Manchester Soccer Teams: The Biggest Clubs in Manchester

Football can easily pass for the most popular sport in the United Kingdom and one of the best football destinations in the region. 

When football fans hear the name Manchester, I daresay that just two teams come to their minds, especially fans of the Premier League who reside outside the United Kingdom. 

Greater Manchester is the origin of two of the very popular clubs in the United Kingdom and the Premier League namely; Manchester United and Manchester City. Regardless, there are more teams in Greater Manchester and you’d learn about them in this article.

How many Premier League teams are in Manchester?

Based on the events of the 2021/22 Premier League season, there are only two Manchester teams in the Premier League and they’ve established themselves as household names in the Premier League and worldwide. They are:

Manchester United

Owned by the Glazer Family, namely, Avram, Joel, Kevin, Bryan, Darcie, and Edward Glazer, and presently managed by Ralf Rangnick and set to be replaced by Ajax Boss Erik Ten Hag according to reports.

Manchester City

Owned by Sheikh Mansour and presently managed by Pep Guardiola. They are the defending Premier League champions and are on the right track to defending their title in the 2021/22 season. 

What is the finest and most decorated football club in Greater Manchester?

Manchester United is the most successful club in Manchester in terms of trophies won. United has won the Champions League, the Europa League, the Club World Cup, and the UEFA Super Cup. 

Manchester’s largest and most successful football clubs 

  1. Manchester United
  2. Manchester City 
  3. Bolton Wanderers
  4. Wigan Athletic

I’m sure fans of the Premier League would be surprised to see the third and fourth teams on the list. 

The positive is that they are not unfamiliar names having played in the Premier League before suffering relegation. Meanwhile, both teams presently participate in EFL League One, the third tier of English club football.

Manchester United

manchester soccer teams - old trafford

Manchester United Football Team, sometimes known as Man United, is an English Premier League football club that is located in Greater Manchester. 

They are also known as The Red Devils,” and grew from a local club to a global brand, becoming one of the most successful soccer clubs not just in Manchester, but in the world. 

Founded in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR Football Club, Manchester United formally changed its name to Manchester United twenty-four years later in 1902. 

  • Name: Manchester United Football Club
  • Man United, UTD, or simply United is the abbreviation for Manchester United. 
  • The Red Devils’ stadium is known as Old Trafford. 

The Premier League 

Manchester United has won more trophies than any other club in the country, making them one of the most successful English football teams in history. 

United has a record 20 Premier League League crowns, 12 FA Cups, five EFL League Cups, and 21 FA Community Shields. 

On the European stage, the club has also won a number of trophies to add to its collection. 

Man United has three UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (now defunct), one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup (now defunct), and one FIFA Club World Cup. 

In 1998–99, United became the first English club to win the continental European treble. They are also one of the clubs with the most fans worldwide as a result of their success over the years. 

The Red Devils face stiff competition from Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal, and Leeds United. 

Manchester United Achievements and Trophies 

Manchester United is one of Europe’s most successful soccer teams in terms of trophies won. 

United dominates the domestic landscape in England, and the club is also one of the most successful in history on the international stage. 

Domestic Titles

Premier League – 20 wins (a record)

Man United has won the most Premier League titles (20) than any other club in the country. 

In terms of overall titles, the club’s first Premier League title, won at the end of the 1992–93 season, was the ninth. 

Manchester United was the first club in the newly formed Premier League’s history to win the title at the end of the 1992–93 season. 

The club won its first championship in 1907–08, followed by a second three years later in 1910–11. It took Manchester United 42 years to win the Premier League in 1951–52. 

From 1951–52 to 1966–67, the team won five trophies in 15 years, signaling the start of a new era for the Greater Manchester-based club. 

The English Premier League was created in 1992, and Manchester United was the first team to win the title at the end of the 1992/93 season. 

The next year, in 1994, Manchester United successfully defended their title. 

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They lost the title in 1995 but came back to winning ways and reclaimed it in 1996, relying on it to win the food year again in 1997. The club then went on to win three consecutive championships in 1998–99, 1999–2000, and 2000–01. 

Manchester United won the Premier League title for the second time in consecutive fashion in 2006–07, 2007–08, and 2008–09. 

They last won the English Premier League in the 2012–13 Football League season in England and since then have been a shadow of themselves as they’ve not been able to hire a manager to replicate Alex Ferguson’s successes at the club.

FA Cup – 14 

With 12 titles, United is the second-best team in the history of the English FA Cup, trailing only Arsenal. 

