15 Most Popular Soccer Leagues of all Time

International football (soccer) is one of the biggest and most popular sports in the world. With fanbases extending all over the world, the tournaments are often overcrowded by fans. Especially in a tournament of the most popular soccer leagues, imagine how much crowd it would receive. 

Real Madrid Winner of The Champions League in 2018. (Source: Wikimedia)

With that said, the popularity of a league is determined by its fanbase, media popularity, attention it generates, the number it generates, and the top players present there.

Therefore, based on all these aspects, we have made today’s listing. So, stay tuned to find out about the top most popular soccer leagues in the world. 

15 Most Popular Soccer Leagues of all Time

RankName of the LeagueCountry
1Premier LeagueEngland
2La LigaSpain
3Serie AItaly
4BundesligaGermany
5Ligue 1France
6Russian Premier LeagueRussia
7Primeira LigaPortugal
8Belgian Pro LeagueBelgium
9EredivisieNetherlands
10Major League SoccerUnited States
11Süper LigTurkey
12Liga MXMexico

12. Liga MX

Primera División de México or Liga MX is the top professional football division of the Mexican football league. Since its establishment on 17th Oct 1943, América has been the one to take home most of the titles, counting a total of 13.

Moreover, the Mexican Football Federation administered league consists of 18 clubs. The season comprises two different tournaments; the first is Apertura (summer event), and the second is Clausura (winter event). 

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Likewise, the league draws the third largest crowds of any professional sports league in North America. 

11. Süper Lig

Ranking on the 11th in the most popular soccer leagues is the Süper Lig, founded on 21st Feb 1959. The Turkish Football Federation runs this league.

In this annual league, around twenty clubs compete against each other to be deemed the champion. Each club plays 38 matches from Friday to Monday to climb up the stairs to the championship. The event starts in August and ends in May. 

Similarly, a few famous names, such as Pepe and Radamel Falcao, play in the Super Lig league, and Hakan Şükür is the top goal scorer with 249.

10. Major League Soccer

The United States Soccer Federation approved professional soccer league, Major League Soccer (MLS), is among the most popular soccer leagues in the North American continent (especially for the USA and Canada). 10. Major League Soccer

The league consists of 27 teams (24 from the U.S. and 3 from Canada), with each team playing 34 games to score the best record. Here, the team with the best record receives the Supporters’ Shield.

Major League Soccer Cup (Source: Twitter)
Major League Soccer Cup (Source: Twitter)

In the postseason of the MLS Cup Playoffs, fourteen teams compete against each other, which begin in late October and end in November.

Above all, Major League Soccer attracts some of the most famous European soccer superstars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Carlos Vela, Chicharito, and Higuain. 

9. Eredivisie

The Eredivisie (founded in 1956) is the Netherlands’ highest-ranking professional soccer league. Moreover, the league is one of the best among the other European leagues out there. 

To elaborate, the league consists of 18 clubs, with each club meeting the other clubs twice during the season. Likewise, the two bottom clubs are automatically transferred to the second level of the Dutch league system at the end of each season.

Similarly, the champion and runner-ups are automatically promoted to the Eredivisie.

However, the club that has finished third from the bottom of the Eredivisie goes to a separate promotion/relegation playoffs with eight high-placed clubs from the Eerste Divisie.

Similarly, some of the successful players of this league are Matthijs De Light, Frenkie De Jong, and Virgil Van Dijk.

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8. Belgian Pro League

The biggest soccer pro league in Belgium is the Belgian First Division or the Belgian Pro League. Since 1895 this league has been running and ranked at no 8th among the most famous soccer leagues in the world.

Besides, the league consists of 18 clubs fighting for the title. To clarify, the 3 bottom-dwelling clubs get transferred to the second division of the Belgian league each season.

In contrast, the champions and the runner-ups get qualified for the 3rd round of the UEFA Champions League qualification.

And the teams that get placed third gets qualified for the Europa League playoffs. The Belgian Pro League gets a lot of media coverage and attention from around the world.

7. Primeira Liga

The Primeira Liga (Liga Portugal) is one of the most popular soccer leagues in the world, established in 1934. The Portuguese football league system sits at the number 7th spot in the list.

Like the Belgian Pro League, in the Primeira Liga, also 18 clubs battle against each other to get the championship title.

However, unlike the Belgian Pro League, this league transfers the division’s top-three non-reserve clubs to replace the three lowest placed teams to the LigaPro. The Primeira Liga has increased in popularity in recent years. 

