The strength of a League is usually based on the combination of a number of factors such as amount of excitement generated, the financial prowess of the clubs, the success rate of clubs at continental and intercontinental competitions, the star power, average attendance, quality of football played, number of TV viewers and so on.
UEFA has a coefficients system which they use to rank the European leagues and that solely depend on the performances of clubs from a certain league in Europe. Spanish La Liga is the highest ranked team according to UEFA co-efficient with 101 points as of April 2016, while German Bundesliga is second with 79 and Premier League is third with 75 points.
The English Premier League would be ranked No1 if other factors were to be put into consideration.
We examine some of the best leagues the world…
The English Premier League
The premier league is the most unpredictable and dramatic league in Europe. Leicester proved this by finishing top against all odds and expectation last season. No one would have expected to see them qualify for the Europa league not too talk of lifting the league trophy. This goes to show how competitive the league is with clubs showing a great deal of fighting spirit.
Any club can literally beat any club in the English Premier League.
The league also features lots of internationally recognized football stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Sergio Agüero, Wayne Rooney, Cesc Fabregas to name a few which adds glamour to the league.
The league (with 20 teams playing 38 games from August to May) also attracts lots of investors who pump huge sums into the league, from adverts to media right. The League also attracts lots of audience internationally with the big clubs such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United having a world-wide fan base.
2016/2017 season promises to be more exiting as Manchester United and Manchester City have signed Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola respectively.
Premier league is ranked 1 in terms of having the best (and successful) managers. It is ranked 2 in terms of continental and intercontinental success. It is ranked 1 in terms of average weekly wages for players.
TV rights deal starting from 2016-17 season to 2018-19 is worth around £8 billion and the fan base is about 1.2billion with about 930 million followers
The Spanish LaLiga
The La Liga is known for producing two best clubs in world, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Real Madrid was voted the Best Club of the 20th Century by FIFA. Barcelona is currently considered the best team in the World.
The league also displays an array of football superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo (3 Ballon d’Or awards), Lionel Messi (5 Ballon d’Or awards), French super striker Karim Benzema, Welsh speedster Gareth Bale and German midfield dynamo Toni Kroos, Brazilian wonder boy Neymar Jr., Uruguayan striker Luis Suárez, Spanish midfield maestro Andrés Iniesta and Euro 2016 star Antoine Griezmann.
Another side attraction to the La liga is the perceived rivalry between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi over who the greatest is. It is hard to name the best soccer player in the World between the two.
Spanish La Liga’s new 3 year TV deal is worth €2.65 billion (2016-19). Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi are the world most expensive players in terms of endorsement.
In terms of value for money, the league is ranked second. It is ranked no 1 in terms of continental and intercontinental success. It is ranked 4 in terms of average weekly wages for players. It is ranked 2 in terms of average weekly wages for players.
However, apart from Real Madrid and Barcelona (and even Atlético de Madrid) there is no other major contender in the league (with 20 teams playing 38 games from August to May).
The league is the second most popular in the world with Barcelona and Real Madrid having an estimated 260 million and 180 million supporters world-wide.
The German Bundesliga is known for one of the strongest teams in world football, Bayern Munich which feature great as Robert Lewandowski, Arjun Robben, Franck Ribery, Arturo Vidal and Manuel Neuer.
Other contenders in the league includes Borussia Dortmund and Shalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen.
Bundesliga matches have the highest attendance with fans trouping out in their thousands to support their clubs various German stadiums which are known for their top quality.
Germany’s Bundesliga is ranked as the best league that offers the best quality game in terms of value-for-money. It is ranked 3 in terms of continental and intercontinental success, and 4 in terms of having good managers.
The league (with 20 teams playing 38 games from August to May) is the third most popular in the world, with Bayern Munich having an estimated fan base of 50 million.
All clubs are required to have a youth academy where home grown players are nurtured. The system seemed to have paid off with the discovery of world-class players like Thomas Muller, Marco Reus, Mario Gotze, Mezut Ozil, Manuel Neuer, Mats Hummels and many.
However, just like the La Liga, Bayern Munich is Germany’s most powerful team and seems unbeatable with five straight wins.
Italian Serie A
Despite facing financial crises and match fixing scandal which rocked the league, Serie A clubs like Juventus, AC Milan, Inter, Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio and Napoli continue to show strength in the international scene.
