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Manchester United, David Beckham Head Up Forbes Soccer Lists

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April 21 (Bloomberg) -- Manchester United tops Forbes magazine’s list of the world’s most valuable soccer clubs with an estimated market value of $1.86 billion, while David Beckham is the world’s richest player.

United, owned by the Florida-based Glazer family, is followed by record nine-time European Cup winner Real Madrid, which is valued at $1.45 billion, Forbes said on its website. London-based Arsenal, which American Stan Kroenke took control of last week, is third at $1.19 billion.

Forbes determined the value using previous sales, broadcast agreements and debt. Real Madrid was ranked as soccer’s richest club by sales in a review published by accountant Deloitte LLP in February, with United third behind Barcelona.

The average value of the 20 clubs on the list increased by 1.3 percent over past year to $640 million, while operating income rose 25 percent to $40 million, Forbes said.

United, which is closing in on a record 19th English championship, led last year’s list on a value of $1.84 billion. The club’s global appeal has attracted 333 million supporters worldwide and its commercial revenue of $122 million grew at a more than 10 percent rate, Forbes said.

Bayern Munich, at $1.05 billion, was the only other club to top a billion in value, with Barcelona fifth at $975 million.

Defending Premier League champion Chelsea ranked seventh at $658 million and Liverpool, bought by American John W. Henry in October, is ninth at $552 million.

Former England captain Beckham, now playing with Major League Soccer’s Los Angeles Galaxy, heads the player earnings list with $40 million from salary, bonuses and endorsements, Forbes said.

Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo is second at $38 million, followed by Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, the reigning FIFA World Player of the Year ($32 million), Real Madrid’s Kaka ($25 million) and Ronaldinho ($24 million) of Brazilian club Flamengo.


CLUB                          VALUE
                         (USD MILLIONS)
 1. Manchester United         1,864
 2. Real Madrid               1,451
 3. Arsenal                   1,192
 4. Bayern Munich             1,048
 5. Barcelona                   975
 6. AC Milan                    838
 7. Chelsea                     658
 8. Juventus                    628
 9. Liverpool                   552
10. Inter Milan                 441
11. Tottenham                   412
12. Schalke                     377
13. Lyon                        358
14. Hamburg                     340
15. Manchester City             291
16. Stuttgart                   281
17. Werder Bremen               279
18. Marseille                   277
19. Atletico Madrid             275
20. Borussia Dortmund           260


PLAYER                        EARNINGS
                           (USD MILLIONS)
 1. David Beckham                40
 2. Cristiano Ronaldo            38
 3. Lionel Messi                 32
 4. Kaka                         25
 5. Ronaldinho                   24
 6. Thierry Henry                21
 7. Wayne Rooney                 20
T8. Frank Lampard                17
T8. Zlatan Ibrahimovic           17
10. Samuel Eto’o                 15

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at

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