Even as Barcelona deals with massive debts, Forbes placed the Catalan giants as the most valuable football club for the first time ever.
Valued at $4.76 billion, Barcelona beat out rivals Real Madrid by only $1 million to become the most valuable football club in the world on the annual Forbes list.
The top five
Barcelona, which is majority-owned by club members, saw an increase of 18 per cent in total value over the last two years, and made $792 million in revenue in 2020.
Their shirt sponsor Rakuten, which is an online Japanese electronic retail company, is worth an average of $64.8 million per year.
These numbers saw them top Madrid in second, valued at $4.75 million, and Bayern Munich in third, who are worth $4.215 billion.
Even though Real has the highest commercial revenue, Barcelona was able to just barely surpass their arch rivals due to their broadcasting revenue of $275 million, which is the most worldwide.
For the past 16 years, the number one spot on the list has been held by either Real or Manchester United, who have seen themselves drop down to fourth this year.
Liverpool, who have recently seen private investment group RedBird Capital become minority stakeholders, round out the top five at $4.1 billion.
More money, more problems
The increase in value should hopefully be a sign of a brighter future for the Catalan giants, as a report by Spanish publication El Mundo in January stated the club had over $1 billion in debt.
Marca, another Spanish publication, has also reported that the club still owes $129 million in player transfer fees to other clubs, including 40 million euros to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho.
Lionel Messi has flirted with a move away, possibly to help balance the books, but newly elected president Joan Laporta apparently wants the Argentine to stay.