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The leagues nominally chosen by B/R to represent the top 10 in world football, while open for debate in itself have been ranked according to the following statistical methods:
1. Goals per game
Which league has the most free-scoring football. While not necessarily an indicator of quality, it gives us an impression of which leagues give the fans best entertainment on a regular basis.
2. Disciplinary records
By ranking each league by the number of yellow and red cards received per game, with red cards counting as three times the value, we can compare competitions by their concepts of "fair play." Of course, it is a statistic that relies heavily on refereeing consistency, which cannot be in any way guaranteed.
3. Average pass accuracy
Which leagues boast the best levels of accuracy with their passing? In theory, this statistic should enable us to see which competitions try to play passing-based football and possess the best technical players. Differing styles of defending and attack-building, though, affect this method of judgement.
4. Average shot accuracy
Which competition boasts the sharpest shooters? By comparing the percentage of shots on target in each competition, we get a good impression of striking ability and the quality of chance created. In that respect, it can also be seen as an indication of slack defensive standards.
It is interesting to note that the Pearson Product-Moment correlation coefficient between the rankings of leagues with the best shot accuracy and number of goals scored is just 0.33, indicating a negligible correlation. More goals scored does not, then, necessarily mean more clinical finishing, merely more chances created.
5. Standard Deviation of points totals
Just how spread-out are the points totals of sides within the division? The standard deviation gives us a clear indication of which leagues are more balanced in level than others. The larger the coefficient, the bigger the gulf in points totals.
6. Attendance figures
Just how many people bother to show up to the stadiums and watch each competition? After all, good football is fairly pointless if nobody is watching.
Note: All data collected is for the 2013-14 season, with the exception of the Campeonato Brasileiro and MLS for which 2013 data is used. All statistics are compiled from WhoScored.com data, with the exception of attendance figures, for which transfer market was used.
Card data for the Portuguese Primeira Liga is also taken from Transfermarkt, while reliable figures for some categories were not available for the division.