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Real top Forbes' most valuable club list

Real Madrid have overtaken Manchester United to top Forbes' list of most valuable football teams.

United had been top of the pile since business analyst Forbes first introduced the list in 2004, but now drop down to second. Barcelona lie in third place, while Arsenal and Bayern Munich are fourth and fifth respectively.

Real are valued at £2.15 billion, making them the most valuable sports franchise in the world, and United at £2.07 billion.

Forbes said in a statement: "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 dollars (£634 million), an increase of 26% over last year.

"Forbes' team values are enterprise values (equity plus debt) that are based on multiples of revenue that teams garner from television, premium seating, media, licensing, merchandise and concessions.''

David Beckham remains top of the list for highest-earning players with an income of £33 million, £29 million of which came from endorsements. Ronaldo is one place below the former England captain with earnings of £28.8 million, while Lionel Messi sits in third place with a total of £26 million from his salary and endorsements.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report

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