The Best Football Leagues in Europe

The current season has seen many teams dominate Europe compare to last season which brought about a series of surprises and transformations in the top five football leagues across Europe. From the relatively predictable nature of Ligue 1 in France to the shake-up in Serie A and the unprecedented unpredictability in the Premier League, it was a season that defied expectations. In this article, we ranked the top 5 major European football leagues from the least exciting to the most interesting in the current season.

Ligue 1 – FRANCE

The 2023 season of Ligue 1 in France had few surprises in terms of final standings. PSG, the dominant team, won the championship again without much glory, clinching the title in the penultimate round. Betting on PSG at Betway and other bookmakers was safe all across the season. PSG’s performance throughout the season was not impressive, and it marked the end of an era with Messi, Ramos, and possibly Neymar leaving the club. RC Lens emerged as the standout performer, finishing second and securing direct qualification to the Champions League.

Clermont Foot also exceeded expectations, finishing eighth with an impressive win against the champions. Lyon and Monaco were the major disappointments, failing to secure European competition spots. The season also saw changes in relegation rules, with four teams directly relegated to reduce the number of teams in the league to 18. Individual accolades went to PSG’s Mbappe, who was named the league’s MVP and top scorer, and Messi, who led in assists and dribbling statistics. Overall, Ligue 1 needs to nurture new competitive teams to challenge the PSG monopoly and ensure long-term competitiveness.

LaLiga – SPAIN

Barcelona made a comeback in La Liga after a few challenging seasons. They secured the title, displaying a strong defensive game and winning the championship. Real Madrid, fatigued from their consecutive seasons competing on multiple fronts, couldn’t keep up. Atletico Madrid found their rhythm too late to challenge for the title but played a more attacking style under Simeone.

Several prominent Spanish teams had disappointing seasons. FC Sevilla in recent season’s contender, finished 12th, while Espanyol suffered relegation for the second time in four seasons. Valencia and Celta Vigo narrowly avoided relegation.

Real Sociedad deserves praise for consistently competing for a Champions League spot with a consistent generation of players. They secured a top-four finish despite squad issues. Osasuna’s qualification for the Conference League from the seventh position was also commendable.

La Liga seems to be going through a period of lower quality and less attraction due to financial constraints and a lack of young goalscorers. Barcelona’s resurgence, defensive strength, and the struggles of some big names were the highlights of the previous season.

Serie A – ITALY

The Italian Serie A football championship was highly competitive, with a close race at the top of the table. The overall state of Italian football is in a phase of stabilization, with efforts being made to improve the league’s competitiveness. Italian teams performed well in European competitions, which is a sign of progress.

Napoli emerged as the surprise champions, led by their coach Spaletti and sporting director Giuntoli, who rejuvenated the team with strategic signings. Napoli’s success in the league was highlighted by their dominant performance against Juventus, winning 5-1. The title victory held special significance as it came after the passing of football legend Maradona, and the stadium in Napoli was named in his honor.

Another notable event was Juventus’ points deduction due to financial irregularities, which ultimately affected their league position and relegated them to the Conference League instead of the Champions League. Lazio and Monza were pleasant surprises in the league, with Lazio finishing second and qualifying for the Champions League, while Monza, a newly promoted team, performed admirably. There were also some disappointments, including Sampdoria’s relegation, Verona’s struggle to avoid relegation playoffs, and Fiorentina’s failure to contend for European championships.

Bundesliga – GERMANY

The Bundesliga 2022-2023 season has concluded, and Bayern Munich emerged as champions for the eleventh consecutive time. However, their victory was less convincing than in previous seasons. Tensions within the club and a negative atmosphere affected their performance, resulting in dropped points and unconvincing wins. Borussia Dortmund challenged Bayern’s supremacy but fell short in the end.

The season saw a total of 971 goals, the highest in the last three years. Bayern Munich scored the most goals (92), while Schalke scored the fewest (35). Nkunku and Fullkrug were the top goal scorers with 16 goals each, although their performances were not as remarkable as in previous seasons.

In terms of European qualifications, seven teams will represent the Bundesliga in the upcoming season. Bayern, Dortmund, Leipzig, and Union Berlin secured spots in the Champions League. SC Freiburg, Bayer Leverkusen, and Eintracht Frankfurt will participate in the Europa League and Conference League.

The Bundesliga 2022-2023 season will be remembered for its thrilling final matchday, where everything from the title race to relegation was at stake.

Premier League – ENGLAND

The Premier League 2022-2023 season has been one of the most unpredictable in its history. Major teams faltered while others significantly improved, leading to surprising outcomes. Manchester City managed to claim the title, as predicted by the odds, but Arsenal provided a tough challenge. Arsenal’s strong start and impressive transfers placed them at the top of the table, defeating top teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, and Tottenham. However, Manchester City, led by Pep Guardiola, picked up momentum in February and secured crucial victories, ultimately overtaking Arsenal and clinching the title.

Erling Haaland emerged as the season’s top scorer, surpassing Harry Kane, with an impressive tally of 36 goals in 35 appearances. The top teams, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham, all had disappointing campaigns, failing to secure a top-four finish. Chelsea, despite significant investments in transfers, finished a lowly 12th. Liverpool managed to salvage their season but only secured fifth place, while Tottenham dropped from title contention and finished eighth.

There were pleasant surprises in the season, with Newcastle finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League, and Brighton securing their first-ever qualification for the Europa League. Aston Villa, Fulham, Nottingham Forrest, and Brentford also exceeded expectations. None of the promoted teams suffered relegation, but Leicester, Leeds, and Southampton dropped down, with Leicester’s relegation being particularly shocking given their recent successes.

The last season will be remembered as one of the unusual circumstances and unexpected outcomes across the top five football leagues in Europe. This season serves as a reminder that football is a sport of constant transformation, where anything can happen, making it an enthralling spectacle for fans around the world.

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Michael P
Los Angeles based finance writer covering everything from crypto to the markets.

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