The Top 8 Leagues in Europe

Cain Bradley@@cjb94Contributor IIIOctober 24, 2011

The Top 8 Leagues in Europe

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    Europe is regarded as the best place in the world to play football. It is home to some of the best players and leagues in the world. But which league is the best in Europe? There is no scientific formula as to which league is the best it is merely my opinion.

    Notable others:

    • Ukrainian Premier League: Shakhtar Donetsk represent the upcoming nature of the league performing well in recent years in the Champions League. Also with Euro 2012 coming up there is sure to be more interest than ever in Football and better stadiums than ever.
    • Super Lig: The Turkish league has been receiving bad press recently over the corruption scandal which seems to involve most of the teams in the league. Both the standard and the competitiveness of the league have improved over recent years
    • Football League Championship: The second tier of English football is the 7th biggest football league in Europe in terms of average attendance. Another plus point is the competitiveness of the league 

8 Russian Premier League

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    • Great goalkeepers: Igor Akinfeev, Stipe Pletikosa, Vyacheslav Malafeev
    • Dominant Defenders: Domenico Criscito, Bruno Alves, Aleksandr Ankuyuv
    • Midfield maestros: Keisuke Honda, Demy De Zeeuw, Danny
    • Wonderful Wingers: Yury Zhirkov, Balazs Dzsudzsak, Alan Dzagoev
    • Super Strikers: Aleksandr Kerzhakov, Samuel Etoo, Seydou Doumbia
    • Top teams: Rubin Kazan, Zenit St Petersburg, Anzhi Makhachkala, CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Moscow
    • Average attendance 2010/2011: 12,332
    • Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.34
    • Best stadiums: Luzhniki Stadium, Lokomotiv Stadium, Central Stadium, Metallurg Stadium, Republican Spartan Stadium

    The Russian league is a developing one. With improved stadiums being built for the 2018 world cup and teams like CSKA, Zenit and Anzhi constantly improving, it makes you wonder how far the Russian league can jump up the list over the upcoming years. 


7 Eredivisie

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    Great goalkeepers: Sander Boshcker, Jelle Ten Rouwelaar, Jasper Cillessen
    Dominant Defenders: Niklas Moisander, Douglas, Jan Vertonghen
    Midfield maestros: Christian Eriksen, Siem De Jong, Theo Janssen
    Wonderful Wingers: Dries Mertens, Wesley Verhoek, Miralem Sulejmani
    Super Strikers: Jozy Altidore, Jeremain Lens, Luuk De Jong
    Top teams: Ajax, AZ, PSV, Feyernood, Twente
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 19,116
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 3.23
    Best stadiums: Amsterdam Arena, Philips Stadium, Feijenoord Stadion, Gelredome, Abe Lenstra Stadion

    The Eredivisie is one of the best in the world at producing talented footballers. Over the past 18 months Affelay, Suarez, Dembele, Elia, Steeklenburg, Vorm, De Zeeuw, Pranjic and Van Wolfswinkel have all left the league. Another bonus is the attacking nature of games with 3.23 goals per game, a phenomenal ratio.

6 Primeira Liga

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    Great goalkeepers: Eduardo, Helton, Rui Patricio
    Dominant Defenders: Ezequiel Garay, Joan Capdevilla, Alvaro Pereira
    Midfield maestros: Axel Witsel, Joao Moutinho, Steven Defour
    Wonderful Wingers: Fredy Guarin, Diego Capel, Silvestre Varela
    Super Strikers: Oscar Cardozo, Hulk, Ricky Van Wolfswinkel
    Top teams: Porto, Braga, Sporting Lisbon, Benfica, Maritmo
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 10,081
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.43
    Best stadiums: Estadio Da Luz, Estadio Do Dragao, Estadio Municipal de Braga, Estadio Jose Alvalade, Estadio Municipal de Aviero

    The Portuguese league does well with the quality it has. Porto are probably the prime example of this with two Europa Leagues and a Champions league over the last decade. Last year the Europa League semi-finals had 3 Portuguese teams showing their quality. Perhaps the worst thing about the Division is it’s low attendance despite boasting some high quality stadiums.