6. Russian Premier League

Counting at no 6 in the list is the Russian Premier League. It is also the most significant division professional association soccer league in Russia. 

Compared with other leagues, it is pretty new. Since its establishment, Spartak Moscow has been the one to take home most of the championship (10 titles).

Previously it was named the Russian Football Premier League and later changed to its current name in 2018.

Dejan Lovren holding Russian Premier League Cup. (Source: Instagram)
Dejan Lovren is holding the Russian Premier League Cup. (Source: Instagram)

Moreover, the league consists of 16 teams with three Champions League qualifying spots. At the end of the season, these spots are given to the three remaining teams. Similarly, the two Europa League spots will be given to the fourth and fifth-placed teams.

Thus, the last two remaining teams will be transferred to the Russian National Football League.

5. Ligue 1

Fifth in the spot we have, Ligue 1, or officially recognized as Ligue 1 Uber Eats for sponsorship reasons.

Not to forget, League 1 is a French professional soccer league sitting at the top of the French league system. To clarify, the league is administrated by Ligue de Football Professionnel. 

Ligue 1 consists of 20 clubs contesting against each other to claim the cup for their team. Likewise, the league operates on a system of promotion and relegation from and to Ligue 2. Here, clubs play two matches against each other totaling 38 games in the season.

Besides, most of the matches of League 1 take place on Saturdays and Sundays.

4. Bundesliga

Bundesliga is a German professional soccer league seated at the top of the German football league system. Moreover, it is Germany’s primary football competition.

The league consists of 18 teams playing against each other on a system of promotion and relegation. Likewise, the season runs from August to May, where most games take place on Saturdays and Sundays. 

However, all the clubs playing in the Bundesliga are qualified for the DFB-Pokal. Similarly, the winner of the Bundesliga cup gets qualified for the DFL-Supercup.

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3. Serie A

Also called Serie A TIM because of sponsorship reasons, the Serie A is the world’s third most popular soccer league. It is at the top of the Italian football league system.

Moreover, Serie A has been running as a round-robin tournament for over the span of ninety years. Most importantly, Serie A is one of the best football leagues in the world. And, the league is often depicted as the most tactical league.

According to IFFHS, in 2020, Serie A was entitled the world’s most vital national league. Besides, according to UEFA’s league coefficient, it ranks third in the European leagues, La Liga and the Premier League being a step further. 

Talking about the team winning the most, it is Juventus with 36 titles on their account. Similarly, Silvio Piola, the former Italian football player, is the top scorer with a total of 274 scores.

2. La Liga

The second-ranking league La Liga is among the top most popular soccer leagues in the world. 

Full name Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División or commonly referred to as Primera División (Spanish Premier League) in Spain, and La Liga in English is the top professional football division of the Spanish league.

LaLiga Championship earned by FC Barcelona (Source: FC Barcelona)
LaLiga Championship bagged by F.C. Barcelona (Source: F.C. Barcelona)

To clarify, the league is administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional. Moreover, the league has contestants of 20 teams.

Likewise, at the end of each season, the three lowest-placed teams are transferred to the Segunda División, where they get replaced by the top two teams and a playoff-winner team in that division.

Since the founding of La Liga, a total of 62 teams have competed, where nine teams have been crowned champions. So far, Real Madrid has won the most titles (34 times). Barcelona is coming in second winning 26 times. 

Similarly, Lionel Messi, who is best described as God, in the eyes of fans and Lion for opponents, the astonishing Argentine football player, is the top goal scorer of LaLiga (a total of 474 goals).

1. Premier League

Coming at the number one spot in today’s list as the most popular soccer leagues globally is the Premier League, often referred to as the English Premier League. Since February 20, 1992, Premier League has been running.

It is the top-level English football league system. Consisting of 20 clubs, the league operates on a system of promotion and relegation, similar to other leagues on the list.

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Likewise, the Premier League seasons run from August to May. Here, each team plays 38 matches, and while most of the games happen to be on Saturday and Sunday. 

In addition, the Premier League is the most awaited annual international football (soccer) tournament in the world. 

Conclusion

In conclusion, international football (soccer) is the most popular and highly publicized sport, with fans and viewership reaching billions. The sport might be small in North America, but it is a big thing for the rest of the world.

Hope you enjoyed today’s listing. We will be posting similar content in the coming future too. So, stay tuned and revisit us again.

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