Top Football Leagues
Which is the most famous league in the world? How do you determine the popularity of a league? So many criteria to consider when deciding a league’s competitiveness and popularity. Derbies, famous league athletes, sports history, historic stadiums, and much more are the factors that contribute to a league’s popularity.
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It is not a mistake that Football leagues are organized and marketed in such a way that they have teams that are important to us, players we love, and TV rights that make them accessible to billions of people everywhere, even in the remotest corners of the world.
A good league needs to produce exciting football, make a lot of money, bring forth young talent, have a religious clientele, and attract top talent from all over the world. It would have to do well in international club competitions too, which would give the league a new dimension of authority.
Who does it best? Which is the best league in the world and who is following it? In this article, we rank the best football leagues in the FIFA world rankings, including the most-watched.
Read on to learn more about the leagues.
17 Best Football Leagues in the World
Choosing and ranking the top 17 football leagues in the world is easier said than done. Here you will find the best football leagues in the world, sorted by the total number of visitors in each league’s each season. Without a doubt, the league that tops this list is the English Premier League.
#1 The English Premier League (EPL) England
The English Premier League is number one on our list of the best football leagues based on total attendance.
The Premier League – also known as the Premiership – is a professional football league. It is the best football league in England and is played by 20 clubs, including Wales, which participate in the English football league system.
Its origins date back to 1888 when it was founded as the Football League.
On February 20, 1992, after a deal by Premier League clubs, The league was reformed to the FA Premier League to benefit from a millionaire television broadcasting deal. This deal offers funds for all clubs in the Premier League, big or small.
The English Premier League (EPL) is the world’s most watched sports competition with a potential television and live audience of 4.7 billion people. It’s the power of money.
Historic clubs like Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Everton with several English league titles won are bringing the EPL to the world’s attention.
The EPL is Currently the most competitive league in the world.
New clubs are growing, becoming more important – in large part thanks to their new billionaire owners – and winning league titles like Chelsea FC and Manchester City more frequently in recent years.
During the 2016/2017 season, the unknown club Leicester City won the English Premier League in what was dubbed the greatest sports shock of all time, as it happened at the start of the favorites before relegation.
The reigning champions of the Premier League are Liverpool FC, who won their 19th title at the end of the 2019/20 Premier League. Six teams had won the EPL trophy and the most successful team is Manchester United with 20 titles.
#2 Spanish La Liga – Spain
The Primera División (better known as La Liga) run by the LFP (Liga de Fútbol Profesional) is the main competition for professional football clubs in Spain.
This championship is contested by 20 teams in a promotion and relegation system.
The Spanish football league brings together the two best clubs in the world: Real Madrid and Barcelona.
This league has been described by critics as a two-horse race, an obvious indication of the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Real Madrid was voted the best club of the 20th century by FIFA.
But we have many other exciting teams in this league including Atlético de Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia, Real Sociedad and Villareal.
La Liga has had a lot of impressive games but there is clearly a huge gap between the top 2-3 clubs and the rest of the league teams.
Even the best El Classico seem worth more money than all the games in the lower half of the league combined.
This predominance and this difference in the quality of the squad only add to the overall decline in the competitiveness of the Spanish national football league.
They say there is no money but between Real Madrid and Barcelona a fortune has been spent on the payroll of Cristiano Ronaldo (former Madrid star) and Messi, money that was undoubtedly earned on the television rights they received from the league, however this huge sum, which goes to both clubs, would have been better spent if it had been more evenly distributed among all teams in the league.
That way, the other teams would have more money to invest in high-profile players, which would make the league more competitive.
With Christiano Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid, it’s interesting to see what future El Classico has as the dispute between Le Ronaldo and Messi is over.
#3 Bundesliga The German League- Germany
The Bundesliga is Germany’s professional football championship. It is contested by 18 teams in a promotion and relegation system and has the highest average participation rate of all national football leagues.
If La Liga is a two-horse race, the Bundesliga is a one-horse race. The Bundesliga has (at least) one of the strongest teams in the world: Bayern Munich.
