This past weekend saw the latest installment of El Clasico. For quite a few football fans, the annual clashes between Barcelona and Real Madrid are probably nearly as big as the Champions League final and one can surely bet they have these games programmed into their mobiles (or, for those more old-fashioned, marked on their wall calendars).
As per usual, at the end of the game, one group of supporters were left celebrating, while the other were left feeling not so great. Two Clasicos have been played this season, and the entire share of the spoils have gone to Real Madrid, who now have inched up into second spot in the table, just one point behind Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona, for their part, unfortunately, have seen their winning streak snapped as they've slid down into third.
However, there may be something that could give Blaugrana fans a little bit to smile about. For the first time, Barcelona have been ranked as the most-valuable football team in the world, as per American publication Forbes.
Currently, the Blaugrana are valued at $4.76 billion, which is higher than any other team in Europe. That's notable despite their well-documented debt issues, which totaled $1.2 billion as of late.
Forbes also noted that despite COVID-19 causing average revenue for clubs to fall nearly 10 per cent from 2017/2018, the average value for the clubs in the top 20 actually increased 30 per cent in the last two years to a bit under $2.3 billion.
Bayern Munich, who made history as the first German side to win a Sextuple, came in third at $4.22 billion, while Manchester United and Liverpool completed the top five with values of $4.2 billion and $4.1 billion respectively.
But back to Barcelona - so while that obviously won't take away from the bitter disappointment of being knocked out of the Champions League, or more recently, losing the second Clasico of the season to Real Madrid, at least the Catalan giants can say that their value climbed higher than any team in Europe. During an era that is currently battling the unprecedented global health crisis known as COVID-19.
Including higher than Los Blancos, who finished in second with a value of $4.75 billion.