US business magazine, Forbes has named Real Madrid the most valuable football team in the world for a fourth year in a row.
Madrid which is taking on Atletico Madrid in this year’s Champions League final, leads the way, and coming closing behind are rivals Barcelona, with Manchester United sitting in third place.
Real Madrid is worth $3.65 billion, 12% more than last year and more than any sports team in the world (after Dallas Cowboys). Their annual revenue is $694 million (£480m), a slender advantage over Barcelona in both categories.
The Forbes study also ranked Real Madrid as the world’s second richest sports team, behind only the Dallas Cowboys American football team, which it valued at $4bn (£2.77bn). Real Madrid has generated more revenue than any soccer team for 11 straight seasons.
Six Premier League teams feature in the top 10, with United joined by Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.
Spanish giants, Barcelona are shown to have a value of $3.549bn (£2.46bn), Manchester United are the highest Premier League club on the list, valued at £2.28billion.
Forbes said the top 20 teams are collectively worth an average of $1.44 billion, 24 percent more than the teams that filled those positions 12 months ago, citing increased income from television contracts and kit deals.
The valuations are calculated by equity plus net debt, with the revenue and operating income figures taken from the 2014/15 season. West Ham and Newcastle are also in the top 20, alongside some of European football’s biggest names.
Cristiano Ronaldo has also been ranked as the world’s highest-paid footballer by Forbes. The Real Madrid star was said to have earned a total of $82 million (£56.7m), with an annual salary of $53m (£36.7m) and $29m (£20m) in endorsements.
The 31-year-old Portugal captain, who became the world’s most expensive player when he joined Madrid from Manchester United for £80m in 2009, signed a lucrative new five-year contract at the Bernabeu in 2013.
Forbes say Ronaldo earned $82 million last year to not only rank as the world’s highest-paid footballer but the world’s highest-paid team athlete.
Second on the list is Barcelona forward Lionel Messi on $77m (£53.3m). The the 28-year-old’s $51m (£35.3m) salary is augmented by $26m (£18m) in endorsements.
Below is the list of Forbes’ top 10 world’s most valuable football teams 2016:
- Real Madrid: $3.645bn (£2.52billion)
- Barcelona: $3.549bn (£2.46bn)
- Manchester United: $3.317bn (£2.3bn)
- Bayern Munich: $2.678bn (£1.85bn)
- Arsenal: $2.017bn (£1.4bn)
- Manchester City: $1.921bn (£1.33bn)
- Chelsea: $1.661bn (£1.15bn)
- Liverpool: $1.548bn (£1.07bn)
- Juventus: $1.299bn (£900m)
- Tottenham: $1.017bn (£704m)