5 Ligue 1

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    Great goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris, Steve Mandanda, Salvatore Sirigu
    Dominant Defenders: Mamadou Sakho, Aly Cissokho, Cesar Azilputeca
    Midfield maestros: Javier Pastore, Yoann Gorcuff, Lucho Gonzalez
    Wonderful Wingers: Eden Hazard, Michael Bastos, Nene
    Super Strikers: Moussa Sow, Lisandro Lopez, Kevin Gamiero
    Top teams: Lyon, Marseille, Lille, PSG, Bordeaux
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 19,650
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.34
    Best stadiums: Stade Velodrome, Parc Des Princes, Stade De Gerland, Stadium Municipal, Stade Chaban-Delmas

    Ligue 1 is almost stuck in the middle of being a top class league and a medium level division. They are struggling to make much of an impact in the Champions League at the moment but their league has some quality play. The league also has the worst average goals per game out of any in this list, with often too much emphasis placed on defence. 

4 Seria a

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    Great goalkeepers: Marteen Steeklenburg, Julio Cesar, Gianluigi Buffon
    Dominant Defenders: Maicon, Thiago Silva, Giorgio Chellini
    Midfield maestros: Daniele De Rossi, Wesley Sneijder, Esteban Cambiasso
    Wonderful Wingers: Milos Krasic, Robhino, Alexandre Pato
    Super Strikers: Diego Forlan, Edison Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic
    Top teams: Inter Milan, AC Milan, Roma, Juventus, Napoli
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 24,031
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.51
    Best stadiums: San Siro, Stadio Olimpico, Juventus Arena, Stadio Friuli, Stadio San Paolo

    Not long ago the Seria A would have sat atop of these rankings. However, numerous factors, mainly the scandal of 2006, have led to Seria A dropping down the league. The league has become rather competitive over recent years with the traditional big four struggling.

3 Fußball-Bundesliga

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    Great goalkeepers: Rene Adler, Manuel Neuer, Tim Wiese
    Dominant Defenders: Phillip Lahm, Nevan Subotic, Mats Hummels
    Midfield maestros: Bastian Schweinsteiger, Mario Gotze, Toni Kroos
    Wonderful Wingers: Franck Ribery, Arjen Robben, Shinji Kagawa
    Super Strikers: Mario Gomez, Thomas Muller, Klaas Jan Huntelaar
    Top teams: Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, Bayer Leverkusen, VFL Wolfsburg
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 42,101
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.92
    Best stadiums: Signal Iduna Park, Allianz Arena, Olympiastadion, Veltins Arena, Mercedes-Benz Arena

    The German League is home to some of the best stadiums and fans in Europe. The average attendance is higher than any other league in Europe. Bayern Munich is still the most notable team, with players like Robben and Ribery keeping them as a big European team. However, the league is very competitive with four different champions over the last five years.

2 La Liga

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    2 La Liga
    Great goalkeepers: Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes, Diego Lopez
    Dominant Defenders: Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique, Daniel Alves
    Midfield maestros: Xavi, Andreas Iniesta, Mezut Ozil
    Wonderful Wingers: Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Angel Di Maria
    Super Strikers: David Villa, Gonzalo Higuain, Karim Benzema
    Top teams: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Villarreal, Malaga
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 29,128
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.74
    Best stadiums: Mestalla, Camp Nou, Vincente Calderon Stadium, Bernabeu, Benito Villamarin

    La Liga has some of the best players in the world and with it two of the best teams around. With this though comes the negative aspect of La Liga. All other teams are struggling financially and the league is too predictable. 

1 Premiership

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    Great Goalkeepers: Petr Cech, Pepe Reina, David De Gea
    Dominant Defenders: Ashley Cole, Nemanja Vidic, John Terry
    Midfielder Maestros: Yaya Toure, Michael Essien, Samir Nasri
    Wonderful Wingers: Nani, David Silva, Juan Manuel Mata
    Super Strikers: Robin Van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Sergio Aguero
    Top teams: Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool.
    Average attendance 2010/2011: 35,283
    Average goals per game 2010/2011: 2.80
    Best stadiums: Old Trafford, Emirates Stadium, Anfield, St James Park, Etihad Stadium

    The Premiership edges the title of the Best league in Europe. The overall level of the league is higher than any other while the bigger teams are still competitive in Europe. While the La Liga is quite predictable the Premiership throws up many shocks through-out the course of a season.