Real retain top spot

MADRID: Spanish soccer giants Real Madrid retained top spot on a list of the world’s most valuable soccer teams for a fourth consecutive year, according to a Forbes poll released on Wednesday. The value of the 10-time European champions rose 12 per cent to $3.6 billion, making them the world’s second most valuable sports team, surpassed only by the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys ($4 billion), Forbes said in a statement. Barcelona were second on the list with a value of $3.5 billion, also up 12 per cent from last year. Manchester United ($3.3 billion), Bayern Munich ($2.7 billion) and Arsenal ($2 billion) rounded out the top five. According to Forbes, the 20 most valuable soccer teams are worth an average of $1.44 billion, a 24 percent jump from last year that was driven by new lucrative television deals.