Soccer continues to be one of the most watched sports in the entire world. With so many professional leagues around the globe, fans are glued to exciting games seven days a week.
With many options to follow, what are the best soccer leagues in the world?
To help you find the most entertaining soccer leagues to watch, here is a list of some of the absolute best.
The criteria is rather subjective and loose but we considered popularity, competition format, star soccer players, rising stars and rising trend in viewership. You will probably disagree but that’s okay. We’re open to everyone’s criticism!
Before you read on, can you 🤔 guess what the top three leagues are in this list?
#10 – Major League Soccer (United States)
It is pretty undeniable that the U.S. was quite late joining the professional soccer party, but since the establishment of Major League Soccer in 1993, the league has made significant strides in improvements starting from the 2013 season.
The league started with 10 soccer clubs playing at nearly empty NFL stadiums during the first ten years of the league.
Today, according to Nielsen ratings, the average viewership of MLS games during the regular season is approximately 273,000 viewers per game across all national and local broadcasts.
And, stadiums such as Mercedes- Benz Stadium (Atlanta United), Gillette Stadium (New England Revolution) hold about 70,000 fans.
We are super confident that the MLS will crack the top 7 in the near future. Until then, we have to sit back and enjoy the game we love playing here in the U.S.
#9 – Super Lig (Turkey)
Süper Lig is the top professional football league in Turkey. Founded in 1959, Süper Lig currently consists of 19 teams.
Although the level of play in this Turkish league is not quite as evolved as in the leagues in countries like England, the rivalries here are very strong. You will find some of the most dedicated football fans in this Turkish league.
The most successful team in the league’s history is Galatasaray, with 22 championships to their name. Other prominent teams in the league include Fenerbahce, Besiktas, Trabzonspor, and Istanbul Basaksehir.
#8 – Brasileirão (Brazil)
The Brasileirão, also known as the Campeonato Brasileiro Série A, is the top professional soccer league in Brazil.
It features 20 professional teams from different regions of the country, who play against each other in a double round-robin format.
The league was founded in 1959 and is organized by the Brazilian Football Confederation. It is considered one of the most competitive and prestigious soccer leagues in the world, with many famous and successful teams, such as Flamengo, Corinthians, Palmeiras, Santos, and São Paulo.
In terms of technical skills, Brasileirão, as a whole, is much better compared to the MLS and Liga MX (the top Mexican league). However, in our humble opinion, it is still not enough to compete with the Argentinian Premier League.
#7 – Argentine Primera Division (Argentina)
Argentine Primera Division, also known as Liga Profesional de Fútbol was founded in 1891 and features 28 teams from different regions of Argentina.
The most successful team in the league’s history is River Plate, with 36 championships to their name, followed by Boca Juniors with 34 championships.
The Argentine Primera Division has produced some of the world’s greatest soccer players, such as Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Juan Roman Riquelme, and Gabriel Batistuta.
The league is also known for its passionate fans, intense rivalries, and exciting matches, which often feature high levels of skill and technical ability.
#6 – Primeira Liga (Portugal)
The Primeira Liga is the highest level of Portuguese professional soccer. Although it is not quite as big as its other professional counterparts, it is still one of the most exciting. The level of play and entertainment value provided by every game is on par with the other top professional leagues.
The Primeira Liga features 18 teams and the top three clubs, FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon, and Benfica, have historically dominated the league in terms of championships.
The Primeira Liga has produced some of the world’s greatest international soccer players, such as Eusébio, Luis Figo, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Bernardo Silva.
Additionally, the top teams in the league have the opportunity to compete in various European club competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.
#5 – Eredivisie (Netherlands)
The Eredivisie is the top professional football division in the Netherlands. This league was established way back in 1956, just two years after professional soccer started in the country.
There are now 18 clubs in Eredivisie, with the top teams being Ajax, Eindhoven PSV, and Feyenoord, with 35, 24, and 15 championships won, respectively.
This professional league features highly tactical play, aggressive tackling and brilliant scoring. In fact, some of the best soccer matches are between Eredivisie teams.
Another reason why this Dutch league is considered one of the best is that it is known for developing future soccer superstars. Some of the best European players were products of Eredivisie including Jurrien Timber, Edson Álvarez and Orkun Kökcü.
#4 – Italian Serie A (Italy)
The Italian Serie A is one of the oldest professional football leagues in the world. It is also one of the best worldwide. According to UEFA, the Italian Serie A was the top league back in the late 80s and throughout the 1990s.
Each game is very tactical and exciting to watch especially if two of the best teams such as Inter and AC Milan are going head-to-head.
The most successful team in the league’s history is Juventus, with 36 championships to their name, followed by AC Milan with 18 championships and Inter Milan with 19 championships.
The point differential in Seria A games is so consistent that most games are very unpredictable, which adds a lot of excitement to every game.
#3 – La Liga (Spain)
La Liga, also known as the Primera División, is the top professional football (soccer) league in Spain. The league was founded in 1929 and is organized by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional (LFP).
If you want to watch some of the most exciting and high-scoring soccer games, La Liga has you covered. You should set your calendar to remind you whenever Real Madrid and FC Barcelona will be playing. These matches (called El Clasico) are the most watched soccer games in the world and for good reason.
La Liga has produced some of the world’s greatest soccer stars, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Diego Maradona, and Zinedine Zidane.
Moreover, the top teams in the league have the opportunity to compete in various European club competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.
#2 – Bundesliga (Germany)
The Bundesliga is the top German professional football league and it has one of the most avid fans in all professional soccer.
It could be argued that La Liga and Bundesliga are interchangeable in this list, but the German league has a slight advantage because of the more technical level of play.
The league is also known for its high-intensity and fast-paced style of play, with an emphasis on physicality and aggressive pressing.
Bayern Munich, which is one of, if not the most dominating team in international soccer, plays in the Bundesliga. Also, the Bundesliga has won the most European trophies compared to the other professional leagues.
#1 – English Premier League (England)
Since football originated in England, it is only fitting that the English Premier League (EPL) is the best professional soccer league in the world.
Believe it or not, the EPL was started in 1992 and has since gained huge popularity around the globe.
The reason why the EPL is the best is that it has significantly more excitement and technical play with every game. This is the place where most professional soccer players aspire to play. The league is also known for its physical and fast-paced style of play, with an emphasis on direct attacking soccer.
The most popular football clubs in the world, including Liverpool, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Chelsea, all play in the EPL. These teams are not just popular within Europe but they also have millions of fans internationally.
The top teams in the league have the opportunity to compete in various European club competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League and the Europa League.
Another reason why it is indisputable that the English Premier League is the best in the world is that it is also the most profitable. On average, the EPL collects revenue amounting to almost £2 billion every year, which places it fourth behind the NFL, MLB, and the NBA.
These are the top 10 best professional soccer leagues in the world right now.
Obviously, this is just our opinion but I think it provides a great landscape for international soccer.
The beauty of this list is that many of the games can be found on TV or streaming devices. For soccer fans, watching soccer can be a great two-hour escape from the busyness the world hands us.
Also, for youth soccer players, watching soccer can be a great learning environment in the comfort of their home. They can see plays develop, the work ethic of the athletes and their smooth technical abilities.
Lastly, enjoy the games with teammates, friends and family!