5 Most Valuable Sports Teams of 2014

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July 21, 2014 10:32 AM EST

A number of notable athletes unleashed their raw power and potential in 2014, thereby boosting the value of their respective teams. The 2014 FIFA World Cup also propelled a number of soccer teams up the ranks significantly, as new contract possibilities surfaced due to the stellar showings of players like James Rodriguez.

REUTERS
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo holds his Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) trophy after winning the FIFA World Player of the Year 2013 award, before their Spanish first division soccer match against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Juan Medina

Here are 2014's most valuable sports team, according to Forbes.

1. Real Madrid

The European champions top the list with an estimated value of $3.44. the soccer team recently acquired World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez from Monaco, together with Toni Kroos. One of the advantages of soccer teams when it comes to adding value is that they do not have salary caps, and have unlimited discretion in acquiring new stars as much as their sponsors allow.

2. Dallas Cowboys

The NFL team ranked fifth overall and has an estimated value of $2.3 billion. NFL teams have the biggest rosters per team in any professional sport, which is why they are also given higher salary caps compared to the NBA, NHL or MLB. NFL had the most teams that made the top 50 list. However, individually, NFL players are paid less than athletes in other leagues.

3. Los Angeles Clippers

After the NBA fined and banned Clippers owner Donald Sterling from the league after a recent racist scandal, a number of billionaires have been eyeing to own the basketball team. Steve Ballmer, former executive of Microsoft, offered to buy the Clippers for $2 billion, the revenue of which was five times bigger than the previous sales of the Milwaukee Bucks and Washington Wizards.

4. Barcelona

The other Spanish soccer team also joined the top five with an estimated value of $3.2 billion. Barcelona garnered six La Liga titles in the past ten years. It was led by the two highest paid athletes in the sport - Lionel Messi and Neymar. The Nike store at their home stadium Nou Camp reaps the highest sales among all Nike stores worldwide.

5. Manchester United

The soccer team is third in the list with a value of $2.81 billion. Although the team had a poor showing in the English Premier League by finishing seventh, several sponsors still managed to increase its value. The soccer team finalized a billion-dollar deal with Adidas and a multi-million dollar deal with General Motors.

(Photo: REUTERS / Juan Medina )
Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo holds his Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) trophy after winning the FIFA World Player of the Year 2013 award, before their Spanish first division soccer match against Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid January 25, 2014. REUTERS/Juan Medina
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