Year after year, fans of the beautiful game are subjected to — or rather, subject themselves to — the debate over which league is the best in the world.
with so many top class strikers in the premier league, it HAS to be the best league in the world… right?
In general, it’s a pretty fruitless argument. There are like a billion ways to define “best”: most number of top teams, the league with the most parity, the league with most top players, the richest league, the most financially sound league, the most entertaining league, the most successful league, the most popular league, and the list goes on and on. And even if you were to average up all of those different factors, half of those are still clearly based on opinion.
So why even bother? Well, because we’re pretty self-centered species that’s naturally driven to prove to the rest of our peers that our opinions are the right ones so we can feel smug about ourselves. Therefore, the debate will rage on until there’s only a single league to watch. Which will be never.
Regardless, the leagues that are mentioned in this discussion have remained fairly constant:
England’s Britain’s Premier League, Germany’s Bundesliga, Italy’s Serie A and Spain’s La Liga. Each has had its time in the sun as the consensus “world’s best league”: Serie A held the title for much of the 90′s and was supplanted in the early 00′s by the Premier League. And of late, La Liga and the Bundesliga have made headway in the court of public opinion.
For some reason, this flux in opinion grates the hell out of people. Fans of the Premier League in particular tend to lose their minds whenever it’s suggested that the Premiership has lost some of its luster. How dare you criticize “the Prem”? You are aware that Arsenal/Liverpool/Manchester United/Chelsea is the most popular team in the world, right?! That’s why everyone wants to play there, you know! And while it’s hard not to wring their necks even while that stream of BS pours from their mouths/keyboards, you can understand their frustration.
How is it that a league that is the most watched in the world, generally pays the best wages and has the richest TV deal in sports relinquish a title that was almost indisputably their’s?