Ronaldo Tops Soccer Shopping, Donovan & Altidore Make Strong Showing for U.S.

I’m a Manchester United fan and my coworker, Marko, is a Liverpool supporter. The debate about which team is better is pretty simple (especially because United won the league this season) because it’s settled on the field. FIFA passes out a Player of the Year award every year, but that argument is a bit more subjective. Popularity isn’t necessarily proportional to talent, but they are closely related and although we may not be able to crown the best player in the world here, we can take a look at who is the most popular in the U.S. (based on visitors to popular soccer retailers online).

Andy Says: Although Man Utd. can’t officially claim Ronaldo anymore, a lot of his popularity was built while playing for the Red Devils, so I’ll count it as a win, adding Most Popular Player to the list of trophies he has brought to the team (many would argue that he brought "Most Hated Player" too). 

Marko Says: It should be noted that Ronaldo was never part of Man U F.C. but rather the Manchester diving team that trains across the street. If you want to talk about proper footballers who have command of their weak side as well as respect the game, just trim that diva of an outlier off the top.

Andy Says: Now that he has officially left Manchester United anyway, I’ll refrain from defending Ronaldo (as it looked like so many opposing defenses did last season). Speaking of defending"¦ when the U.S. defense was gift-wrapping goals in the Confederations Cup, how did Liverpool golden boy, and 6th on this list, Fernando Torres manage to get shut down? 

Marko Says: I have to give it to the U.S. national team on this one. They shut down the Spanish team which had not lost a game in their previous 35 matches! Well done gents, well done Tim Howard. Although the Confederations Cup is not the most prestigious of all competitions, America and the world took notice.

It will be interesting to see if that strong showing and the interest in the big match against Mexico today will push U.S. players higher on this list than Landon Donovan at 13th and Jozy Altidore at 20th. We’ll keep an eye on the rankings leading up to next summer’s World Cup. Good luck to the U.S. today!