Ranking the World's Top 20 Leagues After the EPL, La Liga and Serie A

Peter Webster@@petercwebsterContributor IIIMarch 22, 2012

Ranking the World's Top 20 Leagues After the EPL, La Liga and Serie A

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    There exists an argument that the EPL, La Liga and Serie A aren't even the best three leagues in the world at present, but that's a separate issue.

    Behind those three particular leagues are a multitude of divisions across the globe.

    Here we'll look at the top 20 places you could ply your trade as a footballer.

Bundesliga

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    The Bundesliga is considered by many to be one of the top divisions in world football right now.

    With teams such as Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund essentially world famous, the league boasts players such as Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Mats Hummels and Mario Gomez.

    Bundesliga is also popular because the division is often tightly contested.

Liga Portuguese

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    Portugal's top league often finds a few clubs doing reasonably well in European competition.

    FC Porto and Benfica are the biggest teams in the league, with the former the current reigning champion of the division.

    Hulk, Falcao, and Nicolas Gaitan are the latest players in the league rumored to be of interest to Europe's elite.

Liga Do Brasil

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    Brazil can always boast a great league—albeit a complicated one system-wise.

    Neymar, Ronaldinho, Lucas Moura and Leandro Damiao are some of the best Brazilian internationals that call Liga Do Brasil their home.

    Entertainment is assured.

Ligue One

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    Ligue One is the French top division, home to the likes of Lille, Marseille, and Paris St Germain.

    With Eden Hazard probably the league's hottest property, the division can also offer names like Loic Remy, Andre-Pierre Gignac, Nene and Mamadou Sakho.

    Paris St Germain are this season's big spenders and are looking good to win the title.

Primera Liga

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    Boca Juniors are perhaps the most well known team in the Argeninean Primera Liga.

    Some of their most notable players over the years include Nicholas Burdisso, Walter Samuel, Oscar Cordoba, Carlos Tevez and Juan Roman Riquelme.

    Again, the Argentine league seems to have become a stepping stone to Europe's elite clubs.

    The standard played is still excellent though.

Eredivisie

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    Holland's Eredivisie used to produce mighty teams such as Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven, however the division has suffered heavily from exporting its best players and is no longer a real threat in European competition.

    The division does still boast great individual players—some of which that have been linked with a move in the summer—like Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen, Georginio Wijnaldum, and Gregory Van Der Wiel.

Russian League

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    The Russian Premier League is home to the likes of Spartak Moscow, CSKA Moscow, Rubin Kazan, Zenit St Petersburg and the oil rich Anzhi Makhachkala.

    Samuel Eto'o, Andrei Arshavin, Christopher Samba, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Seydou Doumbia are amongst the league's finest players.

    The big money that some of these clubs now have means that they may begin to attract a better standard of player as time goes on.

Primeira Division De Chile

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    Universidad de Chile are currently topping the Apertura table for 2012.

    IFFHS has Chile's top division billed as the 10th best in world football, but I'd have to disagree.

    Whilst their football is of a good standard, there are plenty more exciting leagues to watch.

    Chile takes ninth spot on my list but remember that England, Spain and Italian football are all ahead of them also.

Pro League

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    Genk, Anderlecht and Standard Liege are the best clubs that Belgium has to offer.

    Officially ranked 13th by the IFFHS, Belgium has players on show such as Jelle Vossen, former Liverpool player Milan Jovanovic, and Jelle Van Damme.

    It's a substandard league compared to the best of Europe, but they have fared well in European competition over the past few seasons.

Primera Div Mex

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    Mexican footballer's are seemingly often picked up by the larger European clubs.

    Unfortunately that is detrimental to the standard of the Mexican League.

    C.D. Guadalajara are the most successful club in their league, but the standard in Mexico has dropped slightly over the past few years.

Sonata K-League

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    The Sonata K-League is South Korea's only professional football league and includes teams such as FC Seoul, Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, Pohang Steelers and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

    Kim Eun-Jung, Dejan Damjanovic and former Middlesbrough player Lee Dong-Gook are some of the leagues marquee players. 

    Dong-Gook is the K-League's all time top goalscorer which puts the league standard into perspective considering he failed to make the grade at the North-Eastern English club.

Axpo SL

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    BSC Young Boys are the latest team to become better known from this league following their appearance in the Champions League against Tottenham Hotspur in 2010.

    FC Basel, Grasshopper-Club Zurich and FC Sion are the other notable clubs.

Superleague Greece

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    Greek football is famous for it's two massive teams, Panathanaikos and Olympiacos.

    AEK Athens are a distant third in the notoriety stakes, and the three clubs have won every Greek championship going back to the 1987-88 season.

    Greek football is not as strong as in years gone by.

Scottish Premier League

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    Scotland's top division is usually a two horse race between Celtic and Rangers with Hearts of Midlothian usually a distant third.

    With Rangers' current financial difficulty, the league may have to prepare itself for an overhaul at the top.

    The Scottish Premier League—or SPL—is home to Scott Brown, Steven Naismith and Maurice Edu amongst others.

Polska Liga

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    Polish football suffered a huge corruption scandal approximately five years ago and it hasn't fully recovered yet.

    Wisla Krakow, Lech Poznan and Gornik Zabrza are some of the more well known teams that have won the title.

Superliga

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    Denmark represents the best of the Scandinavian leagues and tends to attract a slightly better class of player than its counterparts.

    F.C Copenhagen have dominated the league for the past decade with seven title wins during that time.

MLS

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    America is finally beginning to embrace football—or soccer if you prefer.

    David Beckham, Robbie Keane, Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez have all helped raise the profile and quality of the game.

    The MLS should go from strength to strength over the coming years.

Allsvenskan

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    Helsingborgs, IFK Goteburg and Malmo FF are some of the stronger teams found in the Swedish top flight.

    The Allsvenskan can't boast the quality of their Danish counterparts though, hence their position in this list.

Tippeligaen

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    There was a time when Norwegian side Rosenborg used to be a team to fear in Europe, but those days have long since passed.

    The Tippeligaen is in rapid decline versus the standard that the rest of Europe offers.

Airtricity

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    The Airtricity league in Ireland has slowly expanded over time but they still lack real quality amongst their players.

    Shamrock Rovers are their current champions.

Afterthoughts

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    Lists such as this one always generate dispute.

    As I said in the introduction, people could argue that the Bundesliga is a better division than La Liga, the EPL or Serie A and that's fair enough.

    It always is going to boil down to opinion at the end of the day, and some of that opinion is going to be based on what you've been exposed to.

    I'm quite aware that there are rankings for these divisions provided by IFFHS, but IFFHS also states that Stoke are a superior team to Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham, which means I don't put much stock in their formula.

    Thanks for reading and be sure to check out Liverpool Transfer Rumours: 9 Current Players Linked With a Summer Move.

    On Twitter? Follow me @petercwebster where I post all my B/R content.

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