By Adam Smith
Last Updated: 20/07/17 9:26am
Which Manchester club has more global support on social media and which players have the most followers? We’ve used Brandtix, Twitter and Google data to find out…
The first Manchester derby on foreign soil will take place during the early hours of Friday morning (UK time), competing for the International Champions Cup in Houston, USA.
Both sides were set to face each other during the pre-season campaign last season in China, but the game was cancelled due to a waterlogged pitch.
Both clubs have enormous global appeal – but which has a bigger global fan base on social media?
Across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, United have 104.2m followers – three times the total of City’s 35m fans, according to Brandtix.
United have more followers than the UK population on Facebook alone with 75.8m fans, another 18.4m on Instagram and 12m on Twitter. In contrast, City have 25.5m followers on Facebook, 5m on Instagram and 4.5m on Twitter.
Across the three platforms over the last three months, Jose Mourinho’s side have had greatest social support in Great Britain (33.58 per cent), USA (9.39 per cent), Nigeria (8.39 per cent), India (6.03 per cent) and South Africa (3.77 per cent).
City have generated fan bases in similar locations, with a majority in Great Britain (42.65), followed by USA (18.13 per cent), Brazil (3.52 per cent), Nigeria (3.35 per cent) and India (2.91 per cent).
United’s dominance for global appeal is even greater on Google search, with the Red Devils generating four times as many queries than the Citizens since July last year.
In fact, City were more popular than their neighbours in just five countries around the world for internet search: Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, Monaco and Romania.
The most discussed Premier League moment on Twitter last season came in the first Manchester derby when Claudio Bravo gifted Zlatan Ibrahimovic an equaliser, generating 32,000 tweets per minute.
The next two most popular moments involved United, with N’Golo Kante’s first goal for Chelsea to put the Blues 4-0 up at Old Trafford sparking 31,000 tweets per minute, followed by Paul Pogba’s first goal against Leicester on 30,000 a minute.
Following Wayne Rooney’s move to Everton and Ibrahimovic’s departure, City’s Sergio Aguero is the most followed player from the Manchester clubs on social media with 29.9m followers.
Pogba is the next most popular player on 26.8m, followed by David de Gea (21.4m), Juan Mata (20.3m), Marouane Fellaini (8.2m), Kevin De Bruyne (7.3m), Vincent Kompany (7.3m), Claudio Bravo (7m), David Silva (6.7m) and Ander Herrera (6m).
In the Premier League, only Mesut Ozil (60.9m), David Luiz (51.5m) and Rooney (51.4m) have more fans on social media than Aguero and Pogba.
United’s latest signing Romelu Lukaku has acquired more fans in the last week than any other player at the two clubs, picking up 229,000 new followers, while Gabriel Jesus leads City during the same period with 69,000 additional fans.
United also dominate a combined XI of most mentioned players on Twitter, with De Gea in goal, behind a back three of Marcos Rojo, Eric Bailly and Kyle Walker, a midfield quartet of Leroy Sane, Pogba, Herrera and Raheem Sterling, and a front three of Lukaku, Aguero and Marcus Rashford.