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In a list compiled by London-based sponsorship agency Global Sponsors Barcelona came top, ahead of English Premier League club Manchester United.

The list, published at the Soccerex business and sport conference in Dubai, ranked Real Madrid in third followed by Chelsea, AC Milan, and Bayern Munich. Arsenal, Liverpool, Inter Milan and Lyon completed the top 10.

The agency compiled the list using a survey of 100 contacts and clients and then used a points system to rank clubs over a number of criteria including history of winning competitions, quality of present sponsors, matchday attendance, profile of the club’s manager and the quality and capacity of their stadium.

“Barcelona’s international appeal has been enhanced by global icons such as Ronaldinho and manager Frank Rijkaard, who are widely recognized,” the agency’s commercial director Michael Stirling said. And, he added, “the club has developed innovative ways of reaching a global audience.”