LONDON: Barcelona have leapfrogged Spanish rivals Real Madrid to become the world's most valuable football club with a valuation of US$4.76 billion, according to a list published by business magazine Forbes on Monday.
Real Madrid, who have topped the list five times in the past, edged Barcelona 2-1 in 'El Clasico' on Saturday but find themselves second best off the pitch with a valuation of US$4.75 billion.
Forbes said the average worth of the top 20 clubs has increased by 30 per cent from two years ago to US$2.28 billion despite the COVID-19 pandemic impacting matchday revenue, which fell to US$441 million last season - down 9.6 per cent from 2017-18.
"The pain is far from over, with a worsening decline in matchday revenue during the current season, as most of the teams in Europe's top leagues still permit few fans to attend games," wrote Forbes' assistant managing editor Mike Ozanian.
European champions Bayern Munich (US$4.215 billion) are third on the list while the Premier League's 'Big Six' - Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur - are in the top 10.
French champions and last year's Champions League runners-up Paris St Germain moved up to ninth after being valued at US$2.5 billion with a 129 per cent increase in two years - the biggest increase among the top 10 clubs.