LONDON (AP) -- Manchester United is the most valuable team in world soccer for a second straight season and likely to hold that position next year, according to Forbes magazine.
The Premier League club is worth $1.8 billion, a $347 million increase (24 percent) from last year's valuation, Forbes said Thursday.
Taking into account revenue growth, profitability and debt levels, Real Madrid remained second at $1.285 billion and Arsenal third at $1.2 billion.
United was among four English clubs in the top 10, with Liverpool the big mover on the list, going up from 11th last year to fourth despite the infighting between American co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr. Bayern Munich was fifth, followed by AC Milan, Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus and Schalke.
David Beckham returned to the top of the richest soccer players list after his lucrative move to the Los Angeles Galaxy pushed Ronaldinho down to second place.
Beckham is worth $49 million, according to Forbes, followed by Ronaldinho at $33 million.
Manchester United plays Chelsea in the Champions League final on May 21 at Moscow.
"Advancing to the Champions League final will mean in excess of $45 million for Man U. and likely assures it of returning atop our list next year," Forbes associate editor Jack Gage said.
"Actually winning the Champions League final wouldn't have much of an immediate impact on the team, but would bolster its already sterling brand as it tries to further expand its fan base throughout Europe and Asia."
Forbes attributed United's increased value partly to the expansion of Old Trafford's capacity to 76,000 and higher ticket prices.
"That said, the club has collateralized a great deal of debt as part of the Glazer purchase against ticket sales, meaning the club won't see a chunk of that revenue until the debt is paid off," Gage said. "Debt on the books makes a team more expensive to buy, but Man U's status as a cash-generating powerhouse in the biggest league in Europe should support that debt with room to spare."
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