This is a list of the richest association football clubs in the world as ranked by Forbes magazine on their worth in U.S. dollars. Real Madrid is once again the world’s richest football club in 2020 ahead of FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City.
1. Real Madrid CF / $896 million
Founded: 6 March 1902 as Madrid Football Club
Ground: Estadio Santiago Bernabéu
President: Florentino Pérez
Head coach: Zinedine Zidane
League: La Liga
Founded on 6 March 1902 as Madrid Football Club, the club has traditionally worn a white home kit since inception. The word real is Spanish for “royal” and was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem. The team has played its home matches in the 81,044-capacity Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in downtown Madrid since 1947. Unlike most European sporting entities, Real Madrid’s members (socios) have owned and operated the club throughout its history.
The club was estimated to be worth €3.8 billion ($4.2 billion) in 2019, and it was the second highest-earning football club in the world, with an annual revenue of €757,3 million in 2019. The club is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Real Madrid is one of three founding members of La Liga that have never been relegated from the top division since its inception in 1929, along with Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. The club holds many long-standing rivalries, most notably El Clásico with Barcelona and El Derbi with Atlético Madrid.
2. FC Barcelona / $824 million
Founded: 29 November 1899 as Foot-Ball Club Barcelona
Country: SpainGround: Camp NouPresident: Josep Maria BartomeuHead coach: Quique SetiénLeague: La Liga
Founded in 1899 by a group of Swiss, Spanish, English, and Catalan footballers led by Joan Gamper, the club has become a symbol of Catalan culture and Catalanism, hence the motto “Més que un club” (“More than a club”). Unlike many other football clubs, the supporters own and operate Barcelona. It is the fourth-most valuable sports team in the world, worth $4.06 billion, and the second world’s richest football club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €840,8 million. The official Barcelona anthem is the “Cant del Barça”, written by Jaume Picas and Josep Maria Espinàs.
Domestically, Barcelona has won a record 74 trophies: 26 La Liga, 30 Copa del Rey, 13 Supercopa deEspaña, 3 Copa Eva Duarte, and 2 Copa de la Liga trophies, as well as being the record holder for the latter four competitions. In international club football, the club has won 20 European and worldwide titles: 5 UEFA Champions League titles, a record 4 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, a joint record 5 UEFA Super Cup, a record 3 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, and 3 FIFA Club World Cup. Barcelona was ranked first in the International Federation of Football History & Statistics Club World Ranking for 1997, 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2015 and currently occupies the second position on the UEFA club rankings. The club has a long-standing rivalry with Real Madrid; matches between the two teams are referred to as El Clásico.
3. Manchester United F.C. / $795 million
Founded: 1878 as Newton Heath LYR F.C., 1902 as Manchester United F.C.Country: EnglandGround: Old TraffordOwner: Manchester United plc (NYSE: MANU)Co-chairmen: Joel and Avram GlazerManager: Ole Gunnar SolskjærLeague: Premier League
Manchester United is one of the most widely supported football clubs in the world, and has rivalries with Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Leeds United. Manchester United have won more trophies than any other club in English football, with a record 20 League titles, 12 FA Cups, five League Cups and a record 21 FA Community Shields. United have also won three UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one Intercontinental Cup and one FIFA Club World Cup. In 1998–99, the club became the first in the history of English football to achieve the continental European treble. By winning the UEFA Europa League in 2016–17, they became one of five clubs to have won all three main UEFA club competitions.
Manchester United was the highest-earning football club in the world for 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €676.3 million, and the world’s third most valuable football club in 2019, valued at £3.15 billion ($3.81 billion). As of June 2015, it is the world’s most valuable football brand, estimated to be worth $1.2 billion. After being floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1991, the club was purchased by Malcolm Glazer in May 2005 in a deal valuing the club at almost £800 million, after which the company was taken private again, before going public once more in August 2012, when they made an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.
