Football is a sport that continues to grow and attract money from all corners of the globe. With sponsorship deals happening every year, football teams and their leagues are competing with others for being the best in the world. With competitions such as the Champions League, teams are playing against the best on the continent for the number one spot. Being the best promises a lot of benefits but none so more important than prestige and money.
So because of that, we are going to take a look at what are the most popular leagues around world football.
8. Portuguese Primeira Liga
The Primeira Liga is regarded as one of the stronger leagues outside the top 5 in the world. With a current global rank of number 9, the Primeira Liga is an exciting league where there are at least three teams competing for the title of champions each season. FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon, and Benfica are the three teams that usually win the Portuguese league, with Braga being the outside shout for a couple of seasons. The Primeira Liga has teams in the Champions League each season with Porto being the last one left to play in the quarterfinals against Liverpool. Although Porto is a good side, it’s debatable whether they can emulate their famous 2004/2005 season where they won the Champions League under Jose Mourinho.
7. Major League Soccer – USA
The MLS is a league that manages to attract big player’s year on year. However, it is regarded as a retiring home for stars that have put their best years behind. The MLS has managed to attract the likes of David Beckham, Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and many more similar caliber payers. The league is regarded as a weaker league and it is the reason why many world famous footballers see it as a viable option to end their carrier. Besides the fact that the money is excellent, the difficulty of the league allows for these players to emulate their best years. The MLS averages an approval rating of 5.3, much higher than the Portuguese’s 2.4. Stadiums are packed for MLS games and the crowd certainly enjoys the football being played.
6. Dutch Eredivisie
The Dutch Eredivisie is one of the most entertaining leagues and is regarded as the best one outside the top 5. With teams such as Ajax, PSV, and Feyenoord, the Dutch Eredivisie produces some of the best young talents in the world. There has never been a doubt that the likes of Ajax and PSV are bad teams. These teams frequently play Champions League football, but they fail to make it to the latter stages of it. However, Ajax managed to eliminate both Real Madrid and Juventus during this year’s Champions League with this Ajax team going away to both the Bernabeu and Allianz Stadium and managing to eliminate the hosts in their own backyards. The Dutch Eredivisie scores very high on attendance and goals scored per match, making it one of the most entertaining leagues.
5. French Ligue 1
The French Ligue 1 is the 5th best league in the world due to the level of young talent that the league produces. PSG seem like the favorites for the title each year, making it rather boring in past seasons. It’s safe to say that PSG are a great team, but they make the league boring. It’s even safer to say that because of the poor competitiveness in Ligue 1, PSG almost always suffers during the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
4. Italian Serie A
According to nowgoal, the Italian Serie A is similar to the French league due to the reason that Juventus has won it, god, knows how many times in previous seasons. Much like PSG, Juventus are an excellent team that plays in the latter stages of the Champions League each season. Seria A was once an amazing league with teams such as AC Milan, Juventus, Inter Milan all fighting for the title each year. It’s safe to say that both Milan clubs have fallen from grace and have not won the title since AC Milan’s last title-winning team in 2010/2011. Ever since then, Juventus has won the league every year until this very day. In terms of honors, Juventus is the most prestigious club having won the title a total of 34 times. AC Milan and Inter Milan have won the Serie A 18 times each, and Genoa 9. The Italian league might be predictable in terms of who will be the champion, but it is an absolute nightmare to predict who will finish between 2nd and 4th place.
3. German Bundesliga
The German Bundesliga is one of the most entertaining leagues in terms of goals scored per game, level of attendance, and sheer passion from the fans during games. We’ve seen games where the home team loses 5-0 and the home fans sing like they’re winning, rather than losing. The Bundesliga is predictable just like both Serie A and Ligue 1 because of Bayern Munich’s dominance. As a matter of fact, Bayern is the most prestigious team in the league, having it won for a total of 27 times. The Bundesliga can be considered boring for this fact alone. As a matter of fact, Bayern is well known for buying most of the rising young talent within the league, and they frequently buy their competitors best players as seen with the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Mario Gotze, Matts Hummels, etc. The rest of the teams are not as fortunate as Bayern, with Borrusia Monchengladbach and Borrusia Dortmund being the most successful runner-ups with a total of 5 leagues won. For all the dominance that Bayern has in Germany, it’s safe to say that the best fans have the likes of Borrusia Dortmund, Bayern’s arch-rival in Germany.
2. Spanish La Liga
The debate for the best league in the world has been ever present in world football between two leagues. But for everyone that says La Liga is the best or most entertaining, there is another one that says otherwise. No matter what your feelings are on the subject, La Liga does rank lower than the Premiere League in terms of goals scored, attendance, and quality. The difference between these two leagues is not much, with La Liga scoring 8.6 out of 10, and the league does see 2.9 goals per game, statistically. However, La Liga is home to the best teams in the continent, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real Madrid is the most prestigious team in the world, having won the Champions League a total of 13 times, which is the record in the most prestigious European competition. Real Madrid is also the record holders for most La Liga titles, a whopping 33. Barcelona has won La Liga a total of 25 and Atletico Madrid has won it 10 times. Barcelona certainly is the teams to emulate out of the three due to the fact that they have won the league 7 times out of the previous 10 seasons.
1. English Premier League
The English Premier League beats La Liga’s score of 8.6 ratings in terms of excitement. The English top flight league scores 8.9 out of 10 in terms of entertainment, quality, and attendance. While it does match La Liga’s 2.9 goals per game, the number of teams that are fighting to the title and European Places each year is out of this world. This season alone, we’re seeing two teams competing for the title, Liverpool and Manchester City and only in the Bundesliga do we have a title race this late in the season. Both Manchester City and Liverpool are involved in a deadly race for the title of being champions. What’s more interesting is that out of the final 8 teams in the Champions League, 4 of them are English. Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspurs, and Manchester United are all involved in the quarterfinals of the Champions League. In terms of honors, the most prestigious team in England is Manchester United with 20 titles, followed by Liverpool with 18 and Arsenal with 13. The English Premier League also has the best talent in the world and the best managers are all fighting for the top spot each year. With managers such as Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, Unai Emery and Mauricio Sarri, it’s fair to say that the league is extremely competitive. Two teams are currently fighting for the league, both are also shouting for the Champions League, and there are a total of 4 teams fighting for the remaining two spots that lead to Europe’s most prestigious competition.