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Dallas Cowboys end Real Madrid's streak as most valuable sports team

The Dallas Cowboys have usurped Real Madrid to be named as the most valuable sports team of 2016 by business magazine Forbes.

The NFL franchise's rise to the top is based on a 25 per cent increase in value to $4billion, with Madrid – who had finished first in each of the last three years - second on $3.65bn after an upturn of 12%.

It is the first time since Forbes began their teams list in 2011 that either Manchester United or Real Madrid have not been ranked at the top.

Barcelona moved up from fourth to third on $3.55bn, an increase of 12%, with Baseball giants the New York Yankees next on $3.4bn, although they dropped from joint-second in the 2015 list after rising in value by only 6% over the last 12 months.

United, now managed by Jose Mourinho, were fifth ($3.32bn), followed by the New England Patriots ($3.2bn).

The New York Knicks ($3bn) were the highest placed NBA team in seventh, while NFL teams the Washington Redskins ($2.85bn) and the New York Giants ($2.8bn) came next. 

The NBA's second most valuable team, the Los Angeles Lakers, and the San Francisco 49ers (both $2.7bn) rounded off the top 10.

Arsenal (23rd) were the biggest risers – up 13 places after their value increased by an astonishing 54% to $2.02bn due to receiving the biggest cut of Premier League television money and having the most expensive season tickets.

In total, the NFL made up 27 of Forbes' top 50 teams, while football and the NBA both had eight. There were seven MLB franchises, but no teams from the NHL or Formula One made the list.

Forbes' top 10 most valuable sports teams:

1. Dallas Cowboys ($4bn)
2. Real Madrid ($3.65bn)
3. Barcelona ($3.55bn)
4. New York Yankees ($3.4bn)
5. Manchester United ($3.32bn)
6. New England Patriots ($3.2bn)
7. New York Knicks ($3bn)
8. Washington Redskins ($2.85bn)
9. New York Giants ($2.8bn)
10. Los Angeles Lakers, San Francisco 49ers (both $2.7bn)