Manchester United F.C. will be making their first trip to Houston as they play the MLS All-Stars at Reliant Stadium Wednesday. As one of soccer's most successful and most recognizable clubs, Man U is the sole reason why a record-sellout crowd is expected this Wednesday evening.
Man U is a global brand; they have fans in every continent in the world (yes, that means you too, Antarctica) and sell out stadia everywhere they go. The team's nickname is the Red Devils, which is appropriate because while they are loved by so many, they are just as equally hated. And if you need proof, here are five reasons why so many hate MUFC.
1. They've won many championships
They are by far one of the most successful teams in England. According to their official website, Man U has won a total of 18 domestic championships; tied with Liverpool for the most in England. Man U also has three UEFA Champions League titles as well as the 2008 champions of the FIFA Club World Cup. In total, Manchester United has 57 domestic and international titles in their trophy case.
2. They are the richest club
Their owners don't have the deepest pockets, but Forbes ranks Manchester United as the most valuable sports franchise in the world. According to forbes.com, Manchester United is worth $1.87 billion. Compare that to American teams: the Dallas Cowboys are worth $1.65 billion, the New York Yankees are worth $1.5 billion, and our very own Houston Texans are worth $1.15 billion. Unlike our American teams, MUFC doesn't have a shiny new stadium with tons of corporate seating or stadium naming rights. Man U plays at Old Trafford, a stadium built before anyone reading this was born. Yes, the stadium has gone through a couple of renovations or additions, but Old Trafford is nowhere near as luxurious as Reliant Stadium.
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3. They've had many hated players
The squad coming to town this Wednesday has some likeable veterans; players such as Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, and Rio Ferdinand. But in recent memory, MUFC has had players that were not well-liked by many outside of Old Trafford. Take David Beckham for example, he was hated in England after he was sent off in the
2002 1998 World Cup. Wayne Rooney also met similar criticism when he saw a red card in the 2006 World Cup; plus all he does is bitch and complain on the field, and try to pick fights. Cristiano Ronaldo also played for the Red Devils before he made the switch to Real Madrid; the former World Player of the Year was hated by every other team.
4. They have the snobbiest fans
Man U fans think their shit don't stink. They are estimated to be over 300 million fans world-wide. The team's official website can be viewed in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Japanese. Man U fans appear in movies such as Euro Trip and Green Street Hooligans. At least the Red Army can say they got their asses kicked by Elijah Wood and the Inter City Firm.
5. They are the media darlings of the English Premier League
Every newspaper you pick up, every soccer website you open, its Man U this and Man U that. ESPN Soccernet is guaranteed to have a story of Sir Alex Ferguson on its main page, then a story or two about the team itself. Eventually a story about Chelsea, Liverpool, or Arsenal make the front page, and you have to search "Dynamo" for a tidbit about the Orange, but Man U gets more coverage than any other team.
If these reasons to hate the Red Devils sound oddly familiar, then you must be a Yankee fan or a Cowboy fans. These are the same reasons Americans all over hate the Lakers and the Steelers. Man U is England's version of the Celtics, USC football, and Duke basketball. Hate them or love them, they'll be in Houston to face the MLS All-Stars on Wednesday night.