The club won two championships in 1982–83 and 1984–85. The club won four FA Cups in 1989–90, 1993–94, 1995–96, and 1998–99. 

The club’s first championship was in 1908–09. United has only won two FA Cups since the early 2000s, the most recent of which came in the 2015–16 season. 

Football League Cup/Carabao EFL Cup – 5

Between the 2008–09 and 2009–10 seasons, United won the EFL League Cup back-to-back times. The club’s first championship came in 1991–92. 

FA Charity Shield/FA Community Shield 

With over 21 FA Community Shield titles, Manchester United is the most successful team in the competition’s history. 

The club’s first victory came in 1908, followed by another three years later in 1911. In the 1950s, the club won three more trophies in 1952, 1956, and 1957. 

In the 1990s, the club dominated the Community Shield, winning five titles in 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, and 1997. 

United has won over seven trophies in the contemporary period, which began in the 2000s. 


UEFA Champions League 

3 titles 

United’s position as one of the top football clubs in Europe is not a claim, but rather a result of the club’s efforts. 

Between 1967–68, 1998–99, and 2007–08, United won three UEFA Champions League titles. 

UEFA Europa League 

1 in 2016–17 

UEFA Super Cup 

1 in 1991 


FIFA Club World Cup – 1

Manchester United won the FIFA Club World Cup following an outstanding season in Europe. The club qualified for the Club World Cup by winning the UEFA Champions League in 2007/08. 

United won their first FIFA Club World Cup title after defeating Ecuadorian side LDU Quito. 

Other European trophies won include:

  • European Cup Winners’ Cup – 1 
  • Intercontinental Cup – 1

However, the two tournaments are no longer in existence. 

Manchester United Rivals

Manchester United has a few bitter rivalries in both England and Europe. In the current era of football, the club has major rivalries with teams such as Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, and Leeds United. 

Manchester Derby – Rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City 

This is one of the most anticipated English Football derbies in recent memory. The two teams are currently among the most powerful in the country and the Blues being referred to as the Noisy Neighbors by Alex Ferguson spiced up the encounter.

Manchester United is far ahead of City in terms of pedigree, the number of championships won, and historical exposure. 

The two clubs are currently among the most powerful in world football. Man City has been completely revamped after its purchase by City Football Group.  The first derby between the two teams took place in 1881. 

The teams had played 187 matches across all competitions as of August 30, 2021. Manchester United has won 77 games, Manchester City has won 57 games, and 53 games have resulted in a draw. 

Man United has a record 66 major titles, whereas Man City has 29 major trophies. 

Liverpool vs. Manchester United Rivalry 

In England, Manchester United and Liverpool have a high-profile inter-city rivalry. It is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest football rivalries. 

The first time the clubs met was in an April 1894 Football League test match, which Liverpool won. The two clubs are the most successful English football clubs on the European and global stages. 

Presently, Manchester United leads the rivalry with 81 victories to Liverpool’s 69, with the remaining 58 meetings ending in a draw. 

Manchester United vs Leeds United Rivalry

The rivalry between the two teams is known as the Roses rivalry or the Pennines derby. Northern England and Manchester have a long history of rivalry. It is also a significant rivalry between the two clubs. 

Arsenal vs. Manchester United Rivalry 

Manchester United and Arsenal have played each other numerous times in English football history. Since the commencement of the Premier League era, the rivalry between the two teams has been heated but has been watered down in recent times.  

The match between the two sides at Manchester United’s home pitch is known as the “Battle of Old Trafford.” Former managers of both clubs, Sir Alex Ferguson (United) and Arsene Wenger (Arsenal) had a heated rivalry. 

Manchester City

biggest football clubs in manchester

Manchester City Football Team is an English Premier League football club based in Greater Manchester. St. Mark’s (West Gorton) Football Club was founded in 1880 and was renamed Ardwick Association Football Club seven years later. 

In 1894, the club was renamed Manchester City. 

  • Name: Manchester City F.C. 
  • Man City, or simply City, is the abbreviation for Manchester City.
  • Nicknames: City, Cityzens, The Citizens, and The Sky Blues.
  • Venue: Etihad Stadium
  • League: Premier League. 

Manchester City Achievements and Trophies 

Manchester City won its first championship in 1904 with the FA Cup. 

Despite being founded in the late 1960s, the team has won the Premier League, European Cup Winners Cup, FA Cup, and EFL League Cup. 

In 2019, Manchester City sent a statement across the Premier League by winning four trophies. 

Manchester City is one of the most successful teams in England in terms of trophies won, and it is also one of the most decorated teams in the country. It can be said that they also play the best brand of football in the Premier League under Pep Guardiola.

