Real Madrid Tops Barcelona as World's Biggest Club, Per France Football

Tom Sunderland@@TomSunderland_Featured ColumnistFebruary 11, 2019

MADRID, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 03: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and Deportivo Alaves at Santiago Bernabeu on February 03, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)
TF-Images/Getty Images

Spain's football powers have been crowned kings of the sport after Real Madrid were named the biggest club in the world followed closely by bitter rivals Barcelona.

The team at France Football (h/t Marca) ordered clubs on a points system that took into account "players, television audiences, social media following, average attendances, income, expenses, market value of the team and the historical importance of the club."

Barcelona trailed Los Blancos by only seven points but were 26 points higher than third-placed Manchester United, one of five Premier League clubs that make up the top 10:

      

France Football's Top 10 Biggest Clubs in World Football

1. Real Madrid (184 pts)

2. Barcelona (177 pts)

3. Manchester United (151 pts)

4. Bayern Munich (135 pts)

5. Liverpool (120 pts)

6. Juventus (107 pts)

7. Paris Saint-Germain (94 pts)

8. Chelsea (91 pts)

9. Manchester City (89 pts)

10. Arsenal (88 pts)

       

The report takes into account 85 clubs from around the world, though only European outfits make it into the upper echelon.

Neymar's Paris Saint-Germain, who have never made it to the final of a European Cup nor a Champions League tournament, placed seventh and are the only French club to make it into the top 10.

The same can be said for Serie A champions Juventus—now equipped with five-time Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo—and Bundesliga titleholders Bayern Munich in Italy and Germany, respectively. Die Roten have won the last six German league titles in succession but currently trail Borussia Dortmund in the standings, while Juve are 11 points in front of Napoli at the summit of Serie A.

It's a subtle consolation for Real, who are just beginning to regain form under coach Santiago Solari following a miserable start to the 2018-19 campaign, via Eleven Sports:

The Madrid giants travel to face Ajax in the UEFA Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday and are targeting a fourth successive European crown. They trail La Liga leaders Barca by six points and recently drew 1-1 in the first leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final at the Camp Nou, with their luck starting to change.

France Football acknowledged a subjective element to the category defined as "historical importance of the club," though the fact Real have won four of the last five Champions League trophies runs firmly in their favour.

Both clubs boast staggering trophy cabinets, and Goal showed prior to their recent Copa del Rey first leg just how close the stakes are in major competitions:

United and Liverpool each feature in the top five "biggest clubs," but the Red Devils are some 31 points better off in the rankings than last season's Champions League runners-up.

Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool lead the Premier League as things stand, but United continue to benefit from the success accrued across Sir Alex Ferguson's 27 years in charge.

That being said, several years without competing as closely for the biggest titles in football has hurt the club's revenue, as BBC Sport's Simon Stone reported in November:

The Red Devils have won only three European crowns to Liverpool's five, but United have been crowned English league champions on 20 occasions to the Merseysiders' 18. Liverpool are hoping to end their 29-year wait for a top-flight title, having won only the 2012 League Cup in the past 13 years.

Chelsea, City and Arsenal round off the top 10 after being ranked within three points of one another. The likes of AC Milan, Ajax, Celtic, Atletico Madrid, Borussia Dortmund, not to mention clubs in South America, may be disappointed to miss out.

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