Manchester United lost title as world's most valuable football club on Forbes list
Real Madrid have replaced Manchester United as the most valuable football team in the world in the latest Forbes list.
Last Updated: 17/04/13 6:23pm
United have been ranked top since business analyst Forbes began compiling the list in 2004, but they have now been dethroned by Real while Barcelona are third and Arsenal fourth ahead of Bayern Munich.
Real Madrid are valued at £2.15billion, which also makes them the most valuable sporting franchise in the world, while United are worth £2.07billion.
Forbes said in a statement: "This is the first time since Forbes began valuing soccer teams in 2004 that Manchester United is not No.1 on the list.
"Real Madrid has been consistently delivering the highest revenues of any soccer team in the world, despite an intense economic meltdown in Spain.
"With superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo on the pitch, and coach Jose Mourinho on the bench, Real Madrid has thrived under the leadership of billionaire president Florentino Perez.
"According to this year's soccer valuations, the top 20 teams are worth an average of $968million (£634m), an increase of 26% over last year.
"Forbes' team values are enterprise values (equity plus debt) that are based on multiples of revenue that teams garner from television, premium seating, media, licensing, merchandise and concessions."
David Beckham still tops the list of highest-earning soccer players with earnings of £33m, £29m of which came from endorsements. Real Madrid's Ronaldo is second with earnings of £28.8m and Barcelona's Lionel Messi in third place with a total of £26m last year from salary and endorsements.