This is without doubt one debate that will be agreed and disagreed on, on a daily basis by many football fans. But do we really boast the best football league in the world? What about La Liga? Seria A? Or even the Bundesliga?
I remember vividly as a youngster watching the Sunday afternoon showing of football Italia, with James Richardson (pink paper in hand) coolly presenting a feast of world class football. Seria A back then had everything, from the Brazilian legend Ronaldo at Inter Milan, Batistuta’s Fiorentina, Inzaghi’s Juventus, a Lazio side that included Pavel Nedved and Alessandro Nesta to the famous Parma side which included Gianluigi Buffon, Hernan Crespo and Fabio Cannavaro.
Unfortunately, like the coverage, Italian football fell into decline and, with several match fixing scandals along the way, has struggled to replicate such a high class of football, with only Juventus recently providing any European pedigree.
The German Bundesliga is dubbed the league most similar to our own Premier League with its fast paced, physical and demanding style. The Bundesliga has produced many great German sides, like 2001/02 Champions League runners up Bayer Leverkusen, 2010-11 Champions League semi-finalists Schalke 04, Jürgen Klopp’s easy on the eye Champions League runners up Borussia Dortmund side of 2012/13 and, of course the famous Bayern Munich 2013 Champions League winning side.
But the Bundesliga has been, and still is, threatening to be a one horse race with Bayern dominating and the rest playing catch up. Bayern have won the last three Bundesliga titles, and six of the last ten, and show little signs of slowing down.
The last two Champions League finals have been won by Spanish giants Barcelona in 2015 and Real Madrid in 2014. Add to that the fact the last two Europa League finals have both been won by Spanish side Sevilla, and you could say that La Liga sides have dominated European football over the last few seasons. La Liga contains without doubt the two best players the world has seen for decades, in Barcelona’s free scoring Lionel Messi and Real’s pin up boy Cristiano Ronaldo.
Add to that the likes of Luis Suarez, Brazilian star Neymar, Spanish legend Iniesta and the world’s most expensive footballer Gareth Bale, and the league is brimming with some of the world’s best.
But La Liga has surely become just a three horse race? The last five titles have belonged to Barcelona (2014/15, 2012/13 & 2010/11) Atletico Madrid (2013/14 season) and Real Madrid (2011/12 season). In fact, you have to look all the way back to the 2003/04 season where Rafa Benitez’s Valencia side were the last team outside the big three to clinch the La Liga title and no side has threatened since, with Valencia being the only other side to finish in the top three over the last five seasons.
The last five years has seen only Chelsea from the Barclays Premier League collect any European silverware after clinching the Champions League title in 2012 and also the Europa League title the following season. But is the Premier League the most competitive of them all?
Over the last five Premier League seasons there has been three different champions, Chelsea (2014-15 season) Manchester United (2010-11 & 2012-13 seasons) and Manchester city (2011-12 & 2013-14 seasons), four different runners up and a total of five different teams finishing within the top three of the Premier League.
I believe the Premier League is definitely the most competitive League around with this current season proving that even more so with the improvement of teams such as Crystal Palace, Leicester City and West Ham, who have already beaten Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City on the road. But I also believe La Liga’s top three of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are ahead of our Premier League big guns when it comes to European Competition.
That being said the debate about which League is best I am sure will be a constant talking point between football fans around the world.