Why We Follow United – An Explanation for the Casual Fan

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    A casual soccer fan asks her Facebook friends for help finding a team to root for. This American Manchester United supporter replies with a simple yet passionate explanation of why Manchester United is the greatest football club in the world.

    Last week, ManUtd Boston member Remy noticed a friend’s post on Facebook. She isn’t a big soccer fan, but as she prepared to attend the game in San Francisco she wanted suggestions on who to root for.

    As he tells it, Barcelona fans dominated the comments, most of which proclaimed “Barca!”, “Messi!”, and worst of all, “United are the Yankees!” So, Remy did what any devoted Red Devil would do, and wrote a passionate explanation of why United are the greatest club in the world, which we’ve reprinted below.

    Needless to say, she chose Manchester United.


    United fan here! Judging by all the Barca fans, I’ve got my work cut out for me…

    To start, I don’t think a single United fan would grudge you rooting for Barcelona — they’re almost universally beloved, and play really entertaining soccer. If you rooted for United, it wouldn’t be out of hate for Barcelona.

    But, all these “United = the Yankees” comparisons are ridiculous. The Yankees haven’t developed talent for themselves in decades, and simply buy the greatest players once they hit their primes. (Barcelona’s rival, Real Madrid, actually does this too.) Meanwhile, both Barcelona and United have mirrored the modern-day Red Sox, using their resources to buy a few big-money players to complement the players they’ve developed in their world-class academy systems. As a result, they’ve been 2 of the 4 most successful clubs in the world over the past decade, and the most influential contributors to the English & Spanish national teams over the last 30 years.

    So, here are a few of the reasons to root for United:

    Root for United for the Class of ’92 : a group of 6 friends who joined the club when they were 11, grew up together their entire lives in the club’s youth system, all graduated to the big leagues, and won 35 (!!!) trophies between them over 20 years at the highest level of the sport.

    Root for United for Sir Alex Ferguson : the greatest manager who ever lived (this is pretty much undisputed), who coached at the club for 26 years, single-handedly made the team’s modern success possible, and whose efforts earned him literally every honor in the modern game multiple times over, plus a freaking knighthood to boot. (Oh, and he’s a professor at Harvard now.)

    Root for United for the Flowers of Manchester : the greatest-ever generation of English soccer players, almost all of whom died tragically in a plane crash in Munich in 1958, flying back from a game. United fans still observe their memory every year on the anniversary, Feb. 6th.

    Root for United for Sir Matt Busby : the legendary manager of that Flowers team, who miraculously survived the ’58 Munich disaster despite days in a coma, having been read his last rites twice. He woke up, retired… and then un-retired, to build another title-winning side as a tribute to those who died. Exactly a decade later, that team were champions of Europe. He built those “Busby Babes” through a philosophy that revolved around youth: “If they’re good enough, they’re old enough.”

    Root for United for the 1999 Champions League final, because it’s pretty much why we watch sports.

    Root for United for Cantona, for Giggs, for Best, for Beckham, for Scholes, for Rooney, for Ronaldo, for Robson, for Charlton, for Duncan Edwards. Root for United for Man Utd Boston, the best soccer supporters’ group the city of Boston has to offer. (Yeah, a little biased there.)

    But, most of all, have fun! After all, it’s not like you’re rooting for Liverpool.


    Re-posted from ManUtd Boston.  Click here to view the original article.



    Wil oversees the day-to-day operation of UNITED in the States and refines its tone of voice by coordinating and curating content submissions from regular and guest contributors. A Manchester United supporter for the past 26 years, one of the happiest days of his life was his visit to Old Trafford in October 2011. Wil is a proud member of the Manchester United Fans of Los Angeles.