The annual list of the world’s richest sports clubs has once again been published and is topped for the third straight year by Spanish soccer club Real Madrid, according to the BBC. The list is often seen as controversial with the value of a club often being argued over by rival fans reading over the list. The Cristiano Ronaldo led Real Madrid are given a total value of around $3 billion, which is just higher than joint second placed franchises the Dallas Cowboys and new York Yankees. Soccer clubs feature heavily in the top ten with Real’s main Spanish rivals Barcelona named as the fourth richest club in the world and iconic English club Manchester united fifth.
Aside from the three European soccer clubs the rest of the top ten places are taken up by US based franchises, including two from the NFL and two from the NBA. The sole remaining place for a US baseball team is given to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who join the other clubs on the list as being given an average value of just over $1.5 billion.
The timing of the annual rich list comes at an opportune moment for Real Madrid President Florentino Perez, who has found himself under pressure for his role in the departure of legendary goalkeeper Iker Casillas from the Spanish giants. Departing Barcelona captain Xavi, whose career closely followed the Real Madrid goalkeepers in terms of years and success has been vocal in his criticism of the two attempts at a farewell given to the goalkeeper after he signed for FC Porto, The Guardian reports. Casillas was initially given a send off through a press conference where he sat alone and appeared to cry as he announced leaving the Spanish club to assembled journalists. In contrast, former Barcelona captain Xavi was given a live TV special as a send off, during which the Barcelona captain was celebrated by former players, staff members and dignitaries from around the world. A second farewell for Casillas saw a long speech given by Perez in front of a handful of supporters who assembled on a Monday afternoon to cheer on their departing goalkeeping hero.