Putting together a championship winning team is an expensive business. While money is no guarantee of success, lack of money pretty much guarantees failure. The world’s highest paid teams are drawn from a variety of sports but all share a common desire to be the best in their field and a willingness to spend big to achieve this. All monetary figures are the average wage per player per year.
- Dallas Mavericks (National Basketball Association) – $5,315,097 / £3,329,114 / €3,819,689
Outside of the multi-sport top four, the other six most expensive sides in the world come from the NBA. The Mavericks narrowly beat big-spending rivals like the LA Lakers and Detroit Pistons into the top five but have failed to turn their superior spending power into ultimate glory. Last season they topped the NBA’s Southwestern Conference but were then dumped out of the play-offs in the first round by bitter Texan rivals the San Antonio Spurs.
- Chelsea (English Premier League) – $5,361,957 / £3,358,465 / €3,853,365
Roman Abramovich has thrown copious amounts of cash at his football club but has yet to capture the Champions League title he craves. The Premiership is a different story though – Chelsea picked up the title last season and have looked absolutely dominant this year. The 2011 Champions League final will be held in London’s Wembley Stadium and the Blues will be hoping for a hometown victory.
- Barcelona (La Liga) – $6,082,940 / £3,810,053 / €4,371,498
The second most expensive collection of soccer stars on the planet were narrowly beaten by Inter Milan in last season’s Champions League semi-final but did capture their second successive La Liga crown. Barca boast the world’s best footballer in Lionel Messi and contributed more players than any other to Spain’s World Cup winning national team. Barcelona may be pricey but results suggest they’re worth every peseta.
- Real Madrid (La Liga) – $6,333,591 / £3,967,048 / €4,551,628
The world’s most expensive football team has struggled to convert their cash into trophies. Last season they were embarrassingly dumped out of the Champions League by the considerably less expensive French side Lyon and beaten to the La Liga crown by rivals Barcelona. New coach Jose Mourinho will be hoping to change that this year and lead the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka to the success the Bernabeu faithful crave.
- New York Yankees (Major League Baseball) – $7,000,000 / £4,384,454 / €5,030,543
The Yankees are the only baseball team in the top ten but still dominate the list. Much of the Yankees’ huge outlay goes to Alex Rodriguez, who is the easily the world’s highest paid baseball player and has been romantically involved with the likes of Cameron Diaz and Kate Hudson (not that there’s any connection between his salary and his love life). The Yankees huge investment paid off last season, with a 27th World Series win being the Yankees first in almost a decade.