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