The most watched sport in the world, football or soccer for those living in the US, has a ton of fans all over the planet, with teams and championships that everyone knows and follows. But football is more than just a game right now, growing from a beloved sport for those who play it and those who just love to watch, into a massive business for some of the world’s biggest clubs.
There are deals worth billions of dollars for the television rights alone, not to mention tickets, fan merchandise and so on, so it’s pretty obvious why a lot of football clubs have turned into successful businesses as well. Today we’re going to show you which are the 15 highest valued soccer teams in 2015, all values coming straight from Forbes magazine.
15. Internazionale Milano
The team simply known as Inter by its loyal fans is the only club from Italy which spent its entire history in the top flight of the Italian football aka Serie A. Even though they are struggling right now to get back to their former glory, business is going great for the club, standing tall with a value of $439 million in 2015.
14. Schalke 04
With the full name Fussballclub Gelsenkirchen-Schalke, Schalke 04 takes its name from the district of North Rhine-Westphalia and, although it was one of the most popular teams in Germany, it had little success in the recent time. They are the second largest sports club in Germany and the third largest in the world by the number of members and they are currently estimated to be worth $572 million.
13. Tottenham Hotspur
Usually called Spurs, the team founded in 1882 in London has an extremely long history in the sport with a lot of ups and downs, playing under the motto Audere est Facere, meaning “To Dare is to Do”. They recently went through a rapid succession of managers and sold some of their best players, so we could say they’re still searching for the recipe for success. Until then the club is still worth $600 million at this time.
12. Paris Saint-Germain
The richest club in France is worth $634 million and it’s currently owned by Qatar Sports Investments. Ever since the Qataris have invested in the club, buying some of the world’s best players, PSG has dominated Ligue 1, going in the Champions League every year and getting better and better with time. They have a long standing rivalry with Marseille but in these last years they got the best out of it.
11. Borussia Dortmund
Only slightly behind Schalke in terms of members, Borussia Dortmund is one of the most successful clubs in Bundesliga history, winning eight championships, one UEFA Champions League, one Intercontinental Cup and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup among other trophies as well. In these last years they were back to success and that’s why the club is valued at around $700 million in 2015.
10. AC Milan
In these last years AC Milan seems to be on a downfall, disappointing in Seria A every year. But the club owned by Silvio Berlusconi is still one of the best in Europe and even though some of their best players have moved on from the club, they will surely get back to their former glory in a couple of years. From a financial standpoint the club is still going great, with a current value of $775 million.
The undisputed kings of Italian football have managed to win the league once again this year, also making it to the Champions League final. They were really close to get the treble but Barcelona proved to be too much for them in the final. Still, the third oldest football club from Italy is better than ever right now, and its owners, the Agnelli family, are really happy to know that the club is valued at $837 million in 2015.
Liverpool has been a major disappointment in these last years but let’s not forget that this club has won more trophies in Europe than any other English team, winning the Champions League five times, three UEFA Cups and three UEFA Super Cups as well as eighteen league titles and eight League Cups. They are valued at $982 million.
Another English club that hasn’t won anything recently is Arsenal, a team which promises a lot but fails to deliver. They’re still one of the teams with the most loyal fans in the world, with a rich history with 40 trophies won in England as well as two European cups. Fans at Emirates Stadium are still waiting for another Premier League title, and the team valued at $1.31 billion is getting closer and closer to that dream.
The team owned by Roman Abramovich and managed by the brilliant Jose Mourinho is valued at $1.37 billion in 2015, right after securing another Premier League title. The club already has five league titles, seven FA Cups, five League Cups, two UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups, one UEFA Super Cup and an UEFA Champions League, being the only team in London with these honors.
5. Manchester City
Although the current management disappointed the fans of the team, they are still worth $1.38 billion and have had a prestigious progress from their inception in 1880, although with some declines as well. After 44 years without any title, Manchester City has finally managed to win the Premier League back in 2011, following the same path of success last year for a second title and a League cup as well.
4. Bayern Munich
Founded 115 years ago, Bayern Munich will always be the kings of German football, securing another league title this year with a month left to play in the championship. They’ve also made it to the Champions League semifinal round this year, but they ran into the buzzsaw that was Barcelona and failed to get the title. They’re currently valued at $2.35 billion, a value that seems to grow every single year.
3. Manchester United
The retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson as manager left them with a spot that was quite impossible to fill and the club seems to be on a downfall right now. Louis van Gaal is also a football genius and does his best right now, but in first season with the club he didn’t do too well, managing to bring the team back to the Champions League though. The United brand is famous all over the world, that’s why the club is worth a fortune, valued at $3.1 million this year.
Barcelona’s motto, “more than a club”, totally suits this team. With an unusual style of ownership and management, this club has dominated European football in these last 10 years, winning 4 out of 10 Champions League titles, including one this year when they also secured another treble, emerging as La Liga champs and getting the Copa del Rey as well. With an attack made from Lionel Messi, Neimar and Suarez, and a brilliant team all around, this is as good as it gets. Barcelona is valued at $3.16 billion in 2015, just a little less than the top spot in the list.
1. Real Madrid
With a star-studded line-up and a record 32 La Liga titles and 10 Champions League crowns, Real Madrid will always be one of the best teams in the world, even when they don’t have a brilliant season. They haven’t managed to win anything in 2015, but Real Madrid is still the most valuable club in the world, being worth billions of dollars, $3.26 to be more exact. They came up short this year, both in La Liga and in the Champions League semis as well, but I’m sure they will bounce back next year.