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Football: Real Madrid, Barcelona top Forbes rich list

Spain may have been embarrassingly dethroned as World Cup holders, but Real Madrid and Barcelona are still champions at making money after they were named as the world's two richest sports franchises.

NEW YORK: Spain may have been embarrassingly dethroned as World Cup holders, but Real Madrid and Barcelona are still champions at making money after they were named as the world's two richest sports franchises.

For the second successive year, Forbes business magazine tagged European champions Real Madrid, where Cristiano Ronaldo plays, as the number one sports team with a value of US$3.44 billion.

Barcelona, the home of Lionel Messi, Neymar and now the notorious Luis Suarez, are second in the chart with a current value of US$3.2 billion, while English giants Manchester United are ranked at three at US$2.81 billion despite their miserable season.

The only other football club in the top 10 are German champions Bayern Munich whose current value of US$1.85 billion is good enough for seventh spot.

The rest of the top 10 is from Major League Baseball and the National Football League.

The New York Yankees are number four, valued at US$2.5 billion with the Dallas Cowboys, worth US$2.3 billion, holding the fifth place.

With 30 teams in the top 50, for the second consecutive year, the NFL occupies 60% of this year's list.

The average value of the top 50 teams is US$1.34 billion, which is an 8 per cent increase from last year, according to Forbes which has been rating the world's leading sports clubs since 1998.

The New York Mets were one of three teams that dropped off this year's list of the top 50 -- the other drop-offs include the Oakland Raiders in the NFL and McLaren in Formula 1.

Forbes top 10:

1. Real Madrid US$3.44 billion

2. Barcelona US$3.2 billion

3. Manchester United US$2.81 billion

4. New York Yankees US$2.5 billion

5. Dallas Cowboys US$2.3 billion

6. Los Angeles Dodgers US$2.0 billion

7. Bayern Munich US$1.85 billion

8. New England Patriots US$1.8 billion

9. Washington Redskins US$1.7 billion

10. New York Giants US$1.55 billion.

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