It was inevitable, but football is now the highest paying sport in the world.

In Barcelona and Real Madrid, football boasts the two highest paying clubs in world sport - even dumping the USA's richest baseball, basketball and American football franchises.

According to the Global Sports Salaries Survey 2011, the average annual first-team pay at Barcelona was £4.94m, or £95,081 a week. This made the current La Liga champions the world's best paid team by average salary.

Barcelona's bitter rivals Real Madrid came second on the list with their 'Galacticos' earning £4.6m a year on average.

The New York Yankees, now find themselves in third place where average earnings among first-team players were £4.2m a year.

Elsewhere in the top ten of best paid sports teams are basketball franchises the LA Lakers, Orlando Magic and Denver Nuggets, baseball side Boston Red Sox, Inter Milan of Serie A and big-spending Premier League teams Chelsea and Manchester City.

The wide ranging survey was compiled by sportinintelligence.com .

Their findings show the Premier League remains the world's richest football league, with Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal joining Chelsea and Manchester City among the top 30 best paid teams. NBA teams occupy 10 of the top 30 places, MLB baseball teams occupy eight, La Liga, Serie A and the IPL occupy two each, and the Bundesliga one.

"We've know for years that the biggest bucks have been in American basketball and baseball but the rise and rise in wages among the elite of European football continues, closing that gap," says Nick Harris, the editor of sportingintelligence.com and author of the report.

BEST PAID SPORTING TEAMS:

1) Barcelona League: La Liga Average annual pay: £4,944,211 Average weekly pay: £95,081

2) Real Madrid League: La Liga Average annual pay: £4,597,895 Average weekly pay: £88,421

3) New York Yankees League: MLB Average annual pay: £4,222,688 Average weekly pay: £81,206

4) LA Lakers League: NBA Average annual pay: £4,087,931 Average weekly pay: £78,614

5) Orlando Magic League: NBA Average annual pay: £3,979,446 Average weekly pay: £76,528

6) Chelsea League: Premier League Average annual pay: £3,762,963 Average weekly pay: £72,365

7) Inter Milan League: Serie A Average annual pay: £3,749,777 Average weekly pay: £72,111

8) Boston Red Sox League: MLB Average annual pay: £3,744,502 Average weekly pay: £72,010

9) Denver Nuggets League: NBA Average annual pay: £3,743,859 Average weekly pay: £71,997

10) Manchester City League: Premier League Average annual pay: £3,664,741 Average weekly pay: £70,476