Real Madrid, Barcelona among Forbes world's most valuable football teams

For the first time since Forbes began ranking the world’s most valuable soccer teams a decade ago, two Spanish teams, Real Madrid and Barcelona, have grabbed the top two spots. During the 2012-13 season Real Madrid generated revenue of $675 million–the most of any team in history in any sport–and are now worth $3.44 billion, 4% more than a year ago. Barcelona posted the second-most revenue ($627 million) and are worth $3.2 billion, up 23% from last year.

1. Real Madrid

Neither Real Madrid or Barcelona have peaked due to their consistently great play on the pitch–both domestically and in the lucrative Champions League–and commercial success.

Led on the pitch by Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid is in this year’s Champions League final after trouncing last year’s winner, Bayern Munich, in the semi-finals by an aggregate of 5-0. As a result, Real Madrid’s Champions League bounty will surpass the $62 million they took home last year when they were eliminated in the semi-finals by Borussia Dortmund. Real Madrid’s success and strength as a global brand has helped it sign a $52 million a year kit deal with adidas and a $39 million per year shirt sponsorship with Emirates.

Prior to being ousted by Spanish rival Atletico Madrid in the quarter-finals of this year’s Champions League, Barcelona had made it to at least the semi-finals every year going back to 2007-08. The stellar run on Europe’s biggest stage, fueled in large part by the scoring of Lionel Messi, has enabled Barcelona to monetize its brand with a $45 million a year shirt deal with Qatar and a $44 million per year kit deal with Nike.

Manchester United is the third most valuable team, worth $2.8 billion. The English team’s value decreased 11% during the past year due to its substandard performance this season in Barclays Premier League, which will result in missing out on the next Champions League. But thanks to Manchester United’s $559 million, seven-year shirt deal with Chevrolet that begins this summer, the team’s net loss from missing out on the Champions League will only be about $35 million instead of $55 million.

Read the full report here.

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