Top European Football Leagues
Top European Leagues Overview
When it comes to drama, finesse and excitement, nothing beats top European football leagues. The glorious history and the sheer amount of legends that have graced iconic venues in England, Spain, Germany and Italy over the last century have set them miles ahead from the rest of the continent.
Only here you’ll find world-class footballers, mouthwatering encounters, packed stadiums, massive television deals and utopian wages. The top five European leagues are the English Premier League, the German Bundesliga, the Spanish La Liga, the Italian Serie A and the French Ligue 1. Experts and fans are always debating which league is stronger, but this arguing is futile as football evolves in cycles. Serie A was at its peak in the mid-nineties, the Spanish league was extremely competitive at the start of the new century, while English teams have enjoyed dominance at the end of the last decade. Nowadays, the Bundesliga has emerged as a new powerhouse with Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund making headlines in Europe.
Below you’ll find a summary of the major European leagues:
The English Premier League, established in 1992, is the continuation of the old Division One – the oldest football league in the world. Sponsored by Barclays Bank, the Premier League is known for its tough physical style, blistering pace and the never die attitude firmly installed in players minds. Today, the Premier League boasts an enormous pool of talented international players and it’s arguably the most attractive league in Europe due to its hardcore fans and astronomic wages. Manchester United has been ruling the Premier League since its inception and has won more than 10 titles. Only a handful of other teams have managed to win the title up until now, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Blackburn Rovers.
The German Bundesliga is not as old as the Premier League, but it’s the epitome of how a national championship should be run. In financial terms, the Bundesliga is the healthiest in Europe and fans are treated with affordable ticket prices, safe standing areas (terraces) and high quality games. Bayern Munich is the dominant force in Germany with 23 domestic titles. Other German giants are Borussia Dortmund, FC Schalke 04, Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hamburger SV. Recently, Germany surpassed Italy in the UEFA country rankings and now has 4 Champions League spots available.
The Spanish La Liga is famous for its spectacular style and technical players. All teams prefer to pass the ball around rather than lump it forward at the first opportunity. La Liga is the home of Real Madrid and Barcelona, two of the biggest clubs on the planet, with millions of fans worldwide. Their fierce rivalry (El Clasico) has no limits and their encounters are widely regarded as the biggest football matches in the world. However, their massive spending power on world-class players and immense wages has created a gap between them and the rest of the league. No other team except Real Madrid and Barcelona has won La Liga since Valencia in 2004, and now Atletico Madrid in 2014.
The Italian Serie A is no longer what it used to be. The league has lost the ability to attract world-class players due to lack of investments, poor stadiums and low attendances. Italian teams have been struggling to reach later stages of European competitions since Jose Mourinho’s Inter last won the Champions League in 2010. The league is overshadowed by match-fixing scandals and racial abuse, but even so, you should never underestimate the Italian teams. AC Milan, Inter and Juventus will always remain top teams and find the resources to compete at the highest level.
The French Ligue 1 may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s still a very competitive league. It constantly produces bright talents and serves as a stepping-stone for many players on their way to England or Spain. But now, with foreign investors willing to pump money in clubs such as PSG and AC Monaco and attracting the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Beckham, Ligue 1 could rise to a new level.
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