Real Madrid oust Manchester United as world’s most valuable sports team

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The rich just keep getting richer.

But one club has to come out on top and there’s been a change at the summit in the latest Forbes list of the world’s richest sports teams.

Bye, bye Manchester United. Hola Real Madrid.

It’s been revealed that Spanish giants Real have knocked the United off the top spot and are now the globe’s richest sports franchise.

Madrid were valued at $3.3 billion, while the Red Devils were close behind in second at $3.165 billion. And rounding off the top three is Barcelona, who are now worth $2.6 billion.

And just to give you an idea of where other sports franchises stand in the top 10 list, here it is:

1st: Real Madrid ($3.3 billion)

2nd: Manchester United ($3.165 billion)

3rd: Barcelona ($2.6 billion)

4th: New York Yankees ($2.3 billion)

5th: Dallas Cowboys ($2.1 billion)

6th: New England Patriots ($1.635 billion)

7th: LA Dodgers ($1.615 billion)

8th: Washington Redskins ($1.6 billion)

9th: New York Giants ($1.468 billion)

10th: Arsenal ($1.326 billion)

So four out of the world’s top ten most valuable sporting franchises are soccer teams, two English, two Spanish. Is that what we’ve come to expect? Yeah.

Certainly Arsenal have made huge strides in recent times, as their stock has risen dramatically since Stan Kroenke poured his considerable wealth into the North London club. Also, the Gunners took home $149 million from matchday revenue in 2011-12 alone, the third-highest in soccer.

But the perennial power struggle between the elite European clubs of Madrid, Manchester and Barcelona shows no signs of giving in. Real’s new sponsorship deals with Adidas and Emirates will bring in $80 million annually, while Chevrolet will be United’s shirt sponsors from 2014-15 after agreeing a deal of $559 million over seven years. Astonishing.

And Manchester United have a sponsor for just about everything. They have 12 main sponsors listed on the homepage for their website. Bwin.com, Singha Beer, Hublot watches, Chevrolet, DHL, Mister Potato… you name it, they probably sponsor United. (Well, within reason.)

As other teams start to catch up in terms of matchday revenue and other areas, United and Real will keep progressing. Will there value keep growing? Yes. Will it ever decrease? Probably not.

Soccer is the world’s most popular game and these latest figures from Forbes hammer home that point, and unless something disastrous happens to United and Real, expect these figures to keep rising.

So, just to emphasize it once more, Real Madrid are worth more than the New England Patriots and LA Dodgers… combined.

CCL: Lodeiro from 45; Royer’s diving header — SEA, RBNY lead (video)

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After 45 minutes of their respective CONCACAF Champions League knockout-round quests, things are going unnervingly well for the Seattle Sounders and New York Red Bulls.

[ MORE: FC Dallas disappoint in CCL; Club America flying ]

If you’ve watched Major League Soccer teams try, try and try again — only to eventually fail in spectacular fashion — in CCL over the years, you might say things are going a little too well.

There’s still another 45 minutes to be played on Thursday — plus the return legs next week — but both the Sounders and Red Bulls hold 1-0 halftime leads, and the vitally important away goals which come with it. Nicolas Lodeiro’s 45-yard, first-time lob of the Santa Tecla (El Salvador) goalkeeper in the 15th minute has already been eternally etched into the memories of Sounders fans.

Just 15 minutes later, Daniel Royer perfectly executed the diving header and got on the end of Bradley Wright-Phillips’ curling ball into the box to Jesse Marsch’s side ahead of Honduran side CD Olimpia.

Villarreal DF Semedo charged with attempted murder

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MADRID (AP) A Spanish judge has charged Villarreal defender Ruben Semedo with attempted murder and ordered him to be temporarily detained without bail.

Court officials in Lliria say on Thursday the Portuguese player is also charged with assault, robbery, illegal detention, and illegal possession of firearms.

Semedo testified before a judge on Thursday, and left the court in handcuffs.

The 23-year-old Semedo was detained early Tuesday, accused of tying up, assaulting and threatening another man last week. Authorities say he and two other men allegedly held the victim captive while they robbed his apartment.

Semedo’s agents told Spanish media the player denies any wrongdoing.

Villarreal on Tuesday said it was investigating Semedo and would take appropriate disciplinary action.

Villarreal signed Semedo from Sporting Lisbon last summer for a reported fee of $17 million.

Wenger: Arsenal “complacent, had no ideas” in Ostersunds loss

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Perhaps Sunday’s League Cup final had already reached the forefront of their minds, but Arsene Wenger admonished his players, whom he said were “complacent, not focused” and “had no ideas” for much of Thursday’s Europa League defeat, at home, to Swedish side Ostersunds.

[ MORE: Premier League TV schedule | Man United vs. Chelsea ]

The Gunners advanced to the round of 16 on the back of their 3-0 first-leg victory last week, but Wenger was understandably displeased by the effort he saw and expressed such feelings in no uncertain terms, before quickly easing up and praising the fact they were able to pull back a goal against the current fifth-place team from Sweden — quotes from the BBC:

“We were not at the races in the first half,” said Wenger, who saw his side booed off at half-time and full-time. I think in the second half it was much better and we should have scored a few goals.

“In the first half, we were in trouble and in danger because we were complacent, not focused and were open every time we lost the ball. We had no ideas with the ball and that’s why we were in trouble.

“We responded very well because we did the job to qualify, but that’s what we have to take from the night and that’s all.”

With Arsenal now trailing fourth-place Chelsea by eight points (and seven back of fifth-place Tottenham Hotspur), winning the Europa League might just be the Gunners’ last chance at qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Batshuayi racially abused by Atalanta fans

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Borussia Dortmund striker Michy Batshuayi says he was subject to racist chants from Atalanta fans during a Europa League game in Italy.

The Belgium international, on loan from Chelsea, tweeted:

Dortmund advanced to the round of 16 by drawing 1-1 to beat Atalanta 4-3 on aggregate on Thursday.

The game was played at Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia because Atalanta’s home stadium is unsuitable for UEFA games.

There have been several incidents of racism at Serie A matches this season.