Ranking the Most Competitive European Leagues

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Football is the sporting currency of Europe, and five domestic leagues stand out from the rest. The English Premier League, the French Ligue 1, the German Bundesliga, the Italian Serie A, and La Liga.

It is believed that these leagues present various degrees of difficulty and competitiveness, and the list below identifies the top 5 leagues, from the least competitive to the most competitive.

Serie A

Of the top 5 leagues in Europe, the Serie A is the most one-sided. The gulf in resources between Juventus and the rest of the league is massive.

Their strategy of securing quality players across Europe who have run down their contracts has paid huge dividends. The likes of Paul Pogba and Sami Khedira came to the club as free agents.

The Old Lady have also made it a habit of poaching the best players from their nearest rivals, depleting the strength of the competition. Andrea Pirlo, Miralem Pjanic, and Gonzalo Higuain are some of the big name players they have snatched from various competitors recently.

28 consecutive home wins in the league, 2 defeats in the last 15 games and 7 points ahead of 2nd placed Roma. Juventus will win this the title season, their 6th consecutive title without needing to move into 3rd gear, and this will likely be the norm for years to come.

Ligue 1

In the January 2016 release of the Deloitte Money League, PSG were ranked as the world’s 4th richest club, bettered only by Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United.

Huge revenues afford clubs with the opportunity to acquire top players and build better facilities, which, in turn, leads to more trophies.

Monaco, backed by the billions of Dmitry Rybolovlev and the tactical genius of manager Leonardo Jardim, currently lead the league, but many still expect PSG to overturn the 3 point deficit and pip them to the title.

Bundesliga

No disrespect to the exploits of RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Hertha Berlin this season, but it will be an absolute miracle if either of the three, or indeed anyone else wins the German Bundesliga this season, or anytime soon.

It is widely accepted that the Bundesliga can realistically only be won by one of two teams; Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich, and even Borussia Dortmund are mostly a minor inconvenience to Bayern Munich at best.

Bayern are another club who have chosen the strategy of buying all the top players in the league, thus expanding the gulf in quality.

In all of the last four seasons, the destination of the title was a foregone conclusion by March.

With the spending power of the Bavarian giants, the competitiveness of the Bundesliga is almost non-existent. It always starts out as Bayern’s title to lose.

La Liga

The Spanish La Liga contains four categories of clubs. The super powers Real Madrid and Barcelona who will always compete for the title; Atletico Madrid who have learned to punch their weight and threaten the duopoly of the super powers; the rising teams like Villarreal and Sevilla who almost always qualify for Europe, and then everyone else.

Since 2012 Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid has massively improved the competitiveness of the Spanish league and there are now 3 teams with a realistic shot at the title.

Jorge Sampaoli’s Sevilla is adding to the dynamism of the league, staying toe to toe with the three established competitors in the title race.

Even if Diego Simeone’s magic starts to wane at some point, and no other contenders step up, it is impossible to see a time in the immediate future when the odds of winning the La Liga title are massively skewed in one team’s favour.

Premier League

There really shouldn’t be any debate about Europe’s most competitive league after Leicester City’s miracle in the last term.

The Foxes have shown that anything is possible in the English top flight.

In the year 2017 alone, Swansea have beaten Liverpool, Hull City have drawn at Manchester United, Watford have won at the Emirates, and Burnley have held Chelsea to a draw.

There are no easy games or sure bankers in the English Premier League.

Of the top 30 clubs in the Deloitte Money League of January 2016, 19 of them were English Clubs. The amount of money flowing through the Premier League is staggering, meaning not only can smaller clubs buy some of the best players from continental clubs, but they also have enough means to hold on to their best players.

Since 2010, 4 different clubs have lifted the Premier League title, and the likes of Arsenal and Liverpool have finished as runner-ups at least once.

There is always fierce competition for the title, the Champions League spots, the Europa League spots and the survival places every season.

While it might not be the silkiest or the most technically proficient league in the world; in terms of unpredictability, dynamism, and competitiveness, the Premier League is the best in the world.

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