For many years there has been an argument over which is the best football league in Europe. Sky Sports have long boasted that the Premier League is the best, despite Spain dominating the UEFA coefficient ranking and the UEFA Champions League for a number of seasons now.
The German Bundesliga certainly offers the best value for money for fans attending games and that is represented with the highest average attendance between the top four leagues. However, it has been dominated by Bayern Munich for the past five seasons, and they have Borussia Dortmund have shared the title over the past eight seasons. In fact, those two have topped the league for 16 of the past 19 seasons.
Serie A has got a bad reputation for Catenaccio and slow football but it may be a little harsh on the Italians over the past few seasons with the game speeding up and some of the top players currently plying their trade over there. However, Juventus have dominated the league for the past six seasons, and before that Internazionale won it for five consecutive seasons between 2005-10, with AC Milan winning it once in between.
Here’s a look at the basic statistics from the 2016-17 season:
|League||Matches Played||Goals Scored||Goals per Game||Champions’ Margin of Victory||Average Attendance|
|La Liga||380||1,118||2.94||3 points||27,856|
|Premier League||380||1,064||2.8||7 points||35,821|
|Serie A||380||1,123||2.96||4 points||22,047|
Hard to believe it, but the Italian league actually averaged more goals per game than any of its three competitors. Roma and Napoli both scored 90+, whilst Torino down in mid-table managed 71. In comparison, no team outside the top five in England scored 70+, whilst Tottenham were the league’s highest scorers with 86 goals. Competitive.
La Liga’s stats can be taken with a pinch of salt. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona scored more than a century of goals, whilst the runners-up finished some 12 points ahead of Atlético Madrid in third. Apart from Atléti’s shock title win in 2014, the title has been split between the big two for 12 of the past 13 seasons.
Germany has certainly reinvented itself over the past few years – particularly when Jürgen Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund won back-to-back league titles between 2010-12. They also faced Bayern Munich in the all-German Champions League final in 2013 – the last time a Spanish team didn’t win Europe’s most elite club cup competition.
The Bundesliga offers attractive and unpredictable football games (unless you’re watching Bayern Munich), which included both RB Leipzig and 1899 Hoffenheim finishing in Champions League places at the end of this past season. Big clubs such as VfL Wolfsburg, Hamburg and Bayer 04 Leverkusen were also in a relegation scrap, whilst VfB Stuttgart were playing outside the top flight this past season. Both Wolfsburg and Stuttgart have won the top flight title this millennium – although they’re both 400/1 outsiders in the Bundesliga betting to repeat the feat in the upcoming season.
England is able to trump these three leagues in my opinion. There have been four different champions in the past five seasons, including Leicester City. Big clubs such as Newcastle United and Aston Villa have been relegated. The battle for Champions League football and relegation is always competitive and only Germany averages a higher attendance than England’s top flight. And let’s be honest, English clubs don’t do their fans any favours with extortionate ticket prices.