5. Ligue 1
Finally, there's the French Ligue 1, also called Ligue 1 Uber Eats for sponsorship reasons, is a French professional league for men's association football clubs.
At the top of the French football league system, it is the country's primary football competition. Administrated by the Ligue de Football Professionnel, Ligue 1 is contested by 20 clubs and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with Ligue 2.
Ligue 1 is a relatively small fry in Europe but still the fifth wealthiest soccer league in the world, with revenue of around £1.4 billion last season. The richest club by far is, of course, Paris St Germain, which has been valued at around £900 million.
While their revenues may not be as large as the other major European leagues, their finances are arguably the most sound, with the annual Deloitte Football Money League ranking Ligue 1 clubs as having the healthiest finances and largest surpluses out of all other countries in the world.
As you can see, the wealthiest leagues in the world right now are all European ones. However, don't expect this to remain the case for much longer, as other leagues continue to catch up.
The actions in the Ligue 1 is testament to the incredible gameplay as well as the presence of world-class footballers in the league. The French domestic league which has been in existence since 1932 has seen various clubs emerge as the domineering club at various times.
As much as 1.6 million people watch a single Ligue 1 game featuring top clubs such as PSG. The league was rated the 7th best league in Europe by UEFA in 2019. Top players such as Edinson Cavani, wonder boy Kylian Mbappe and Angel Di Maria.
4. Serie A
Taking the 4th spot on our list of the best soccer leagues in the world is the Italian domestic football league, the Serie A.
Serie A is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world and it is often depicted as the most tactical national league. Serie A was the world's second-strongest national league in 2014 according to IFFHS.
Serie A is ranked fourth among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient, behind La Liga, the Premier League and the Bundesliga, and ahead of Ligue 1, which is based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League during the last five years. Serie A led the UEFA ranking from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999.
Since football great Cristiano Ronaldo joined Juventus, the league has received increased media attention. In his debut match for Juventus, about 2.3 million tuned in to watch the star work his magic. The league which was founded in 1898 was ranked the third-best league in Europe by UEFA in 2019. Aside from Ronaldo, top footballers in the Serie A include, Lorenzo Insigne, Paulo Dybala and Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus, Milan and Inter, along with Lazio, Fiorentina, Roma and Napoli, are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football. Inter are the only team in Italian football history to have never been relegated.
Italy's Serie A league, now known as Serie A TIM due to a £40 million annual sponsorship deal with the Italian telecoms giant TIM, is another European league with a formidable bank balance.
The league drew in around £1.85 billion in revenue last year, largely on the backs of star squads like Juventus, AC Milan, and Internazionale, arguably three of the most iconic clubs on the planet.
Juventus, the most valuable of the lot, is owned by the billionaire Agnelli family, who also happens to own two more of Italy's most famous brands: Fiat and Ferrari.
Bundesliga is a professional association football league in Germany. At the top of the German football league system, the Bundesliga is Germany's primary football competition. The Bundesliga comprises 18 teams and operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the 2. Bundesliga.
56 clubs have competed in the Bundesliga since its founding. Bayern Munich has won the Bundesliga the most, winning the title 29 times. However, the Bundesliga has seen other champions with Borussia Dortmund, Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Mönchengladbach and VfB Stuttgart most prominent among them.
Germany's Bundesliga has seen its international prominence and following grow exponentially in recent years, placing it hot on the heels of La Liga with around £3.6 billion in revenues last season. Naturally, Bayern Munich is the big moneymaker, thanks to a brand value estimated at around £1.2 billion.
However, teams that were once strictly local phenomenons such as Hamburger SV, Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund, and VfB Stuttgart have developed global followings in recent years and have seen their individual revenues rise from tens of millions to hundreds of millions of euros in that time.
Ranked the third-best football league in Europe by UEFA in 2019, the Bundesliga, the German domestic football league is unarguably one of the toughest football leagues in Europe.
The league which was founded in 1962 has 56 clubs playing in it. The league has the most average league attendance in the world. Its clubs are also very successful at continental tournaments.
2. La Liga
The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, commonly known as La LIGA (LaLiga Santander for sponsorship reasons with Santander), is the men's top professional football division of the Spanish football league system.
Contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top two teams and a play-off winner in that division.
The Spanish domestic football league features some of the best football clubs in the world and is ranked the best football league in Europe by UEFA in its 2019 ranking. The league had over 76 million viewers watch its games during the 2018/19 season.
La Liga features some of the most anticipated football games in the world, such as the El Clasico. The league which was founded in 1929 features 20 teams, and in continental and international tournaments, it is one of the most successful. Clubs in La Liga have won the UEFA Champions League, 18 times and FIFA Club World Cup, 7 times.
A total of 62 teams have competed in La Liga since its inception. Nine teams have been crowned champions, with Real Madrid winning the title a record 34 times and FC Barcelona 26 times.
Given that the Spanish La Liga is home to Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, two of the best-performing clubs in history, it should come as no surprise that this league knows how to turn a profit. The vast empires of these two clubs alone contribute the bulk of the £3.8 billion in annual revenue generated by La Liga last year.
In addition to ticket sales and merch, La Liga earns hundreds of millions from lucrative sponsorship deals from the likes of massive companies like Puma, EA, Budweiser, Santander, and Microsoft.
1. English Premier League
The Premier League, (founded on 20 February 1992 as the FA Premier League) often referred to as the English Premier League or the EPL outside England, is the top level of the English football league system.
Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL). Seasons run from August to May with each team playing 38 matches (playing all 19 other teams both home and away). Most games are played on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
The English Premier League is by far the biggest, most powerful and best football leagues in the world right now. Its matches are broadcasted in 212 countries and reach about 4.7 billion people.
According to UEFA’s 2019 league’s ranking, EPL has been ranked one of the best football league in Europe. The league which was founded in 1992, is the second football league with the most average attendance in the 2018/19 season.
Forty-nine clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League in 1992: forty-seven English and two Welsh clubs. Seven of them have won the title: Manchester United (13), Chelsea (5), Manchester City (4), Arsenal (3), Blackburn Rovers (1), Leicester City (1) and Liverpool (1) with Liverpool being the most recent winners. The record of most points in a Premier League season is 100, set by Manchester City in 2017–18.
In the world of professional football, the Premier League stands above them all. The combined revenues of the league last season amounted to around £5.7 billion, which also makes the EPL the third-wealthiest league in the world after the NFL and Major League Baseball.
The Premier League also has 12 billionaire owners, possessing a combined wealth of around £72 billion. In addition, the Premier League is one of the most popular leagues for soccer betting around the world, with fans of Arsenal, Man U, Chelsea, and the rest betting billions of pounds on the fixtures every single year.
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