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Real Madrid Most Valuable Club according to Forbes

See? The club DID finish first in something this season.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Some good news following yesterday's 2-1 Champions League loss to Juventus, Forbes has announced that Real Madrid is the world's most valuable football club for the third straight year.

Via Forbes:

Real Madrid is the most valuable team , worth $3.26 billion, mainly due to $746 million in revenue, the most of any sports team in the world. This is the 12th time we have ranked soccer teams and Real Madrid has been the most valuable team the past three years. Over that span, Los Blancos have averaged annual operating income of $171 million, second among soccer teams only to Manchester United's $173 million (the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys averaged operating income of $241 million to lead all teams). Led by super striker Cristiano Ronaldo, who holds the all-time goal record in UEFA club competition, Real Madrid earned $154 million from Champions League play for the three-year period through 2014, the most of any team.

Rounding out the rest of the top-5 are Barcelona, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

What does the future hold for Real Madrid and these rankings? It could go either way but indications are positive despite a small value decrease from last season. For one, the league has recently approved a new TV package in which TV rights will be sold collectively and not individually, thus reducing the colossal financial gap between Real Madrid and Barcelona and the rest of the league. For example, last season the two giants shared approximately €280 million between them while Atletico Madrid only received €74.5 million. With the new deal, factors such as season standing, last five seasons' standing and the club's "social weight" will determine the payout received. Overall, it shouldn't affect Real Madrid too much  in terms of how much they'll earn in the short run but the competition will receiving more funds (as they should for the sake of stability and competitiveness).

Secondly, should the club's proposal for a stadium renovation be approved, and despite mixed reports it hasn't been ruled out yet, value should soar further as revenue will surely increase. Third, given Manchester United and Bayern Munich's recent megadeals when it comes to sponsorships, especially Bayern's colossal partnership with Adidas, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that Real Madrid will seek to renegotiate their own deal to not be left behind in the dust. Also keep in mind the club's recent partnership with tech behemoth Microsoft.

While the club's debt is worryingly high, at least the powers-that-be, including the oft-maligned Florentino Perez, are doing what they can to ensure the club's brand grows and thus brings in more money each season. Though an approach to fiscally-savvy Bayern Munich would be more preferable, both in terms of transfer spending and external financial dealings, at least the club is in no immediate danger of crippling repercussions or FFP limitations.

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