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Soccer teams most valuable

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(Reuters) — Spanish soccer club Real Madrid retained their title as the world’s most valuable sports franchise, according to a poll released by Forbes on Wednesday that was again dominated by National Football League teams.

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Soccer clubs held the top three positions with the European champions valued at $3.44 billion, topping the list for the second consecutive year. They were followed by La Liga rivals Barcelona at $3.2 billion and Premier League club Manchester United at number three at $2.81 billion, Forbes said in a statement.

Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees occupy the number four spot valued at $2.5 billion while the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys are worth $2.3 billion.

Rounding out the top 10 were MLB’s Los Angeles Dodgers ($2.0 billion), soccer’s Bayern Munich ($1.85 billion), NFL’s New England Patriots ($1.8 billion), NFL’s Washington Redskins ($1.7 billion) and NFL’s New York Giants ($1.55 billion).

With 30 teams in the top 50, for the second consecutive year, the NFL occupies 60 percent of this year’s list.

The average value of the top 50 teams is $1.34 billion, an eight percent increase from last year.

Four National Basketball Association franchises made the Forbes list with the New York Knicks coming in 13th with a value of $1.4 billion while the Toronto Maple Leafs were the only National Hockey League team to make the cut at number 26 with a value of $1.15 billion.

Ferrari are the only Formula One team on the list coming in 21st with a worth of $1.2 billion while McLaren, Oakland Raiders (NFL) and New York Mets (MLB) dropped from the top 50 this year.

New to the list are the St. Louis Rams, Boston Celtics and Manchester City of the English Premier League.

The valuations are based on equity, debt and venue contracts.

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