RICHES BUY BIG NAMES
NOT only is Real Madrid the richest football club in the world, it is the world’s wealthiest sports franchise.
The Spanish giant was yesterday named by Forbes as the most valuable sports team in the world for a third straight year, ahead of Dallas Cowboys, New York Yankees, arch rival Barcelona, Manchester United and LA Lakers.
Valued at $3.26 billion, the figure incorporates enterprise values, incorporating stadium deals.
Real has a $160 million wages bill, headlined by Cristiano Ronaldo, while its penchant for top-shelf, fashionable talent was underlined last year when it signed arguably the World Cup’s two biggest stars, James Rodriguez (Colombia) and Toni Kroos (Germany).
Mario Torrejon, a reporter for Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, said Real’s ‘sign stars’ policy started in the 1950s when then-president Santiago Bernebeu (whom the club’s stadium has been named after) embarked on an ambitious international recruiting spree, starting with star Argentine striker Alfredo Di Stefano.
“The club’s philosophy has always been to sign the best players in the world and combine them with the best Spanish players to make the best team in the world,’’ Torrejon said.