Despite Man United’s major fall from grace, which has seen them fail to win the title for going on seven years and without any real sign things are going to improve, they remain – and perhaps always will remain – one of the biggest clubs in world football.
In fact, the Red Devils were recently ranked the sixth most valuable sports team in the world by Forbes, sitting behind the New York Knicks, Barcelona, Real Madrid, the New York Yankees and the Dallas Cowboys – all of whom are truly lucrative entities in their respective sports.
And if we’ve learned one thing about modern football, it’s that value is intrinsically linked to global following.
It means that when United travel to Asia – or any other part of the world for that matter – they’re met by hordes of ecstatic fans, who are dying to catch a glimpse of their favourite stars in the flesh for the first time.
The most recent leg of United’s pre-season journey has led them to Shanghai, where arguably the biggest market in the world exists by virtue of population.
And it seems their hosts couldn’t be happier to have them.
Especially this man, whose day/week/year was made when Juan Mata lobbed a signed shoe to him in the stands.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 24, 2019
Whether it was actually his shoe to claim remains to be seen, but it’s the sentiment that counts right?