The Bavarian giants are all Germany’s strongest title contenders and one of the toughest contenders to win the UEFA Champions League.
Other Bundesliga title contenders are not as strong as Bayern, but they are successful clubs. Among them are Borussia Dortmund and Schalke 04, Bayer Leverkusen, Hertha BSC and Borussia Mönchengladbach. These teams are not only good in the German league, but also in continental competitions.
The Bundesliga has great players like Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and Franck Ribéry, but what stands out in this league is the participation in games.
Participation in Bundesliga games is higher than ever before – the German national championship has the highest average number of stadium visitors in the world.
Most stadiums have between 30,000 and 60,000 spectators and five venues can accommodate more than 60,000 spectators.
The Allianz Arena of FC Bayern Munich (75,000 seats) and the Signal Iduna Park of Borussia Dortmund – the famous Westfalenstadion – (81,000 seats) is the largest in the Bundesliga.
#4 Serie A The Italian League – Italy
The Italian league, also known as Serie A, is one of the best football leagues in the world, a professional football league where 20 teams compete against each other on a promotion and relegation basis.
Regardless of the decline in the purchasing power of the big clubs in recent years, Serie A – the Italian football league – is still going strong, boasting of great teams like Juventus, Napoli, Inter, AC Milan, Roma, Fiorentina, and Lazio.
Italian football – a.k.a. Calcio – has always produced players of outstanding quality who have had a long career and have become legendary.
We can think of AC Milan lifelong captain Paolo Maldini, Juventus’ forever young former goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon (who now plays for PSG), Roma’s former striker and captain Totti, Milanese staunch defender Paulo Maldini, just to mention to name a few.
Nowhere in the world are tactics more important. Some games are real chess games that are only suitable for real masters of the dugout canoe. Italian managers are known all over the world.
#5. Ligue 1 The French League – France
Ligue 1 is the first professional association league in France. It is a league in which 20 teams compete against each other on a promotion and relegation basis. French Ligue 1 has been a very competitive league since its inception, with many different teams receiving the highest awards by becoming champions of France.
Football stars like Neymar Jr., Mbappé, Marco Verratti, Engel Di María, Edinson Cavani, Thiago Silva, Dani Alves, Gianluigi Buffon, Memphis Depay, Radamel Falcao and others draw attention to the French league. Unfortunately, most of the above players only play for one club.
PSG’s dominance in recent years (and their seemingly unlimited resources to hire the most expensive footballers) have made the French league less unpredictable.
The uncertainty about which team would be crowned champions has always been great, but when clubs like Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) or Monaco were bought by millionaires, the Equal Game seems to have died in France.
The Dutch Eredivisie is the best league in the Netherlands. It is contested by 18 teams that can either win promotion or relegation.
Legendary managers and players like Rinus Michels – the creator of ‘Total Football’, an impressive style of play and a range of tactics that changed football forever – Johan Cruyff, Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten are more than enough to describe what to expect from the Dutch National Football League.
In recent years, Dutch clubs seem to have only been interested in training young players and then selling them to bigger clubs for international laurels. With the advent of a revitalized Ajax Amsterdam squad who qualified for the 2018/2019 Champions League semi-finals, changes could be in sight.
The Dutch Eredivisie remains an exciting league with attacking football, a crop of goals, and great skills from amazing young footballers. In the Eredivisie, there are teams with impressive historical histories such as Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Feyenoord, AZ Alkmaar, and FC Twente.
#7 Primeira Liga -Portugal
The Portuguese top league has 18 teams that are either promoted or facing relegation. There are three major clubs in the Portuguese Primeira Liga – the Big Three: SL Benfica, FC Porto and Sporting Lisbonera, all of which are constantly fighting for the top position. Despite the competitiveness between them, the overall quality of the squad is pretty normal when you look at the rest of the top division clubs.
Most of the best products from Portugal play in other leagues abroad. Due to the economic situation, Portugal cannot be compared to English or Spanish in terms of the Star signatories, and the television rights treaties are very weak compared to other European leagues.
