Premier League is usually hyped as the most exciting league in the world and rightly so considering it comes up triumph in almost every criteria you were to use for comparing leagues. Since The league was rebranded to “English Premier League” back in 1992, it has been an absolute success both in terms of financial rewards and popularity. But is premier league the “best football league” in the world ?
To answer this question we went ahead and compared best leagues around the world based on 6 different criterias.
The 6 different criteria range from on the field success and off it as well with commercial value of clubs of that league also in consideration. Every criteria has 10 points and league are awarded points based on how well they compare with other leagues in that particular point.
|2||Spanish La Liga||48|
|4||Italian Serie A||39|
|6||Ligue 1 (France)||34|
|8||Primera División (Argentina)||21|
|9||Serie A (Brazil)||20|
- Quality of football
- Success on international level
- TV rights & viewership numbers
- Star Power
- Average attendance.
After collecting data and comparing 20 top leagues around the world we have narrowed down our list to 10 top football leagues.
Premier League comes up triumph with 50 points. That is 10 points each for competitive level and tv viewership. 9 Points for Star Power, 9 for average attendance and 7 for quality of football and 6 points for success at international level (Champions League, Europa League etc). That give 51 points out of 60 to Premier League.
La Liga comes second although in terms of technical and quality of football La Liga is by far the best league. However since Messi and Ronaldo’s departure they not only lost out on star power but also TV viewership numbers are down compared to previous years.
#11. Major League Soccer (USA)
- $100 million a year domestic TV rights deal with (ESPN)
- La Galaxy is one of the most prominant clubs in MLS
- Lorenzo Insigne (Italy), Javier Herndez, Carlos Vela (Mexico) are few top names currently playing in MLS.
- MLS clubs do not fare well at international level and they have register just 1 CONCAF title win compared to Liga MX where clubs have won 13 titles.
- $63,547 a year minimum salary while the highest paid player in the league can earn upto $6 million a year.
#10. Brasileiro Série A (Brazil)
- Biggest TV deal in South America : $90.5 million a year (Globo)
- Successful clubs: São Paulo, Palmeiras and Santos
- Star Players: Mostly local young players who use Brazilian league as stepping stone to get contracts with European clubs.
- International success: 4 of the last 5 Copa Libertadores are won by Brazilian teams.
- Average Salary: Only 10% of players in Brazilian league earn upto 40 thousand Brazilian reals a month ($7,500). While 40% of footballers in the league earn as little as 2,000 Brazilian reals a month ($375 a month).
Brazlian League also know as “Serie A” has the flair and samba touch. 5 different champions since 2015 shows league has that competitive nature and none of the top teams actually dominate like in some other league.
As far as continental football is concerned, Brazilian teams dominate Copa Libertadores. Four of the last 5 seasons, Brazilian team has won the champions league equivalent “Libertadores”. if we look a little further back since 2010 Brazil has produced 8 winners of Libertadores trophy.
However actual quality of football is better then the likes of MLS and Liga Mx but lacks compared to Argentina. In terms of Financial growth, the league has kind of stagnated but Brazilian FA is working on international TV rights deals and sponsorships to bring in extra revenue for the clubs.
#9. Liga MX (Mexico)
- Unlike other leagues, Liga MX TV rights deal are sold separately by every club. Which range from range from $2 million to $15 million a year depending on clubs popularity.
- Tigres, Monterrey, Cruz Azul, America and Chivas are some of the big clubs in the league.
- Florian Thauvin (French) made to switch from Ligue 1 to Liga MX and he is one of the most prominent players in Mexico at the moment.
- Most successful teams in CONCAF Champions League hails from Mexico. 13 titles have been won by Mexican sides in this competition.
- Average salary of players in top clubs is around $1 million a year but it drops drastically for lower league clubs where players are earning just $50,000 a year in some cases.
#8. Primera Liga (Argentina)
$80 million a year (FoxSports) + $13m from international deals.
River Plate, Boca Juniors are two of the most iconic clubs in world football.
As far as the star players are concerned League has mostly local young players from Argentina and other South American countries. Famous Argentinian usually return to play in the league at the end of their careers.
4 of the top 5 Most successful team in Copa Libertadores comes from Argentina league.
50% of the players in the league earn less than $8000 a month. But in big clubs like Boca Juniors, River Plate average salary jumps to $20,000. Some top players in the league earn over $1 million a year.
Easily the best league in South American considering both financially and on the field success. Unlike other league, Argentina primera division has 30 teams which are divided into 2 zones of 15 teams each.
Famous clubs like River Place, Boca Juniors are always competing for top honors not only domestically but also internationally. Argentina has 4 of the top 5 most successful teams in Libertadores.
#7. Eredivisie (Netherlands)
League TV rights deal: $110 million a year (Ziggo)
Biggest clubs: Ajax and PSV
Star players: Mostly local young players from Netherlands and other european countries. Dutch Eredivisie clubs usually sell their star player from profit.
Competitive level: Ajax usually dominate the league but every few years one of the PSV, Feyenoord or AZ Alkmaar win the title.
