Ranking the 11 Top Domestic Leagues in the World
Throughout the world today, there are some outstanding football leagues that often produce the best footballers on the planet.
However, a long-serving debate between fans has been what is the best domestic football league. For some fans, there are the big stars of the Premier League and La Liga, while others contend that the Bundesliga is the best due to its competitiveness.
Due in large part to the arguments between fans over the competitiveness of the leagues, how talented the footballers are in each league and league popularity, here are my rankings of the 11 best football leagues in the world.
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No. 11: Süper Lig (Turkey)
Even though its UEFA coefficient continues to decrease, the Turkish Süper Lig is still one of the most entertaining leagues to follow anywhere.
Besides having extremely loyal fans and two perennial powers in Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray, we also got to see an amazing title race two years ago.
At the end of the 2009-2010 season, Bursaspor were able to defeat all odds and won the Süper Lig on the final day of the season to claim their first league titles.
Hopefully this league will start to improve in European competition in the next several years to continue to enhance its image.
No. 10: Campeonato Brasileiro Série A (Brazil)
Easily the most popular league in the world that is not located in Europe, the Brazilian Serie A has regained strength in recent years with the retaining of its star players, along with lots of revenue getting put into the league.
Of course, the Brazilian Serie A should only increase its standing in the world during the next couple of years with the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
It also doesn't hurt that there are 17 champions of the Brazilian Serie A in the last 52 years, which shows that not only is this league one of the most talented football leagues in the world, but that it also is one of the most equal leagues also.
No. 9: Russian Premier League
A league that has seen a huge boost not only in its overall quality but in world interest in the past 10 years, the Russian Premier League is on its way to becoming one of the most powerful leagues in Europe.
In the last several years, we saw Zenit St. Petersburg win the UEFA Cup, Rubin Kazan defeat Barcelona in the Camp Nou during a Champions League group stage match and CSKA Moscow reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that Russia has seen a tremendous amount of money come into the country since the start of the new millennium with large amounts of oil and natural gas located inside the country. This has helped the RPL's development tremendously, and can only allow the RPL to grow in the future.
Also, with the 2018 World Cup due to take place in Russia, the RPL will now adjust its season from a summer calendar to a winter calendar to fall more in line with the FIFA calendar.
No. 8: Ukrainian Premier League
Another league that has received tremendous growth in recent years, the Ukrainian Premier League also has wealthy owners and has had some great success in Europe in recent years.
This primarily comes from Shakhtar Donetsk, who have won a UEFA Cup and were able to reach the quarterfinals of the Champions League this year.
Also, there is Dynamo Kiev, the most successful side in the UPL, and which also knocked out Manchester City in this year's Europa Cup.
With Euro 2012 partially taking place in Ukraine and a rising UEFA coefficient, the UPL will continue to grow into a stronger league in the future.
No. 7: Eredivisie (Netherlands)
The league for some of Europe's most famous clubs, the Eredivisie still contains some of the best football in Europe.
In recent years, the title races in the Eredivisie have been exciting, and in this past season, we got to see Ajax reclaim the league for the 30th time in their history.
However, the Eredivisie's poor performances in the Champions League in recent years have hurt the league, and that could certainly impair the league from growing more.
No. 6: Ligue 1 (France)
A league that has seen unpredictability in its title races over the last several years, France's Ligue 1 right now sits in fifth place in UEFA's coefficient, but finds itself in sixth on this list.
Despite the great run that Lyon had two years ago in the Champions League, Ligue 1 continues to not achieve enough success in Europe.
Now maybe with investments, such as the one by the Qatar Investment Authority in Paris Saint-Germain, we will see better players join the league and see it achieve the heights that it should hit.
No. 5: Primeira Liga (Portugal)
After a fantastic season in which Porto achieved a treble and we saw two Portuguese sides reach the Europa League final, Portugal's Primeira Liga has now earned three spots in the Champions League for this season.
In recent seasons, we have seen Jose Mourinho lead Porto to a Champions League title and the Portuguese national team start to pick up steam, but the Primeira Liga has continued to grow without the "chosen one".
In recent years, we have also seen Porto nearly knock Manchester United out of the Champions League quarterfinal, and we witnessed three Portuguese sides in last season's Europa League semifinal.
In the next several years, we can see the Primeira League to continue to grow with many young stars in the league and with several strong recent performances in Europe.
No. 4: Serie A (Italy)
Once the top league in the world, Serie A has seen a free fall in the last several years that has seen it fall to fourth in UEFA's club coefficient.
Despite having some of the most accomplished clubs in the world in AC Milan, Inter Milan and Juventus (among others), Serie A continues to be hurt, not only from weak performances in Europe, but also from having some of its top young players getting bought from bigger clubs in Spain and England.
Of course, we can see Serie A once again become one of the top three leagues in Europe in the coming years, with UEFA Financial fair play coming into play. But until then, Serie A looks like it will take years before it returns to the strength it once had.
No. 3: Bundesliga (Germany)
Out of the big four leagues in Europe, the German Bundesliga absolutely is the most competitive and the most unpredictable league to follow.
Thanks in large part to low ticket prices (which allow the Bundesliga to have the highest average attendance of any league in Europe) and fan ownership, the Bundesliga is a fantastic league to follow.
It also doesn't hurt to see many of Germany's best players in this league, along with many other top players from around the league in control.
Germany is now third in UEFA's club coefficient, which has certainly been helped with Bayern Munich reaching the Champions League final two years ago and Schalke's surprise run to the Champions League semifinal last year.
No. 2: English Premier League (United Kingdom)
The richest and most popular football league on the planet, the English Premier League certainly is a fantastic competition to follow every season.
With clubs such as Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool all competing in the league with star players on every team, the Premier League is a league that never ceases to amaze people.
Last season, we saw Man United go to the Champions League final and we saw several clubs start to emerge as legitimate title threats for this upcoming season.
However, UEFA financial fair play will probably hurt some of the teams in the league that have massive debt (Man United) and it can certainly hurt the Premier League in the long run.
No. 1: La Liga (Spain)
Despite having two extremely strong teams, Spain's La Liga is clearly the best domestic league in the world.
When you can have the two best players in the world in Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi in the same league, along with other stars such as David Villa, Iker Casillas and Diego Forlan, the football in La Liga is second to none.
The football rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid has also grown in the past several years, with both teams facing each other in an unforgettable Champions League semifinal this past year. As it stands right now, both teams could have an even more unforgettable year than last year, when they played each other four times in less than a month.
Of course, the other teams in La Liga are not as strong as Barca or Real but the football that these sides play is better than the Premier League and the Bundesliga, which is a primary reason why La Liga finishes first in this list.
Until another league can buy or produce the stars that La Liga has, no league in the world will be able to stand up to it for the ranking of top football league in the world.