Necessity, they say, is the mother of invention. To survive and stay competitive, Portuguese clubs must scrutinize diligently to find young foreign players at low prices. These footballers are then cultivated in the Primeira Liga and sold to wealthier teams a few months or seasons later for impressive sums.
The Portuguese league introduces new young foreign players every year, adding excitement and quality to the games.
When it comes to local talent, Portugal has produced some of the best football players over the years – there is no need to mention names like Cristiano Ronaldo, Bernardo Silva, Luís Figo, Rui Costa, Vítor Baía or Eusébio that has millions of viewers around the world enthusiastic – and the Primeira Liga was her birthplace.
Portugal is the new Italy when it comes to coach production. There are a number of impressive names such as José Mourinho, Mauricio Pochettino, Jorge Jesus, Leonardo Jardim, Marco Silva, Nuno Espírito Santo, and André Villas-Boas.
#8 Süper Lig – Turkey
The Super Lig is a professional football league in Turkey in which 18 teams compete against each other on a promotion or relegation basis.
Strong international teams such as Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş, as well as the insane rivalry between the three emblems of the magical city of Istanbul, draw the attention of millions of football fans to the Süper Lig.
Add that to the indescribable atmosphere of Turkish games and the presence of many world class footballers and you will have a really interesting league to follow.
Perhaps this will attract so many foreign talents to Turkey as they continue to come together in the Super Lig to either regain their form or play their careers.
#9. Brasileirão – Brazil
Brazil has always been one of the dominant forces in football. The national team is the most successful team in FIFA World Cup tournaments and the only one to have won 5 world titles.
The newest venues for the 2014 World Cup have significantly improved the quality of the games for spectators and players.
It’s the home of Jogo Bonito, which translates into good football. Hence, you can expect to see great skills and great goals showing up on a weekly basis.
However, the league is not very tactical as there are a lot of games (in many different competitions), Brazilian teams don’t have enough time to train properly and improve their game tactics. general. They mainly depend on the creative talents of one or two outstanding players to make them a reality.
The Brasilerao players don’t seem interested in playing in the local league for very long. As soon as the spectators sing their names in the stands, they will board the next available flight to Europe. This has not improved the quality of the game in Brasileirao.
#10. Primera División- Argentina
Like Brazil, the Argentine national soccer team is one of the most dominant forces in soccer history.
It follows logically that the Argentine national league should produce a good number of promising stars and legendary footballers. Well, that doesn’t disappoint in that regard. Diego Maradona, Gabriel Batistuta, Di Stéfano, Kun Agüero, Di María and Lionel Messi are posters of Argentine football.
Boca Juniors and River Plate are in an eternal duel for supremacy, and this rivalry brings a lot of excitement to the championship, which makes it even more interesting.
Let’s not forget other big teams like Velez Sarsfield, Lánus, Estudiantes, Racing Club, Banfield, Independiente, San Lorenzo and Newells Old Boys.
It’s one of the tense and some of the best football leagues in the world, and watching a Primera División match live has been described as a dangerous pastime.
One wonders how well prepared the league authorities are for medical emergencies resulting from massive heart attacks in the stadium.
#11. Chinese Super League-China
The highest level of professional football in China is the Chinese Super League, which was founded in 2004 and has been held every year since then. The 2019 Chinese Super League season was the 16th edition won by Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC
The most successful club in the Chinese Super League is Guangzhou Evergrande, which has won the title for a record eight times in a row. In the 2017 CSL season, an average of 23,766 people were present, during the 2018 CSL season there were 24,107.
The highest attendance of the season was when Beijing Sinobo Guoan played against Shandong Luneng Taishan on August 5, 2018. The number of spectators at the end of the game was 56,544. The match between Beijing Renhe and Guizhou Hengfeng saw the lowest 5651 spectators.