Average salary: In 2022 average salary in the league hit €425,000 a year. Players in top clubs like Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord can make over $30,000 a month.
#6. Ligue 1 (France)
Massive increase In Domestic TV Rights Money: $633 million a year (Canal+ & Amazon)
PSG dominance: Paris Saint Germain has been winning league in France for the last 8 years. As the thing stand they are in the league of their own and with so much money spent they have killed the competitive level.
Star Players: Mbappe, Neymar and Messi
Lack of trophies at European level: Not the best results at continental football as French clubs have usually struggled in Champions League and Europa League.
Average Salary on the rise: PSG player have average salary of around 9 million while rest of the league average salary is less then $1 million a year. Which is huge considering in 2010 average salary of a football in Ligue 1 was just $450,000 a year.
#5. Liga Portugal (Portugal)
Clubs specific TV rights deals: clubs in Portugal have their TV deals with networks individually. Which can bring in around $5 to $15 million in TV money for each club. However from 2025, clubs in Portugal are set to move in with a combine TV deal.
Biggest clubs: FC Benfica, FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon
Star players: 60% local players while South American players makes up the other 30% and 10% from other Europen countries. Portugese clubs usually sell their star players.
Competitive level: Although Benfica and Porto usuaully wrestle for the title in Portugal every year but that does not mean there is no competition in the League. Clubs like Braga and Sporting are pushing top two every year and there is much more even playing field in the league compared to other top leagues around Europe.
Average salary: Average salary in Portuguese league is around €287,000 a year. But players in top clubs can earn as much as €800,000 a year.
#4. Serie A (Italy)
Combined domestic TV rights deal: €927 million ($1 billion)
Prominent clubs: Juventus, AC Milan, Inter Milan
Star players: Dybala (Juventus), Lautaro Martínez (Inter), Ibrahimovic (Milan)
International success: AC Milan has won 7 champions league titles which make them team with most number of UCL trophies only behind Real Madrid.
Average Salary of footballers: Average salary in Italian Serie a has reached $1.5 million a year. But obviously players at the top clubs can earning as much as $7 million a year.
#3. Bundesliga (Germany)
League TV rights deal: $1.2 Billion (Sky Germany & DAZN)
Prominent clubs: FC Bayern Munich & Borussia Dortmund
Star players: Robert Lewandowski (Bayern), Erling Haaland (Dortmund)
International success: Bayern Munich as won 6 champions league trophies. Dortmund is the other German club which has won Europe’s elite competition.
Average Salary of footballers: Average salary in Bundesliga has been on the rise for last 10 years and currently stands at around $1.6 million a year compared to just $780,000 a year back in 2010.
#2. La Liga (Spain)
League TV rights deal: $1.07 million a year (Globo)
Prominent Clubs: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid
Star Players: Karim Benzema, Luka Modrid, Kroos (R.Madrid). Luis Suarez, Griezmann (Atletico). De Jong, Depay and Aubamyang (Barcelona)
International success: Real Madrid have won 13 Champions League titles. Sevilla, and Atletico have 7 Europa League titles between them since 2008.
Average Salary of footballers: Spanish league salaries have been steadily rising over the last 2 decades. In 2022, average player in La liga makes over €1.8 million euro ($2 million). While average salaries in top club like R.Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico jumps to massive $5 million a year.
Lionel Messi and Ronaldo era had put Spanish La liga on a whole different level. But even without them now La Liga is getting better every year. Atletico Madrid have pretty much broken the top 2 monopoly while clubs like Sevilla, Villarreal, Rea Sociedad are consistently doing well in Europa football as well.
La Liga still lag behind Premier League in terms of TV money and Sponsorship deal but in terms of quality of football standard of La Liga clubs remains top. However, clubs other then Real Madrid and Barcelona are struggling to attract top players like club in Premier League can do.
#1. Premier League (England)
Biggest TV rights deal in history: £1.6 billion a year ($2 billion) – SkySports & BT
Most successful clubs: Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City
Star players: Premier League has become pinnacle of league football in europe as Top players from around the world want to represent English clubs sometime during their careers.
International success: Liverpool has won 6 champions leagues followed by 3 by United and 2 by Chelsea. Clubs are also doing well in Europa League putting premier league on the no.1 in UEFA’s coefficient rankings.
Highest average salary in world football: Premier League boosts the highest average salary in the world. With average football in Premier League earning over £66,000 a week ($85,000). While some top players are earning in access of £200,000 a week ($260,000). Highest paid player is Cristiano Ronaldo with £400,000 a week salary.
FAQs Regarding Best Football Leagues:
Also known as the “Big Five”. 1). Premier League 2). Spanish La Liga 3). Bundesliga 4). Serie A 5). Ligue 1
Premier League is by far the most watched league worldwide. Generating over 10 million views per match on average according to recent data.
Primera División (Argentina), Brazlia Serie A, MLS (USA) and Liga MX (Mexico) are some of the top rated leagues outside Europe.