During the 2018–19 season, Manchester City became the first football club in England to win all of the major English titles in a single season. 

In the 2018-19 season, Manchester City won the Premier League, FA Cup, and League Cup, as well as the FA Community Shield. 

Domestic Titles won by Manchester City

Premier League 

The Citizens won the Premier League in the old National Division twice, the first time in 1936–37 and the second time in 1967–68. 

Manchester City has won 7 titles in the English Premier League era. The Cityzens won the championship two years in a row, in 2017–18 and 2018–19. 

Manchester City is currently one of England’s most prestigious football clubs. 

  • Manchester City has six FA Cup victories. 
  • 8 Football League Cup / EFL Cup 
  • 6 FA Charity Shield / FA Community Shield 

International Titles

  • 1 – UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup (defunct). 
  • 1 – UCL Title (2022/23)

Manchester City’s Rivals 

The rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool 

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The Cityzens developed a noteworthy rivalry with Liverpool FC, which is now regarded as one of the world’s biggest football rivalries. 

Since the arrival of Pep Guardiola, the club has progressed from a typical Manchester club to a worldwide known side in terms of the team, individual player qualities, and so on. 

The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City was visible throughout the 2018-19 season when Man City won the Premier League title by a single point over The Reds. 

They’ve also renewed the rivalry in the ongoing 2021/22 season as just one point separates both sides on the log with just 7 games to go. 

manchester soccer teams - etihad

The game billed as a showpiece between both sides took place on April 10, 2022, and ended in a 2 all entertaining draw at the Etihad ensuring that the Citizens remain at the top.

Manchester Derby – Manchester City vs. Manchester United Rivalry 

The Manchester Derby is one of the world’s greatest local rivalries. 

The two teams are just a few miles apart and compete in top English competitions such as the Premier League, EFL League Cup, FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League on a continental level. 

Other notable rivalries for Manchester City in the United Kingdom include:

  • Tottenham Hotspur vs. Manchester City 
  • Chelsea vs. Manchester City 
  • Bolton Wanderers vs. Manchester City 
  • Manchester City vs. Oldham Athletic. 
  • Stockport County vs. Manchester City. 

Bolton Wanderers

Bolton Wanderers Football Team is a professional English football club headquartered in Bolton, Greater Manchester, that plays in the EFL League One.

The club was founded in 1874 as Christ Church Football Club, and three years later it was renamed Bolton Wanderers. 

The team has won the EFL Championship, and the FA Cup, and made significant participation in the UEFA Europa League. 

  • Name: Bolton Wanderers Football Club 
  • Bolton is a short name. 
  • Nicknames: The Trotters, The Wanderers, and The Whites 
  • The stadium is known as the University of Bolton Stadium. 
  • League: EFL League One. 

Wigan Athletic Football Club 

Wigan Athletic Football Club is a professional football club in League One based in Wigan, Greater Manchester. 

The club was victorious in the FA Cup. Wigan Athletic was a member of the UEFA Europa League. 

  • Wigan Athletic Football Club is the name of the club. 
  • Wigan is the short name. 
  • The Latics and The Tics are two nicknames 
  • DW Stadium is the venue. 
  • EFL League One 

Other Greater Manchester Football Clubs 

  • Abbey Hey F.C
  • F.C. United of Manchester
  • Fletcher Moss Rangers F.C.
  • Maine Road F.C
  • Manchester Central F.C.
  • Manchester City W.F.C
  • Manchester North End F.C
  • Manchester United W.F.C.
  • Northern Nomads F.C
  • Northwich Manchester Villa F.C
  • Salford City F.C
  • West Didsbury
  • Chorlton A.F.C.
  • Wythenshawe Amateurs F.C.
  • Wythenshawe Town F.C.

Final Words

Football in Manchester is being dominated by Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in recent times. They are the team to beat in Greater Manchester and in England. They continue to improve and dominate the Premier League but the same can’t be said of their local rivals.

Manchester United, on the other hand, has been on a decline since the departure of Alex Ferguson and has been blowing hot and cold. 

No manager has been able to bring them back to their era of dominance and despite the acquisitions, they’ve made in supposedly quality players, coupled with the return of Cristiano Ronaldo.

They are in danger of finishing outside the top 4 at the end of the ongoing 2021/22 season. The Red Devils are presently glorying in their prestige as they’ve not made any significant achievements in recent years. Regardless, we’ve thrown more light on Manchester soccer teams as well as the biggest clubs in Manchester.