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Ranking the top 5 football leagues in Europe

Sourya C
ANALYST
Modified 15 Oct 2020, 00:48 IST
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#3 Serie A

Once the best league in Europe, the Serie A has seen its stock fall in recent times.
Once the best league in Europe, the Serie A has seen its stock fall in recent times.

Juventus, Juventus, Juventus. Their dominance in the Italian league has been particularly staggering in recent seasons.

In the mid-90s, the Serie A was an extremely competitive league, even more so than that of the Premier League in England. AC Milan, Internazionale, Juventus, Roma, Lazio and even Fiorentina competed for the Scudetto, and most of the best players in the world like Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo Nazario played in the vibrant competition.

Since that high, the Italian league has suffered from scandals and lost its glamour as many of its top stars moved to Spain, with England also beginning to attract the global superstars of the game.

Then Juventus' reign started, and the Turin side has now won an astounding nine straight Serie A titles, a factor that has contributed to the league's diminishing stature.

However, in the last season, Juventus' absolute dominance of the Italian scene seemed to fade a bit despite the Bianconeri winning another league title.

The Italian league is finally seeing the emergence of more claimants to the throne, with Antonio Conte's Inter and Gian Piero Gasperini's Atalanta becoming potent threats to Juve's hegemony. Lazio also had a great season while Napoli have emerged as a strong force in recent years. Roma are in the mix too while fallen giants AC Milan are aiming a resurrection.

Juventus have done well in the UEFA Champions League in recent times without winning the title. The history of Italian clubs in the competition is rich, with both AC Milan and Internazionale having won multiple titles along with Juventus.

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The stock of the Italian league has also risen with the arrival in Turin of Cristiano Ronaldo, possibly the best player in the world right now.

#2 La Liga

Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona - The biggest rivalry in club football?
Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona - The biggest rivalry in club football?

While La Liga continues to attract the best in the game, it is majorly due to two of the best and wealthiest clubs in the world: Real Madrid and Barcelona. Their scintillating rivalry also makes this league one of the best in the world. However, apart from Diego Simeone's pugnacious Atletico Madrid, no other team has managed to seriously challenge this duopoly in recent seasons.

One has to go back to 2011-12 to find a team (Valencia) other than these three finishing in the top three of the Spanish league. But one cannot take away anything from Real Madrid's Galacticos coached by the brilliant Zinedine Zidane who have dominated Europe in recent years and have won 13 European Cups/Champions Leagues, which is the most by any other club.

Ronaldo and Bale might have moved on, but Real Madrid still have Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and co.

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Barcelona, once the best team in the world in the Pep Guardiola heydays, are undergoing a rebuild but still has Lionel Messi in their ranks along with a few other stars.

#1 Premier League

Liverpool, the reigning Premier League champions, crashed to a loss in their last league game away at Villa Park.
Liverpool, the reigning Premier League champions, crashed to a loss in their last league game away at Villa Park.

The sheer competitiveness and breathtaking pace of the English league make it top this list. The only league that has a competitive top-6 and has thrown up surprise champions like Leicester City, an anomaly in the modern game.

The hegemony of Manchester United, once the top dogs in England, has ended in recent years. Chelsea, Manchester City and more recently Liverpool, have all won the English league in the last few years, and Tottenham Hotspur have also been in the mix. Spurs also made it to the Champions League final where they went down to fellow English club Liverpool.

While the dominating league wins by City and Liverpool mean that those two might be playing at a higher level than the others in the competition, this season both have looked fallible, and there might yet be more surprises in store in the English top flight.

Even below the top six, the English league is ultra-competitive, with newly-promoted Leeds United setting pulses racing this year. Relegation battles in England are also mouth-watering. English teams have found success in Europe as well.

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England have also increasingly attracted the best talents in the game. Manchester City have the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero among a host of other stars. Liverpool possesses the famed attacking triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino along with possibly the best central defender in the world in Virgil van Dijk.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal have also traditionally drawn the best players and continue to do so. Recently, Thiago Alcantara switched from European champions Bayern Munich to Liverpool

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Published 15 Oct 2020, 00:48 IST
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