Real Madrid named most valuable football team ahead of Barcelona and Manchester United

Story highlights

  • Forbes names Real Madrid the world's most valuable football team
  • Real valued at $3.44 billion, with Barcelona second on the list on $3.2 billion
  • European Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid rated 17th
  • Manchester United ($2.81 billion) ranked third, ahead of Bayern Munich ($1.85 billion)

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will go head-to-head later this month to decide which football club is the finest in Europe but, when it comes to the bottom line, there is only one winner.

The city rivals will battle it out in the Champions League final on May 24 in Lisbon, but Atletico look to have their work cut out given the financial disparity between the two clubs.

Nine-time champions of Europe Real top a Forbes list of the world's most valuable football teams, with Los Blancos reportedly worth $3.44 billion.

The Santiago Bernabeu stadium team, which boasts the talents of FIFA Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo, posted a revenue of $675 million for 2012-13, with an operating income of $172m.

In contrast, Atletico is way down the the financial pecking order, with Forbes ranking Atletico 17th, valuing Los Rojiblancos at $328m.

Read: Ronaldo injured as Real falter

Even so Atletico are punching above their weight in the Spanish league title and with two matches two go, Diego Simeone's Atletico team is top of the table -- three points ahead of second-placed Barcelona and four points clear of Real in third.

Atletico have surprised many with an impressive run to the final of Europe's premier club competition -- the first time the club has reached this stage of the competition in 40 years.

Barcelona are ranked second by Forbes, valued at $3.28 billion, with Manchester United worth an estimated $2.81 billion in third spot.

Current European and German champions Bayern Munich are next on the lists with a valuation of $1.85 billion, with London club Arsenal ($1.33 billion) completing the top five.

Forbes Most Valuable Football Teams 2014:

1.Real Madrid ($3.44 billion)

2.Barcelona ($3.2bn)

3.Manchester United ($2.81bn)

4.Bayern Munich ($1.85bn)

5.Arsenal ($1.33bn)

6.Chelsea ($868 million)

7.Manchester City ($863m)

8.AC Milan ($856m)

9.Juventus ($850m)

10.Liverpool ($691m)

Read: Man City closes in on EPL title

Read: Paris Saint-Germain crowned French champions

      Football Focus

    • French football great bids adieu

      After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
    • Mario's 'Queen' tweet tops 2014 list

      He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
    • bpr south african soccor senzo meyiwa death _00000402.jpg

      Loss of a South African 'icon'

      Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
    • German alleged jihadist Kreshnik B (R) listens to his lawyer Mutlu Guenal (L) as he arrives at the higher regional court in Frankfurt. His face is pixelated for legal reasons.

      From Jewish football to ISIS suspect

      Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
    • Where has 'Super' Mario gone?

      One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
    • Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.

      Should rapist return to work?

      Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
    • Teen, 15, makes Euro history

      Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.