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Real Madrid pushes Man U off the top of valuable list

China Daily | Updated: 2013-04-19 08:20

Spanish giant Real Madrid has replaced Premier League powerhouse Manchester United at the top of the Forbes list of the world's most valuable soccer teams.

United had held first place since business analyst Forbes started compiling the list in 2004, but has been overtaken by Real in the latest rankings.

Barcelona, the Spanish league leader, is in third place, while United's Premier League rival Arsenal is fourth ahead of newly crowned German champion Bayern Munich.

Real Madrid pushes Man U off the top of valuable list

Real Madrid is valued at 2.15 billion pounds ($3.3 billion), making the Spanish club the most valuable sports franchise in the world, and United at 2.07 billion pounds.

Forbes said: "This is the first time since Forbes began valuing soccer teams in 2004 that Manchester United is not No 1 on the list.

"Real Madrid has been consistently delivering the highest revenues of any soccer team in the world, despite an intense economic meltdown in Spain.

"With superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch, and coach Jose Mourinho on the bench, Real Madrid has thrived under the leadership of billionaire President Florentino Perez.

"According to this year's soccer valuations, the top 20 teams are worth an average of $968 million, an increase of 26 percent over last year."

Paris Saint Germain's David Beckham (pictured) still tops the list of highest-earning soccer players with earnings of 33 million pounds, 29 million pounds of which came from endorsements.

Ronaldo is second with earnings of 28.8 million pounds and Barcelona's Lionel Messi is third with 26 million pounds last year from salary and endorsements.

Agence France-Presse

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