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Barcelona vs Real Madrid: Which is the most valuable team according to Forbes?

As Barcelona host Real Madrid this weekend in a crucial El Clásico fixture, we take a look at their respective places on Forbes’ sporting rich list.

Joseph McMahon
Madrid outrank Barça as richest club in the world
ANDREW BOYERSAction Images via Reuters

It’s one of the most fiercely-contested rivalries in all of sport. Barcelona and Real Madrid dominate Spanish football and will seize any opportunity to outdo the other, whether it’s on the pitch or off it.

With legions of fans around the world and a glittering array of trophies there is no doubt that Barca and Madrid and amongst the biggest sports teams on the planet, but how do they rank financially?

According to the Forbes rich list, the most valuable sports teams are American. The Dallas Cowboys lead the business magazine’s ranking with an estimated overall value of $8 billion. They are followed by two fellow NFL franchises: the New England Patriots ($6.4 billion) and the Los Angeles Rams ($6.2 billion).

In 2022, the most recent data available, there was very little to choose between the two sides of the El Clásico rivalry, but Los Blancos just shaded it. Forbes estimate that Real Madrid have a value of $5.1 billion, while Barcelona are worth $5 billion.

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Forbes’ most valuable sports teams top 10

Before reaching soccer, a number of other American sports clubs are listed in the top 10:

1. Dallas Cowboys - $8 billion

2. New England Patriots - $6.4 billion

3. Los Angeles Rams - $6.2 billion

4. New York Yankees - $6 billion

5. New York Giants - $6 billion

6. New York Knicks - $5.8 billion

7. Chicago Bears - $5.8 billion

8. Golden State Warriors - $5.6 billion

9. Washington Commanders - $5.6 billion

10. Los Angeles Lakers - $5.5 billion

Forbes’ most valuable sports teams 11-20

11. New York Jets - $5.4 billion

12. San Francisco 49ers - $5.2 billion

13. REAL MADRID - $5.1 billion

14. Las Vegas Raiders - $5 billion

15. BARCELONA - $5 billion

16. Philadelphia Eagles - $4.9 billion

17. Houston Texans - $4.7 billion

18. Denver Broncos - $4.65 billion

19. Manchester United - $4.6 billion

20. Miami Dolphins - $4.6 billion

Forbes’ most valuable football teams

Real Madrid is the most valuable footbal team in the world, coming in at No. 13, just two places in front of Barcelona in the list of all professional sports teams. The Spanish clubs are first and second in the soccer category, in front of Manchester United, an international sports brand that has dropped into third place after many years at the front of the pack.

Real Madrid and Barcelona had been in the top 10 until recently, but the US sports teams have found ways to grow financially and overtake the top European soccer clubs.

Ten years ago the top three teams on Forbes’ list were soccer teams. Although the Premier League has a very lucrative TV deal, it can’t compare with the $112 billion agreement the NFL has signed through 2032. In fact there are 30 NFL teams in Forbes’ top 50 list and the sale in 2022 of the Denver Broncos for $4.65 billion is proof that these numbers are grounded in reality.

Other soccer clubs that are in the top half of the 50 most valuable sports clubs are Liverpool (No. 22), Bayern Munich (No. 23) and Manchester City (No. 24). Paris Saint-Germain (No. 49) and Chelsea (No. 50) round out the list and are the last soccer clubs that are represented in Forbes’ research.


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