggest soccer fan survey
US soccer fans are amongst the most fanatical about their soccer of any in the world with 64% of the 3,500 that completed the survey saying they would watch as many matches as they could. 98% of US respondents were big fans of the Barclays Premier League, the top soccer league in England, ahead of the soccer World Cup, which was appreciated by 93% of fans in the USA, and 36% who followed Major League Soccer.
Of the 32,000 fans from 185 countries around the world who took part in the survey, more than 10% who completed it were from the US, undermining any theory that soccer is not popular in the States. US fans also watch more matches than other global fans (48% of global fans would watch as many matches as they could against 64% of US fans).
Published by Barclays, official global title sponsor of the Premier League, the report reveals style of soccer (27%) and atmosphere/passion of the fans (23%) are the most appealing aspects of the English game, according to the average US fan.
American fans also vote:
– Spain’s Fernando Torres, striker at Liverpool, as their favorite current Barclays Premier League player (34%).
– Thierry Henry, formerly of Arsenal, as the favorite player of all-time (38%), ahead of David Beckham (27%) currently playing for Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS.
– Sir Alex Ferguson of Manchester United as their favorite current Barclays Premier League manager (28%)
– Former Chelsea and current Inter Milan boss Jose Mourinho as the manager they would most like to see return to the Barclays Premier League (56%)
– Barcelona maestro, Lionel Messi, as the player they would most like to see in the Barclays Premier League (45%), closely followed by AC Milan playmaker Kaka (42%)
-Manchester United’s stadium, Old Trafford (28%) and Liverpool’s Anfield (24%) as their favorite stadiums in the Barclays Premier League.
– Manchester United as the most popular Barclays Premier League club in America (25%), with Liverpool (22%), Arsenal (17%) and Chelsea (14%) accounting for the majority of the remaining support.
Aston Villa and former U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel said: “The Barclays Premier League has gone from strength to strength in the 11 years that I’ve been playing in England and it’s certainly proving to be up there with the MLS in terms of popularity for fans in the USA.”
Gerard LaRocca, Chief Executive of Barclays Capital Inc., the firm’s New York-based broker
dealer said: “The 2008 Barclays Global Fans Report has attracted a fantastic response from over 32,000 fans from 185 countries, or over 90 percent of all countries around the world, making it the biggest survey of its type ever undertaken.
“As a topic of conversation soccer is twice as popular as all other sports combined, three times more popular than TV and four times more popular than politics. It’s a great unifying force and it proves that soccer really is the world’s game, and the Barclays Premier League is its favorite competition.”
Soccer with 44% comes second only to family matters (48%) as the most important activity in US fans lives. TV is the favored medium for following a live match (87%), while 52% favor using the Internet via PCs to keep up to date with news and results.
85% of fans declared that the Barclays Premier League was the soccer competition they followed above all others, while 80% would prefer to see their favorite Barclays Premier League team win the title above seeing their favorite US team winning the MLS title.
The analysis was carried out as part of ongoing research by Barclays, title sponsor of the Barclays Premier League, to better understand the attitudes and lifestyles of soccer fans around the world.