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Forbes lists 2014’s most valuable soccer teams

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Curious as to whether your soccer team is ranked as one of the most valuable in the world? It’s not as simple as the club reporting the highest profit, or having the capacity to splash out on the likes of, say, Gareth Bale.

Making it on to Forbes’ top twenty list requires a combination of success on the field, investment in the club, sponsorship deals, and also, possibly, a certain undefinable quality. The list does not include the formula on which the valuations were determined, although it does provide a one-sentence summary of the team’s recent history.

Some inclusions are to be expected. Real Madrid, whose transfer fee for the aforementioned Bale is the highest ever, takes the top spot, followed by Barcelona. In total there are three clubs from Spain, four from Germany, five from Italy and six from England. France’s Paris Saint-Germain and Turkey’s Galatasaray round out the list.

Galatasaray’s inclusion makes one wish for clearer guidelines on how the list was developed. Yes, the cim bom are Turkey’s most successful club, but they’re making just over $200m, while operating at a loss of $4m. There is no information about sponsorship or merchandising revenue. Somehow, though, Gala are valued at $347m.

The inclusion of four German clubs may surprise some, but for those advocating fiscal responsibility and sustainability, it’s a good sign for the future. German clubs are required to have over 50% German ownership, have strict limitations on going into debt to finance transfers, and keep their ticket prices amazingly low. Their value – beyond on-field success, of course – stems from sponsorship deals and merchandise revenues.


The full list includes each club’s current value, its revenue, and its operating income. Check out the full details of the twenty most valuable soccer teams here.

MLS Snapshot: Colorado Rapids 1-2 Real Salt Lake

SANDY UT - MARCH 14: Olmes Garcia #13 of Real Salt Lake celebrates his goal during their game against the Philadelphia Union at Rio Tinto Stadium on March 14, 2015 in Sandy, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr/Getty Images)
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The game in 100 words (or less): Real Salt Lake stays alive in the hunt for a playoff berth in the Western Conference with a crucial 2-1 win over the Colorado Rapids. After falling behind early, RSL scored twice before halftime and held onto the lead for the rest of the match, moving within three points of the final playoff spot in the West. Real Salt Lake has three matches remaining, including a massive clash against the Portland Timbers, which will pretty much decide their season. For Colorado, it’s another year without playoff soccer.

[ MORE: FC Dallas clinches playoff berth ]

Three moments that mattered

16′ — Doyle heads Colorado into the lead — The former Premier League man gave the home side an early lead, thanks to a powerful header from quite a bit out. Sean St. Ledger played in a cross, where Doyle snapped a header into the top corner past Nick Rimando.

33′ — Joao Plata bends in the free kick — Trailing 1-0, Joao Plata drew RSL level with a brilliant free kick. Plata’s shot dipped over the wall and under the crossbar, as Clint Irwin stood helpless in goal for Colorado.

43′ — Mulholland fires home a volley to put RSL ahead — Luke Mulholland scored his first goal of the season, and it was a beauty. A corner kick popped out to the midfielder at the top of the box, as he rifled a shot off the bounce and into the side netting.

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Man of the match: Luke Mulholland

Goalscorers: Doyle (16′), Plata (33′), Mulholland (43′)

Wenger lauds team spirit following Arsenal’s big win

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Arsenal put on a superb performance against Manchester United today, flying out to a three-goal lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match.

[ RECAP: Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United ]

United was stunned by the fast-paced, free-flowing Arsenal attack, unable to recover from the Gunners’ early dominance.

All of this came on the heels of a disappointing loss to Olympiacos in the Champions League, after which many questioned manager Arsene Wenger and his side.

[ MORE: Three things we learned from Arsenal’s win vs. Manchester United ]

Following the big 3-0 win at the Emirates, Wenger praised his team’s spirit, saying there were outstanding performances throughout the side.

You go from Petr Cech up to Theo Walcott, and we had only outstanding performances. Sometimes we have that magic side in our game.

[Against Olympiacos] maybe we lacked a little bit of urgency and discipline, and that’s why we lost the game. But let’s not forget, last Saturday we won 5-2 at Leicester. Today we beat Man United 3-0.

[The players] have shown that we have an outstanding spirit in the squad. To respond the way we did after what happened to us, you need to have an exceptional spirit.

The Gunners’ performance today immediately silenced all the critics, as Wenger’s side put out on a display that many have been waiting for all season. The combination play of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Theo Walcott was brilliant, as Santi Cazorla continued to impress in the center of the midfield.

Wenger’s teams have not always been known to show strong heart and resiliency, but that’s exactly what they showed today against a Manchester United side that was in great form. Now sitting second on the table, Arsenal continues to climb up the Premier League.