Real Madrid ranked number one on Forbes’ list of richest football clubs with a value of $3.3bn (£2.2bn), breaking Manchester United’s streak since 2004. Man Utd came in second place at $3.17bn, Barcelona third ($2.6bn) and Arsenal fourth ($1.33bn).
This achievement means more than a victory for the team. In the midst of one of Spain’s worst economic recessions, it’s uplifting for the country that some businesses are still coming out on top.
Even beyond the revenues, this success comes with a slew of sports happiness in Spain. Winning two European cups in a row, one world cup, plus Rafa Nadal on the tennis court and Fernando Alonso on the Formula 1 race-car track — they just don’t stop.
Real Madrid turned into an international money-making giant thanks to its billionaire president, Florentino Perez, and has remained on top with star players on the field such as Cristiano Ronaldo, and the charismatic, grumpy coach, Jose Mourinho.
Ranking number one on Forbes for Real Madrid also means beating its arch enemy, Barcelona. Their rivalry means more than sports, though. Divided by history, politics and their own language, Barcelona claims to Catalonia, one of several separatists regions in Spain.
Barcelona is basking in glory and some of Barca’s players, like Leo Mesi, are dropping jaws across the globe. What’s more, the team has been known to obliterate Real Madrid on more than one occasion, on national soil.
But Real Madrid is still richer.