Football/Soccer is the most popular sport in the world, and its biggest clubs, all based in Europe, are the best sports franchises to play for, featuring seven teams in the top 10 of the best paying sport clubs in the world. Barcelona and Real Madrid are no.1 and no.2 in this one as well, as you would expect. Success isn’t cheap.

Number 10 – Inter Milan, Soccer, Italian Serie A, $5.7 Million

The second highest payroll in the Italian Serie A didn’t help Inter in another disappointing season, finishing outside of the Champions League qualifying positions with a meager 6th place.

Number 9 – Philadelphia Phillies, Baseball, MLB, $5.8 Million

The second highest payroll in Baseball, mostly due to a very expensive pitching crew, didn’t get them beyond the NL division series last season and a disappointing 28-28 start to the 2012 season.

Number 8 – Bayern Munich, Soccer, German Bundesliga, $5.9 Million

FC Bayern are always the best paying team in Germany, but that hasn’t helped ”FC Holywood” finish above second these last couple of season, Dortmund beating them to the league titles. They lost in a penalty shootout to Chelsea last month in the Champions League final.

Number 7 – AC Milan, Soccer, Italian Serie A, $6.1 Million

Being the highest paying team in Italian football didn’t help the Rossoneri win a second consecutive league title, finishing behind Juventus in the title race and getting knocked out in the quarter finals of the Champions League by Barcelona.

Number 6 – New York Yankees, Baseball, MLB, $6.2 Million

Always the highest paying team in Baseball, the Yankees have won the World series only once in the last 12 years, falling early in the playoffs in 2012 once again.

Number 5 – Los Angeles Lakers, Basketball, NBA, $6.3 Million

Despite the NBA being a salary capped league, there are ways around the ‘soft’ ceiling. The Lakers, with contracts like Kobe Bryant’s (highest in the NBA) and Pau Gasol’s, are way above that ceiling, although they have failed to make it past the Conference Semi Finals these last two seasons.

Number 4 – Chelsea, Soccer, English Premier League, $6.8 Million

Money buys titles I – Chelsea had a horrible season in the league, finishing fifth, but made Roman Abramovich’s dream come true, finally, after 9 seasons as the owner, beating Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Number 3 – Manchester City, Soccer, English Premier League, $7.4 Million

Money buys titles II – Man City have begun collecting stars a few years later than Chelsea, so they’re a little behind, winning their first league title in over 40 years a few weeks ago in dramatic fashion.

Number 2 – Real Madrid, Soccer, Spanish La Liga, $7.8 Million

Having the world’s two most expensive players (Ronaldo and Kaka) helps boost up the wage bill, but Real Madrid, at least, finally finished ahead of Barcelona in the La Liga, winning their first league title since 2008.

Number 1 – Barcelona, Soccer, Spanish La Liga, $8.7 Million

The best team in the world over the last four years failed to retain their league title, finishing second behind Real Madrid, and their Champions League trophy, losing in the Semi Final to Chelsea.

Images Source: Phillies Bayern Milan Yankees Lakers Man City Barcelona