4. FC Bayern Munich / $751 million
Founded: 27 February 1900Country: GermanyGround: Allianz ArenaPresident: Herbert HainerChairman: Karl-Heinz RummeniggeManager: Hans-Dieter FlickLeague: Bundesliga
The club had its period of greatest success in the middle of the 1970s when, under the captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer, it won the European Cup three consecutive times (1974–1976). Overall, Bayern has reached ten European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals, most recently winning their fifth title in 2013 as part of a continental treble. Bayern has also won one UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two Intercontinental Cups, making it one of the most successful European clubs internationally and the only German club to have won both international titles. Since the formation of the Bundesliga, Bayern has been the dominant club in German football, winning 29 titles, including seven consecutively since 2013. They have traditional local rivalries with 1860 Munich and 1. FC Nürnberg, as well as with Borussia Dortmund since the mid-1990s.
In terms of revenue, Bayern Munich is the biggest sports club in Germany and the fourth highest-earning football club in the world, generating €629.2 million in 2019. For the 2018–19 season, Bayern reported a revenue of €750.4 million and an operating profit of €146.1 million. This was Bayern’s 27th consecutive year with a profit. In November 2019, Bayern had 293,000 official members and there are 4,499 officially registered fan clubs with over 358,151 members. The club has other departments for chess, handball, basketball, gymnastics, bowling, table tennis and senior football with more than 1,100 active members. At the end of the 2018–19 season, Bayern was ranked third in the UEFA club coefficient rankings.
5. Manchester City F.C. / $678 million
Founded: 1880 as St. Mark’s (West Gorton); 16 April 1894 as Manchester CityCountry: EnglandGround: City of Manchester StadiumOwner: City Football GroupChairman: Khaldoon Al MubarakManager: Pep GuardiolaLeague: Premier League
Manchester City entered the Football League in 1899, and won their first major honor with the FA Cup in 1904. It had its first major period of success in the late 1960s, winning the League, FA Cup and League Cup under the management of Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison. After losing the 1981 FA Cup Final, the club went through a period of decline, which eventually saw them relegated as far down as third tier of English football by the end of the 1997–98 season. They since regained promotion to the top tier in 2001–02 and have remained a fixture in the Premier League since 2002–03. In 2008, Manchester City was purchased by Abu Dhabi United Group for £210 million and received considerable financial investment.
The club have won six domestic league titles. Under the management of Pep Guardiola they won the Premier League in 2018 becoming the only Premier League team to attain 100 points in a single season. In 2019, they won four trophies, completing an unprecedented sweep of all domestic trophies in England and becoming the first English men’s team to win the domestic treble. Manchester City’s revenue was the fifth highest of a football club in the world in the 2018–19 season at €568.4 million. 2019, Forbes estimated the club was the fifth most valuable in the world at $2.69 billion, however the sale of a 10% stake in the club’s parent company City Football Group on 27 November 2019 for $500 million values them significantly higher.
6. Chelsea F.C. / $597 million
Founded: 10 March 1905Country: EnglandGround: Stamford BridgeOwner: Roman AbramovichChairman: Bruce BuckHead coach: Frank LampardLeague: Premier League
Chelsea won their first major honour, the League Championship, in 1955. They won the FA Cup for the first time in 1970 and their first European honour, the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, in 1971. After a period of decline in the late 1970s and 1980s, the club enjoyed a revival in the 1990s and had more success in cup competitions. The past two decades have been the most successful in Chelsea’s history: they won five of their six league titles and the UEFA Champions League during this period. Chelsea are one of five clubs to have won all three of UEFA’s main club competitions, and the only London club to have won the Champions League.
Chelsea’s home kit colours are royal blue shirts and shorts with white socks. The club’s crest features a ceremonial lion rampant regardant holding a staff. The club have rivalries with neighbouring teams Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, and a historic rivalry with Leeds United. Based on attendance figures, the club have the sixth-largest fanbase in England. In terms of club value, Chelsea are the sixth most valuable football club in the world, worth £2.13 billion ($2.576 billion), and are the eighth highest-earning football club in the world, with earnings of over €428 million in the 2017–18 season. Since 2003, Chelsea have been owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.
