10 Best Soccer Leagues in the World to Watch

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The best soccer leagues in the world are financially stable and attract the best players, broadcasters and viewers. These competitions have existed for years and have evolved with the times to remain competitive. Fans tune in weekly to keep up with the teams and players and spend huge amounts to watch them live. 

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The drama is never-ending, some of which is stoked by broadcasters to keep us glued. Opta Analyst released its power rankings of the best football leagues in world football, most of which are European. We’ll include African leagues in our ranking.

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Premier League (England) – 87.1

10 Best Soccer Leagues in the World to Watch
Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

It’s no surprise that Opta power rankings rate the English Premier League as the best soccer league in the world. The best players and coaches clamor to feature in the league. This has produced unending drama and rivalries.

Over the last five years, Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola have gone toe-to-toe, producing the best game and players. From Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane to Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Erling Halaand.

The marketing of the league has also raised interest, as it’s where ‘anyone can beat anyone’. The allure of clubs like Manchester United and Arsenal, which have a successful history leaves fans looking forward to more.

England has also performed well in the Champions League, having a team in the semi-final or final in the last five years, with Liverpool and Manchester City winning in 2019 and 2023. This has earned them first place in the UEFA Association club coefficient.

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La Liga (Spain) – 84.8

The Spanish League adds to our list of the best soccer leagues in the world. Over the years, it attracted the best figures in the sport and was home to arguably, the best player in world football Lionel Messi.

The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009 boosted its popularity, and his rivalry against Messi made the El Classico, Real Madrid vs Barcelona unmissable. After their departure, La Liga has new stars like Jude Bellingham keeping fans excited.

Additionally, the Spanish teams have dominated Europe in the Champions League and Europa League. They’ve won six of the last 10 Champions League trophies. And Sevilla and Valencia won 7 out of the 10 Europa League titles. The country ranks second in the UEFA Association club coefficient

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Serie A (Italy) – 84.5

The Italian Serie A hasn’t always had the best reputation, with fans viewing it as boring due to its defensive style of play. Additionally, its horrible record of corruption and racism hasn’t done it any good. Serial winners Juventus dominated Serie A, winning nine consecutive titles from 2012 to 2020, leaving the league without the edge sports enthusiasts look for.

Nonetheless, Roma, Napoli, AC Milan and Inter Milan have made things interesting. In the Champions League, Italy hasn’t faired that well, with Juventus the only team to reach the final, twice in the last 10 years. 

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Bundesliga (Germany) – 84.1

10 Best Soccer Leagues in the World to Watch
Leroy Sane playing for Bayern Munich. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Bundesliga has received similar criticism to the Serie A. That it’s a one-horse race league. Bayern Munich has won the last 11 titles in the league and the Champions League in the 2019/20 season. Its unprecedented success stems from its financial capacity that allows them to buy the best players in the world.

Despite criticism that big stars chose the Premier League over Germany, it’s had big names like:

To be fair, the league has other great teams like Borussia Dortmund, who are Bayern’s closest rivals. Others include Bayer Leverkusen, who could win the title in 2023/24 and break Bayern’s winning streak and RB Leipzig among others. 

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Ligue 1 (France) – 83.6

10 Best Soccer Leagues in the World to Watch
Kylian Mbappe playing for PSG. Source: Wikimedia licensed by CC-BY-SA-4.0

Paris Saint-German is upholding Ligue 1’s stature as the biggest club in the country. The Qatari investment has given it financial powers that only a few can match, which is evidenced by the acquisitions it makes. Buying of Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Lionel Messi among others, has given fans something to watch and talk about.

However, PSG’s quest to win the Champions League remains unfulfilled. The club’s star player Mbappe announced his decision to leave at the end of the season, so we’ll see how that impacts its ranking among the best soccer leagues in the world. 

The other European leagues that make Opta’s power rankings list include:

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Outside Europe

Brazilian Serie A

A look into Brazilian football. Video Credit: Tifo Football

The Brazilian Serie A is the only non-European league in Opta Analyst’s top ten ranking. The league has produced global football stars like Neymar and Ronaldinho, it’s stacked with talents. It also has one of the most intense derbies in world football, the Paulista Derby, between Palmeiras and Corinthians. Continentally, its clubs compete in the Copa Libertadores, the equivalent of the Champions League in Europe.

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Major League Soccer (MLS) – USA

The Rise of Major League Soccer. Video Credit: CNBC

The Major League Soccer (MLS) wraps up Opta’s top 10 best soccer leagues in the world. The league has grown over the years and is steadily attracting interest beyond the United States. The arrival of stars from Europe, the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has increased the league’s visibility. If MLS continues on this path, it might rival top European clubs for talent. 

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Argentine Primera Division (Argentina)

A review of Argentina football. Video Credit: Al Jazeera English

The Argentine soccer league is one of the second-oldest professional leagues in the world and the sixth-oldest competition in world football. The two biggest teams are Boca Juniors and River Plate, which are also the most successful in the country. The latter has won 46 titles and the former 50 titles. The Superclasico, the derby between the two, is one of the most intense in world football and a highlight on the league’s calendar.

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Saudi Pro League (Saudi Arabia)

The Saudi Pro League has dominated recent football transfers, recruiting big names from European clubs like Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Karim Benzema. Although the league’s competitiveness remains questionable, the amount of money it has poured onto players to boost its visibility is mindboggling. Many predict that it’ll end up like the Chinese League, which also threw money at players only for it to fade away. 

Botola Pro (Morocco)

MOROCCO • BOTOLA PRO 1 • WINNERS LIST [1948 – 2022]. Video Credit: Football & History

Morocco’s success at the international level isn’t a fluke. A strong domestic league is always the backbone of a successful national team. Morocco leads Africa in football development with state-of-the-art infrastructure. Additionally, its clubs regularly compete in the CAF Champions League and have won the title.

In 2023, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) ranked Wydad Casablanca as the second-best club in Africa, after Egypt’s Al Ahly’s SC. The country produces one of the biggest derbies, the Casablanca derby.

These are the best soccer leagues in the world you should be following. They contain great rivalries, a rich history, a loyal fanbase and everything you’d want in a professional league. Some, like the Saudi Pro League, are still developing. But with its financial backing, it can build a solid product that gives players an alternative to Europe. Which league do you follow?

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