While watching the Champions League game between Bayer Leverkusen and Manchester United the question of the strongest league in the world was raised, again. The answer usually depends on who you are asking. An Englishman would usually not vote for LaLiga or the Bundesliga. Well, to be honest, he shouldn’t.
Looking at the leagues and the standings it is clear that each of them have their top teams that deliver outstanding and exciting soccer. Going down the league tables, however, the excitement waters down. In the German Bundesliga are two teams, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, that can claim international class. The rest, including Bayer Leverkusen and Schalke 04, cannot be counted as serious contenders in international club soccer. Going over to Spain and looking at LaLiga, the picture is not different. Barca and Real Madrid have their thing going on forever and barely someone else has the ability to change that. Looking down the table reveals the same picture as in Germany. Two teams and not much more. Does that create excitement every weekend? Not really.
Italy, France and other European leagues don’t have much to show either. There are two or three teams that fight for the national championship, the rest is modest soccer.
The English Premier League is a different animal. Barely a week goes by without a serious game between international big shots, or at least serious title contenders. Looking down the table displays 4, 5 or even 6 teams that could be considered as serious challengers for the title. The teams from position 7 to 10 are always able to make one of the top teams stumble. Something that only seldom happens in the other European leagues.
So, from excitement and quality of the weekly games, the EPL is clearly the best league in the world. The critics of the English league will claim that there is too much money involved in the EPL. Many clubs are owned by Billionaires that finance their personal hobby, or ego, and this is not a healthy way to run clubs. Well, that might or might not be right, but for the question of which is the best league, that argument is limping.
So, with the EPL being the best league, is English soccer the best? Clearly not! There are multiple reasons for that. First, the English top teams have barely English players in their team. In some teams it doesn’t require the ability to count to three to count them. Second, while usually one of the English club teams is advancing pretty far in the European Champions League, they can’t be called regular winners. The European club title is passing by the British island far more often than not. Even making it to the final is not really a given.
Looking at the English National Team also reveals rather modest soccer quality. The English qualify for big tournaments on a regular basis, but once there, they are unable to keep up with other nations such as Brasil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, The Netherlands and many others. The modest successes of the English National Team have their origins in the “shopping habits” of the big English clubs. They rather buy an international superstar with incredible amounts of money, then giving English talent a chance to grow. The English, not known to move to continental Europe, try to find their luck with the lower ranked clubs, or in the second tier of English soccer. That’s not really helping the English National Team.
So, there is really only one answer to the question of the best league. It is the EPL! The question which Country plays the best soccer is far more open. There are a number of teams competing, the English are not amongst them.