7. Arsenal F.C. / $520 million
Founded: October 1886Country: EnglandGround: Emirates StadiumOwner: Kroenke Sports & EntertainmentChairman: Sir Chips KeswickHead coach: Mikel ArtetaLeague: Premier League
Arsenal was the first club from the South of England to join The Football League, in 1893, and they reached the First Division in 1904. Relegated only once, in 1913, they continue the longest streak in the top division, and have won the second-most top-flight matches in English football history. In the 1930s, Arsenal won five League Championships and two FA Cups, and another FA Cup and two Championships after the war. In 1970–71, they won their first League and FA Cup Double. Between 1989 and 2005, they won five League titles and five FA Cups, including two more Doubles. They completed the 20th century with the highest average league position.
In terms of revenue, Arsenal is the ninth highest-earning football club in the world, earned €487.6m in 2016–17 season. Based on social media activity from 2014 to 2015, Arsenal’s fanbase is the fifth largest in the world.[9 In 2018, Forbes estimated the club was the third most valuable in England, with the club being worth $2.24 billion.
8. Liverpool F.C. / $513 million
Founded: 3 June 1892Country: EnglandGround: AnfieldOwner: Fenway Sports GroupChairman: Tom WernerManager: Jürgen KloppLeague: Premier League
Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Kenny Dalglish led the club to a combined eleven League titles and four European Cups. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by homegrown player Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005, before a sixth title was added under Jürgen Klopp in 2019.
Liverpool was the seventh highest-earning football club in the world in 2019, with an annual revenue of €604 million, and the world’s eighth most valuable football club in 2020, valued at $2.183 billion. The club is one of the most widely supported teams in the world. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton.
9. Tottenham Hotspur F.C. / $511 million
Founded: 5 September 1882; as Hotspur F.C.Country: EnglandGround: Tottenham Hotspur StadiumOwner: ENIC International LtdChairman: Daniel LevyHead coach: José MourinhoLeague: Premier League
Founded in 1882, Tottenham won the FA Cup for the first time in 1901, the only non-League club to do so since the formation of the Football League in 1888. Tottenham were the first club in the 20th century to achieve the League and FA Cup Double, winning both competitions in the 1960–61 season. After successfully defending the FA Cup in 1962, in 1963 they became the first British club to win a UEFA club competition – the European Cup Winners’ Cup. They were also the inaugural winners of the UEFA Cup in 1972, becoming the first British club to win two different major European trophies. They have collected at least one major trophy in each of the six decades from the 1950s to 2000s – an achievement only matched by Manchester United.
In total, Spurs have won two league titles, eight FA Cups, four League Cups, seven FA Community Shields, one European Cup Winners’ Cup and two UEFA Cups. Tottenham were also the runners-up of the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League competition. The club has a long-standing rivalry with nearby club Arsenal, with head-to-head fixtures known as the North London derby.
10. Juventus F.C. / $480 million
Founded: 1 November 1897; as Sport-Club Juventus
Ground: Juventus Stadium
Owner: Agnelli family
Chairman: Andrea Agnelli
Head coach: Maurizio Sarri
League: Serie A
Founded in 1897 by a group of Torinese students, the club has worn a black and white striped home kit since 1903 and has played home matches in different grounds around its city, the latest being the 41,507-capacity Juventus Stadium. Nicknamed Vecchia Signora (“the Old Lady”), the club has won 35 official league titles, 13 Coppa Italia titles and eight Supercoppa Italiana titles, being the record holder for all these competitions; two Intercontinental Cups, two European Cups / UEFA Champions Leagues, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, a joint national record of three UEFA Cups, two UEFA Super Cups and a joint national record of one UEFA Intertoto Cup.
Consequently, the side leads the historical Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) ranking whilst on the international stage occupies the 5th position in Europe and the eleventh in the world for most confederation titles won with eleven trophies, having led the UEFA ranking during seven seasons since its inception in 1979, the most for an Italian team and joint second overall.