#12.Russian Premier League-Russia
The Russian Premier League is the leading soccer league in Russia, founded in 2001. So far, 27 league editions have been held and the club that has won the most trophies in the league is Spartak Moscow with 10 titles to its credit. The current league champion is Zenit Petersburg, which was their 5th title.
The 2018-19 Russian Premier League was the 27th edition of the league and the estimated average attendance was 16,801. The average number of visitors this year has increased compared to the average number of visitors of the previous season of 13,971.
The highest attendance was in the match between Zenit and CSKA at 61,500, resulting in a 3-1 win for Zenit, while the lowest attendance this season was when Yenisei and Arsenal faced each other. with only 1,285 spectators.
#13.segunda división de españa-spain
The second division of the Spanish Football League system is the Segunda Division, which was held for the 88th time between 2018 and 2019. With 9 titles, Real Murcia holds the record for most titles in the tournament. Osasuna, 4-time winner, is the reigning champion of the competition.
The average number of visitors to the Segunda division in 2018-19 rose from 8,770 in the previous year to 10,578. The exciting game of the season was the game Deportivo La Coruña against Mallorca, which ended with a 2-0 win for Corunna. The number of spectators was 29,271, while the lowest of 1,515 were seen in the Alcorcón v Malaga game.
#14. J2 League-japan
The second senior division of the J2 League system of the Japanese Football League was established in 1999. The 20th edition, the 2018 J2 League, crowned Matsumoto Yamaga champion, which was her first championship title. Consadole Sapporo is the most successful club in the league with 3 titles.
The average attendance for the 2017 J2 League was 6,970, which rose to 7,049 the following year. The strongest participation of the season was the game between Niigata and Matsumoto with 22,465 spectators, while the game with very few spectators was the game Sanuki against Yamagata with only 1,510 spectators.
#15 Serie B-Italy
Serie B is after Serie A, which has existed since the 1929-1930 season, the second top division in the Italian football league. To date, 87 league seasons have been unveiled and the team considered the most successful are Atalanta and Genoa, who have each won the title six times.
Serie B 2018-19 was the 87th edition of the league and the club that won the trophy for the 4th time was Brescia. The average attendance for the season was 7,379 and Palermo’s match against Cittadella drew 28,351. Very few people had come to the stadium to see Carpi take on Cittadella with just 1,500 spectators.
#16. Swiss Super League-SWISS
The top league in the Swiss Football League system is the Swiss Super League, which was founded in 1898 under the name Swiss Serie A. The club that has collected the most trophies in the Swiss Super League is Grasshopper with 27 titles to its credit. In 2019, the club suffered a disappointing relegation to the second division for the first time in 68 years.
The last Swiss Super League 2018-19 was the 122nd edition of the tournament in Switzerland. The title was won by the Young Boys Club, which was their 13th title in the competition. The average attendance for the season was 11,278.
The game with the strongest participation of the season was that of the Young Boys against Basel. The match had a large crowd of 31,120 spectators and the match ended in a 7-1 win for Young Boys. The game with the fewest spectators took place during one of the games in Lugano with only 2,049 spectators.
The Swedish high-level professional league Allsvenskan was founded in 1924 and successfully carried out the 94th edition of the competition. The Allsvenskan 2018 tournament was won by the five-time AIK champion who took his 12th Swedish championship title.
An average attendance of 8,401 was recorded at the end of the 2018 season and the game that got a lot of attention was AIK vs Sundsvall at 50,128, and the game between Dalkurd and Häcken saw very few people in the stadium, very easy to count as there . were only 202 spectators.
BONUS POINT: UEFA Champions League
The annual UEFA Champions League football competition is considered one of the most prestigious tournaments, dating back 65 years since 1955. The UEFA Champions League ranks tops in our Best Football Leagues in the World you,
There have been 64 league seasons to date and the club that has won the trophy the most is Real Madrid with 13 titles. The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League was the 64th edition to bring together the best teams from the strongest UEFA national associations.
The title was won by Liverpool for the sixth time and the season’s average attendance at the end of the season was 49,304. A total of 63,272 people gathered to watch the final between Liverpool and Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.