You can either consider the following numbers with a grain of salt or consider them the gospel of truth.

Manchester United claims to have 659 million fans around the world. The iconic English Premiere League franchise revealed the results of a survey performed by Kantar Media that showed they have DOUBLED their worldwide fan base in the last five years, since a similar study was done in 2007.

Some 71 million of the 313 million U.S. population are fans. In other words, 22.6 percent of Americans support Man U.

The statistics are even more jaw dropping elsewhere. Forbes reports that Manchester United claims 90 million supporters in Europe, 173 million in Middle East and Africa, 325 million in Asia Pacific, including 108 million in China.

Kantar Media interviewed some 54,000 people in 39 countries to come up with the numbers that have left many flabbergasted. Overall, soccer has 1.6 billion followers globally, as it remains the world's king of all sports.

Manchester United's worth an astonishing $2.24 billion, according to Forbes, with the club's TV channel broadcast in 54 countries with a potential audience of over 1.2 billion. Soon that number will grow even higher as they expand into India and China.

Although 659 million supporters is certainly impressive, Man U has plenty of room to expand its fan base with over seven billion humans sharing planet earth.

-- Follow Ben Maller on Twitter @BenMaller.

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