While 27% of British football fans list Messi as their favourite player, nearly the same number (26%) say so of Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford.
Both Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo (whom 21% of Brits say is their favourite) have dominated the global football scene for years and they are the only non-Premier League players to appear on our list. UK-based fans have been able to pick them as their favourite stars without the bitterness of choosing a player from one of their rivals, making the size of Rashford’s fan base rather interesting. Rashford, of course, has been making waves both on and off the pitch and it’s possible his high-profile activity around food poverty has had an impact on his favourability here.
England captain and Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane appears high on our list, as does Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
One in five Brits list Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk as their favourite player, one of four players from the Premier League’s champion club. Van Dijk is joined on our list by teammates Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Tottenham Hotspur forward Son Heung-Min also appears on our list but there’s no place in the top ten for any player from rivals Arsenal, nor Chelsea
Methodology: Results based on continuously collected data from YouGov’s Profiles tool. Results are based on interviews conducted between January 2020 and January 2021. Sample size is between 306 and 562 British football fans.