Manchester United is an English professional football club that plays in the English Premier League and are currently the reigning Premier League champions.
Founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club, the club changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to their current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910.
Manchester United are the most successful English club in history; winning a record 19 league titles, a record 11 FA Cups, four League Cups, a record 19 Community Shields, and three European Cups including two UEFA Champions League trophies.
Nicknamed the Red Devils, they are the first and only English club, when in 1999, they completed the Treble of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League in the same season.
Manchester United are one the wealthiest and most popularly supported football clubs in the world. According to Forbes magazine in July 2011, United were ranked as the world's richest sports team with a value of $1.86 billion and an estimated global following of 333 million supporters.
The current owners, the Glazer family, purchased the club in May 2005 in a deal worth £800 million. Despite protests and resistance from supporters concerned for Manchester United's future financial security, results on the pitch have not been affected and the club continue to compete for major honours each season.
The current manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has been at the Manchester United helm since 1986 after leaving Scottish club Aberdeen. Under his leadership, Manchester United have enjoyed the most successful era in their history and have remained the powerhouse of English football for much of his reign.
Manchester United's biggest rivals include city rivals Manchester City, who have emerged as a major title contender in recent seasons following their takeover by the Abu Dhabi royal family.
Other major rivals include Liverpool and Leeds United, the Liverpool rivalry goes back to the time of the Industrial Revolution, while the history with Leeds stems from the War of the Roses.
Manchester United's captain is Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic, although full-back Patrice Evra has donned the armband more regularly this season due to the long-term injury sustained by Vidic at the beginning of the campaign.
Other notable Manchester United players include midfielder Ryan Giggs, who is the most decorated footballer in the club's history; winning 12 Premier League titles, four FA Cups, four League Cups, two UEFA Champions Leagues, and the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup. Giggs also holds individual records including most Premier League appearances for a player (593), most appearances for a Manchester United player, and is the first player to score 100 league goals for United.
Midfielder Paul Scholes has also made a large impact for Manchester United, helping them to ten Premier League titles, two League Cups, and two UEFA Champions League titles during his time at the club.
Striker Wayne Rooney is currently considered Manchester United's talisman and has led the club to the top of the Premier League table this season with 24 goals. The England forward needs another three strikes to surpass his scoring record for a single season.
Manchester United's kit manufacturer is Nike, while their current shirt sponsor is Risk management organisation Aon.
United are currently five points clear at the top of the Premier League and are closing in on their 13th Premier League trophy.