The games in the league are known for their tactics and show of strengths with lots of red card being dished out. The fans are also very passionate. Some of the stars in league include Patrice Evra, Paul Pogba and Gonzalo Higuain.
The League is pretty much unpredictable with every club fighting hard for the trophy and to finish top. Napoli took Juventus all the way down to the final few games for the title race in 2015-16 season.
The league is ranked 8 in terms of value for money rating. It is ranked 4 in terms of continental and intercontinental success. It is ranked 3 in terms of average weekly wages for players.
The league (with 20 teams playing 38 games from August to May) is the fourth most popular with AC Milan having a fan base of 98 million while Inter Milan and Juventus have 24million and 21million supporters respectively.
French Ligue 1
The French Ligue 1 has been a very competitive championship before Olympic Lyon dominance in 2000’s with 7 consecutive titles from 2002 to 2008 after which the billion dollar investment in PSG came, which has seen the Paris club grow stronger and stronger in terms of dominance.
Star players like Marco Verratti, Ángel Di María, Edinson Cavani, Ezequiel Lavezzi, Bernardo Silva, João Moutinho and Vágner Love attract lots of attention and publicity to the French league.
The French Ligue 1 is ranked 6 in terms of value for money rating and 9 for competitiveness.
It is ranked 5 in terms of average weekly wages for players.
The emergence of PSG as a power house in European football has increased the popularity of the league, making it the fifth most popular in the world.
The Dutch league has harnessed lots of talent like Ronaldo (Brazlian), Ruud Van Nistelrooy, Bergkamp, Van Persie, Huntelaar, Luis Suarez and Arjan Robben.
The two power clubs Ajax and PSV have had their fair share of European glory in the past. As far back as 1995 Van Gaal guided Ajax to their fourth Champions league title.
The league is ranked 4 in terms of average goals scored per game. It is also ranked 13 in terms of average weekly wage.
Retaining many of their top players has been a challenge for the league.
Portuguese Primeira Liga
Portuguese Primeira Liga is where you can expect exciting and very technical football, with lots of drama between SL Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting CP, the three major clubs – known as “The Big Three.” The league has produced legends like Cristiano Ronaldo, Luís Figo, Rui Costa, Vítor Baía or Eusébioin in the past.
In terms of value for money, the league is ranked third. It is ranked 7 in terms of continental success and 10 for average goals scored per game.
Despite the big three dominance in the league, they don’t pose much threat to other clubs in international competition, but they can pull surprises in games. They usually find it difficult to hold on to talented players for long.
Portugal has also produced world-class coaches such as José Mourinho, Jorge Jesus, Leonardo Jardim and André Villas Boas.
Campeonato Brasileiro de Futebol (Brasileirão)
Brazil national team is the most successful in the FIFA World Cup tournaments having won 5 world cup, and their clubs come no less, having excelled in the intercontinental competitions like the FIFA world club cup.
The league has produced some of the world greatest football players like Ronaldinho, Neymar Jr, Robinho, among others.
Recent venues built for the 2014 World Cup dramatically improved the quality of the games.
The league is ranked 10 in terms of value for money rating. The fans passion in the league is like no other. As they are ready to go all the way to support their teams.
It is ranked 5 in terms of continental and intercontinental success.
Coaches rarely start and finish their seasons on the same team. Some only last for a few weeks before being sacked.
Argentine Primera División
Argentina’s national league is also one of the most powerful league in South America. The league shows several similarity to that of the Brazilian league, with strong clubs like Boca Juniors and River Plate adding glamour to the league with their rivalry. Carlo Tevez presence in Boca Juniors was a major motivation for their victory in 2015.
The league, which is ranked 5 in terms of value for money has produced a great number of legends like Diego Armando Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta and Di Stéfano. It is also ranked 5 in terms of competitive balance.
Unlike the other top leagues, Argentina has 30 teams in top division divided into two zones of 15 teams each. The atmosphere around the fan zone can be so tensed and dangerous at times.
United States of America Major League Soccer (MLS)
The MLS has grown significantly in United States since its inception in 1994. The league gained more international recognition after players like David Beckham and Thierry Henry LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls respectively. This has increased the fan base of the clubs in the league. However, using MLS as a retirement destination is a major disadvantage on the part of the league.
In terms of competitive balance the MLS is Ranked 4. According to a rating in 2013 in terms of league income, goals per game, the amount of different clubs to have won a title, the number of stadiums that had been built in the past decade, the MLS was ranked 7