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Why So Many Foreign Fans For Manchester United?

Manchester United has long been the most popular team in the world, with fans ranging from the estates adjacent to Old Trafford, to the depths of China and Africa. But what exactly makes so many foreigners support the club?

Fabio Capello signalled an end to a sporting legend's international career with an offhand comment; "Thank you for helping me during the World Cup, but probably (Beckham is) a little bit old," He said.

Beckham's career took a devastating turn earlier in the year when an ankle injury caused him to miss out on what many considered to be his last chance at a world cup. He got involved as a 'special advisor' to the manager and took an active inspirational role in the coaching of the team.

What is possibly the worst part of the whole debacle; Capello did not even have the courtesy to consult Beckham before making his decision public. One of the countries most internationally capped players woke up to newspapers announcing the end of his career, a fate not deserved by someone who has given so much to the sport.

One of Beckham's spokespersons confirmed that there had been no talk of retirement and that "he will always be available for his country, when fit, and if needed he will be there." The manager claimed he had tried to contact Beckham but failed and further commented "I think, I hope, that when David is OK he can play here in a friendly at Wembley to say 'Goodbye' and 'Thank you very much'," Capello said. "I won't pick him for any more competitive games."

Companies realise this and are willing to sponsor the broadcast of the game in their country, therefore more and more people get to watch them. Soon enough these fans have families and children are brought up fans of the club, just as any child in Manchester might be.

Current England captain Steven Gerrard has also fought to not leave Beckham behind in the halls of fame "I'm sure that if he hears that news, it'll drive him on and he'll try to prove people wrong and try to get back in the set-up because I know he loves playing for England." Gerrard said.