Arsenal eclipse Manchester United in China, take next step in global footballing hegemony

Shaun Botterill

I guess all those tours of Asia are paying off.

Arsenal are now the most popular soccer team in China, according to a poll conducted by Coventry University's Center for the International Business of Sport last fall. They've surpassed other world powers like Manchester United and AC Milan.

What's the key? Well surely those yearly preseason tours of Asia are helping, but t's not just that. Looking at the results, China's favorite international team is Germany and, as you know, a link between Arsenal and the Germans is growing stronger.

"Fans are more likely to support a club team when players from their favorite national squad regularly make the starting line-up," said researcher Jiajia Song, who worked on the survey.

"This means players like Mesut Ozil and Lukas Podolski, both German international players and players for Arsenal, are likely to fulfill an important commercial and marketing role for club, country and league."

I think we all know why Arsene Wenger is really targeting German players now. It's not just because they're good. It's because they're really big in China. Just look at Podolski.

Yeah. Really big in China. Keep up the great work, Poldi.

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