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Dirty Tackle

Barcelona are the highest paying sports team in the world

Ryan Bailey
Dirty Tackle

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Cesc Fabregas earned more money laying down in this game than you did this week (Getty)

Cesc Fabregas earned more money laying down in this game than you did this week (Getty)

If you were wondering how much it costs to finish second in La Liga and get knocked out the Champions League semifinal by nine men and Fernando Torres, the answer is $217,014,221.

That, according to the salary survey in ESPN's latest Money Issue, was Barcelona's total payroll at the start of the 2011/12 season, making them the highest-paying sports team in the world for the second year running. That's an average salary of $8,680,569 for every single member of Pep Guardiola's squad, or $166,934 a week. Yet Carles Puyol still looks like he lets a stray dog lick him clean most mornings in lieu of a shower.

The Blaugrana's friends in Madrid are second in the list, while the flow of petrodollars at Eastlands has ensured Manchester City have jumped from 10th place last year to third. The top 10 and their average annual salaries are listed below:

1 Barcelona ($8,680,569)
2 Real Madrid ($7,796,637)
3 Manchester City ($7,403,754)
4 Chelsea ($6,795,899)
5 Los Angeles Lakers ($6,278,088)
6 New York Yankees ($6,186,322)
7 AC Milan ($6,104,769)
8 Bayern Munich ($5,907,652)
9 Philadelphia Phillies ($5,817,965)
10 Internazionale ($5,700,915)

Incredibly, seven of the top 10 are football teams, paying testament to both the global power of the sport and society's indifference to remunerating people with grotesque amounts of money for kicking a ball around.

Manchester United finds themselves in 11th place on the list with a total annual payout of just over $138M, while John Henry's Liverpool FC and Boston Red Sox sit side by side in 18th and 19th spots, respectively.

Check out the full list here.

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