Five Best Soccer Leagues in the World
The Five Best Soccer Leagues Every Soccer Fan Should Follow
Soccer is a global sport with players from every country and leagues in almost as many. With so many leagues to choose from, it can be hard for the average soccer fan to find a few favorites. To help you find the best soccer leagues, I have made a list of the five best soccer leagues to follow from around the world.
In many countries, soccer is more commonly referred to as football. In this article I will refer to association football as soccer for simplicity and because that’s what I grew up calling it.
I chose these leagues based on several factors, not just official rankings, fans, or world recognition. These are the five top leagues that offer great action and entertainment. I have also included four additional leagues that just barely missed the list. This is written to encourage soccer fans to explore other fantastic leagues around the world!
Now, the best soccer leagues around the world in no particular order. Enjoy the beautiful game!
The Top Five Soccer Leagues
- English Premier League
- Serie A
- La Liga
- Major League Soccer
1. English Premier League
The English Premier League (EPL) is the top tier league in England boasting widely known teams such as Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, and many other popular teams.
Some of the world’s best players are playing in the English Premier League. A few of my favorite players to watch here include Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, David Silva, Sergio Aguero and, of course, Americans Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard.
The EPL runs from August through May, providing nearly year-round entertainment. And what great entertainment it is! The matches are usually filled with skill, action, drama, and surprises. By the end of the season, you’ll be sitting on the edge of your seat cheering your team on and hoping for victory.
The English Premier League is broadcast all over the world. In America, it is aired through NBC Sports.
This league is one of my top favorites not only because of the level of play, but also because the long history of the league dates back many, many years. The fans and the stadiums are always impressive and it makes the games that much more exciting when the buzz of the cheering crowd is heard throughout a match. You can read more information on why this league is awesome with this article that argues that the EPL is the best in the world.
2. Serie A in Italy
Serie A is the Italian soccer league which contains the best teams in Italy. Inter Milan, Juventus, and AC Milan are a few of the well-known teams in the league.
The players in this league are some of the finest in the world. A few of the most notable players include Wesley Sneijder, Gianluigi Buffon, Daniele De Rossi, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as American Michael Bradley.
The Serie A season runs during the same time most other leagues play, including the English Premier League. It begins in September and concludes in May the following year.
My favorite team when I was growing up was AC Milan. I loved watching them play because of the players on the team, particularly Ricardo Kaka.
Unfortunately for Serie A, they seem to always have a bit of controversy in the air. They had a big match-fixing scandal in 2006 that is still hanging over the league today. Let’s hope they can clear their problems and just play great soccer.
3. Spanish La Liga
The Primera División in Spain, but better known as La Liga to English speakers, is the top Spanish football league. It has been in existence since the late 1920s and still includes three teams today who have never been knocked out of the league.
La Liga is best known for two powerhouse teams that in recent years have dominated not only this league but other club tournaments throughout Europe.
Real Madrid and Barcelona contain arguably the best players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi respectively. The 2011–2012 season saw both men break the league record for most goals in a season, but Messi ended up topping Ronaldo’s impressive 46 goals by scoring an incredible 50 goals, the current seasonal league record. Besides these players, each squad is brimming with superstars too many to mention here.
Barcelona has won the championship in La Liga 25 times. They have won the title for multiple years in a row on a few occasions. However, Real Madrid has won the championship 33 times.
The season runs at the same time as the EPL and Serie A. It is broadcasted on beIN Sports in the United States. I enjoy watching La Liga because of the incredible players on Barcelona and Real Madrid. It is not uncommon to see scores of 5-0 or even 8-0 in some games.
4. German Bundesliga
The Bundesliga is Germany’s primary soccer league. Although formed relatively recently in 1963, it boasts incredible fan support. It saw a record level of fan attendance with an average of over 45,000 fans in each game during the 2011–2012 season.
The Bundesliga has traditionally been dominated by FC Bayern Munich. They have recently won the championship six years in a row.
While Bayern Munich is made up of at least 7 German national team players, the Bundesliga includes other world-class players such as Robben, Ribery, Huntelaar, and several American team members.
The season runs from August through May, following a similar schedule as many other European leagues.
I enjoy the Bundesliga because of strong players, passionate fans, and packed stadiums. The games tend to be very competitive and exciting, making it one of the best leagues every soccer fan should follow!
5. Major League Soccer in America
I know many will be confused or disagree, but as an American, Major League Soccer provides soccer action close at hand. MLS is the top soccer league in America. It was formed about 20 years ago to provide both players and fans professional soccer in the US.
While the league does not contain the same number of superstars as European leagues, it has included stars like David Beckham, Robbie Kean, Thierry Henry, and many Central American players as well as US National Team members.
Opposite most European leagues, the MLS season runs during the summer months, stretching from March through November. Some have wondered why the MLS would not follow the example of other leagues, but I believe it provides great summer entertainment while most other soccer leagues are on break.
In recent years, MLS has seen a rapidly increasing fan base in combination with new, soccer-specific stadiums throughout the country. These stadiums provide an incredible atmosphere during the games and, for any American soccer fan, is a must-visit.
MLS is one of the top leagues every soccer fan should follow because it has grown significantly in the last 15 years, and appears to be set to grow even more in the years to come.
How Many Soccer Leagues Are There in the World?
There are countless top-level leagues spread around the globe. There are likely hundreds if you include lower level professional leagues as well as semi-pro leagues. There are six continental confederations in FIFA, the international governing body of professional soccer. Here are just a few of the leagues across each confederation.
Asian Football Confederation
- Saudi Professional League
- Persian Gulf Pro League
- Bangladesh Super League
- Chinese Super League
Confederation of African Football
- Botswana Premier League
- Kenyan Premier League
- Central African Republic League
- Algerian Ligue Professionnelle 1
Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football
- Liga MX
- Jamaican National Premier League
- Liga FPD (Costa Rica)
- Liga Nacional (Honduras)
South American Football Confederation
- Superliga Argentina
- Bolivian Primera Division
- Venezuelan Primera Division
- Ecuadorian Serie A
Oceania Football Confederation
- A-League (Australia/New Zealand)
- New Zealand Football Championship
- Telekom S-League (Solomon Islands)
Union of European Football Associations
- Belgian First Division A
- Superleague Greece
- Danish Superliga
- Russian Premier League
Honorable Mentions: 4 More Top Soccer Leagues
It is necessary to include several leagues that are very good but don't crack my top five. These organizations might be in the top five favorite leagues of another fan, so it is worth mentioning them for anyone interested.
The leagues are:
- The Brasileirão in Brazil
- Ligue 1 in France
- Eredivisie in Holland
- J.League in Japan
Almost every nation has its own soccer league, so there are plenty more leagues out there that are entertaining and full of drama and skill in their own way.
Hopefully, this will provide a wider picture for fans of the beautiful game to enjoy the sport in different locations and leagues around the world
Which is your Favorite League
What Are Your Top Five Favorite Soccer Leagues?
I will gladly admit that there are many more leagues around the world with top-level teams and players. These five leagues are my favorites and represent the leagues I believe every soccer fan should enjoy watching.
One league I feel is important to mention is the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Although I did not include it, it is one of my favorites for obvious reasons. If you don’t know much about that league, you should really look into it!
If I missed your favorite soccer league, mention it in a comment to share with others!
So what leagues do you follow? Post your top five leagues in the comments below!
© 2012 Peter V