LONDON, United Kingdom, Sep 16 – Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the most Googled Premier League player this year.
The 34-year-old was the most popular player in 36 out of 120 countries where sufficient data was available up to mid-August, according to Google Trends.
Ibrahimovic topped the charts in Russia and dominated large swathes of Scandinavia, Asia and the Middle East. He also topped France – the home nation of the second-most searched player, Paul Pogba.
Pogba signed for United from Juventus for a world record fee of £93.25m in August and was the most popular player in 29 countries, including Kenya, Canada, Australia and several African nations.
Some way behind the United duo were Chelsea’s Pedro (seven countries), Leicester’s Jamie Vardy (five) and Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil (three).
Vardy was most popular in the United Kingdom, as well as in Cyprus, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, Zimbabwe and Bermuda.
Bojan Krkic, Ramadan Sobhi, Riyad Mahrez, Sergio Aguero and Xherdan Shaqiri all topped two countries apiece, while another 29 players claimed one each.
Besides Vardy, four other English players dominated territories outside the UK: Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling topped the USA, Manchester United’s Michael Carrick in the Gambia, Chelsea’s John Terry in Taiwan and Tottenham’s Dele Alli in Jersey.
Other Premier League stars that proved surprise favourites in faraway lands included Phillipe Coutinho in Zambia, Juan Mata in Thailand, Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Somalia and Adnan Januzaj in Swaziland.