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msafiri 96 Zaki make it in to the top ten of favourite players for African fans. Fans in Kenya and Uganda were exceptions to the rule, with Arsenal emerging as the favourite team across both countries and new Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas named as their favourite player. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger also scooped favourite manager, completing a hat- trick for the London club. Despite the majority ( 38%) of those in South Africa supporting Manchester United, fans name Liverpool stars Fernando Torres ( 43%) and Steven Gerrard ( 42%) as their two favourite players ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo. Nigeria and Bolton legend Jay Jay Okocha is the only African player to feature in the list of top ten players of all time according to African fans, coming out ahead of Fernando Torres and former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel. Nigerian fans are especially patriotic. The majority ( 42%) are confident that their ' Super Eagles' team can conquer the likes of Brazil, Spain and Argentina to bring home the FIFA World Cup in 2010. THE GREAT DEBATE The majority of African supporters have tipped Man United ( 32%) to retain their Barclays Premier League crown, ahead of Chelsea ( 28%), Liverpool ( 21%) and Arsenal ( 18%). African fans are also tipping Spain ( 21%) to win the 2010 FIFA World Cup, followed by Brazil ( 17%) and Argentina ( 16%) while Nigeria ( 10%) and Ghana ( 2%) also make the top ten. Some 63% of African fans think that Brazil produces the best footballers, followed by Euro 2008 winners Spain ( 11%) and Argentina ( 7%). Q The analysis was carried out as part of ongoing research by Barclays, the official global title sponsor of the Barclays Premier League, to better understand the attitudes and lifestyles of football fans around the world. fan focus FOOTBALL Nwankwo Kanu Fernando Torres Steven Gerrard Amr Zaki David Swao Q Age: 36 years Q Location: Nairobi, Kenya Q Favourite Barclays Premier League team: Manchester United Q Favourite Player: Cristiano Ronaldo Q Why? Because his game is entertaining to watch. He has a wide range of ball skills, does the unexpected, is a lethal finisher and can change a game in a flash. Q Best African players in the Barclays Premier League: Michael Essien, Yakubu Ayiegbeni, Obafemi Martins, Salomon Kalou and Emmanuel Adebayor. Q What I enjoy about the Barclays Premier League: It is the only league in which virtually all elements of the beautiful game are evident – passion, technical ability, physical fitness, directness and goals galore! The supporters are fantastic. It is also full of surprises on the pitch, with many top clubs often losing to smaller clubs. Above all, the influx of foreign stars has transformed viewership of the Barclays Premier League into a global sporting cultural pasttime. Q Other comments: The global excitement and passion that top Premier League games generates season after season is testimony that it is indeed the mother of all leagues. Just as well, seeing as England is the home of the beautiful game!

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