The question before us today has been a debate that has gotten many a fan arguing for hours with no clear conclusion. This is because deciding which league you think is the best in the world would be akin to you deciding what your favourite fruit is and comparing it with your friend or even a sibling; it is extremely subjective.
Everybody will have different tastes; some may like the ferocity in the South Americas, the tactical aspect of Serie A or the differing styles on display in La Liga or the Premier League.
Despite the different opinions, one has to appreciate that at the end of the day there will be one league that just seems to be more entertaining or draws more people to watch.
The league that earns this title may be different every 2-3 years but we do know that generally, the top 4 leagues in the world do come from Europe due to quality of players, level of competition and other factors; Serie A, Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. Therefore, in order to ascertain the answer to this question, we will only be comparing these 4 leagues.
UEFA, who administers football throughout Europe, utilise the country coefficient as a score of the collective performance of clubs in a country. This score is then used to decide how many spots in the Champions League and the Europa League are awarded to each nation and at which stage do they enter the tournaments.
Currently, Spain leads the rankings followed by England, Germany and then Italy. Although all the countries are allowed 4 clubs into Europe’s premier competition, Spain has enjoyed being at the top of the rankings for a while now even though they have had a lower score than England in the last 3 years.
For the first time in history, all clubs competing at the finals of the Champions League and the Europa League were from the same country in 2019; England. The Champions League final saw Liverpool beating Tottenham after they had knocked out Barcelona and Ajax respectively while Arsenal lost to Chelsea in the Europa League final.
Now this is definitely a one-off instance of superiority as something like this will be extremely tough to replicate but the fact is that Spanish sides have dominated the last few seasons of European competition. Liverpool made it to the final of the Champions League back in the 2018-2019 season as well but they were met by Real Madrid, who went on to win it and make it 4 trophies in 5 years. Although other sides gave decent showings throughout the competition, the fact that Spanish sides featured in 5 out of the last 6 finals is proof of the Spanish domination of the Champions League.
In the Europa League, Spanish sides have featured in the final 4 out of the last 6 times, with the Spanish sides winning every single time.
Competitiveness of the league
The teams at the top of a respective league may dominate Europe but what about the rest of the teams in their national leagues. We can talk all day about how Real Madrid and Barcelona are perhaps the greatest sides in the world but what makes a league the best would be the rest of the teams.
In Italy, Juventus have won the last 8 Serie A titles and have cemented their place at the top of the league. They have had a few close shaves in recent times with Napoli coming within 4 points of them in the 2017-2018 season and Roma before but the fact is that there are only ever 2 teams vying for the top spot every season. There are plenty of other top teams as well in Italy like Inter Milan and AC Milan but they are still considered great mostly due to history rather than recent performances.
In Germany, it is always Bayern Munich at the top with Borussia Dortmund coming in second. There have been other teams that can be considered as competitive in the league previously like RB Leipzig, Shalke and Bayer Leverkusen but like Serie A, they do not come close to the top 2.
In Spain, it goes without saying that the title is always battled out between Real Madrid and Barcelona. There has been the emergence of Atletico Madrid under the stewardship of Diego Simeone but he has never truly challenged for the title despite finishing second in the 2018-2019 season. Other teams like Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and Valencia also never come close to competing with the top 2, making La Liga a two-horse race.
In the Premier League however, there has been the emergence of the Big 6. Although the championship always comes down to 2 (not counting the current season), the 6 teams in Manchester City, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham are all considered powerhouses in the league. The quality of the league also shines through with any team being capable of beating the big 6 and also winning the league, as was the case with Leicester during a season they were actually tipped to get relegated no less. With such a league, they definitely top the list in competitiveness.
Every league has its own stars but the top 2 superstars play in Spain and Italy; Messi and Ronaldo respectively. However, with the purchasing power of the English clubs, the number and quality of international players in the top 10 clubs far outstrips the rest of the countries.
There is a huge concentration of star power within the top 2 clubs of Spain, Italy and Germany but the general spread in the EPL lends the support to the argument that England has the better league.
Ok we have to say it; money talks. The EPL enjoys the best TV deals in the world. This may be due to the fact that most countries watch the EPL as it is broadcast in English and that a lot of the countries are commonwealth countries and have already had strong ties to England.
Whatever the reason may be, it is undoubtedly obvious that most of the world tunes in to the EPL more so than any other league. With this money from TV deals, the English teams have also managed to spread throughout the world with the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers opening up academies and football clinics in Asia.
Popularity of the EPL is at an all-time high. Serie A used to enjoy such a status but with the scandals that rocked it in the 2000s, it has not truly recovered to re-attain that status. Germany has always been a lot more obscure than the rest while Spain is always known for Real Madrid and Barcelona mostly.
There are a multitude of other factors to consider but if we take into account the main ones above, the Premier League edges out Spain as being potentially the best league in the world.
Do you have a different view? Let us know in the comments section!