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Which Soccer League is tops in
Europe and the World
Among the acknowledged top three leagues in Europe (operating in England, Italy and Spain) all three had the maximum four teams represented in the group stages of the Champions League competition. Of the English sides, two of them won their respective groups and the other two finished second. That meant that they are the only league with all four of their teams qualifying for the second round.
Of the four Italian teams to reach the group stage two won their group, one finished second, and the fourth finished last in their group. That meant three of the four teams will move on to the knock-out stage. The four Spanish sides to reach the group stages saw three of them winning their group and advancing to the knock-out stage, while the fourth finishing last and out of any further European competition.
This is a summary of how the various leagues ranked at the conclusion of the group stages within the Champions League.
Without a doubt the English teams performed best during the 2007 Champions League group stages, winning or drawing 21 of their 24 games, for an 86% winning percentage. That resulted in each of the four teams compiling an average of 12.8 points during the group matches, all tops among European leagues.
How would the analysis have changed if we include the results of the UEFA Cup group matches. During the UEFA Cup matchups, there were three Spanish Clubs in the competition, and all three won their group. Four German clubs made it into the group stages with three winning their group, and the fourth finishing second. Three English clubs also made it into the tournament, winning one group, and finishing second and third in the others. Therefore ten of the sixteen teams to qualify to the next round of the UEFA Cup came out of three leagues.
Combining the results of the Champions League with those of the UEFA Cup yields the following summary of how the various leagues ranked at the conclusion of Europe's top Club competitions.
Without a doubt English football clubs had the best performance during the group and qualifying stages of the Champions League and UEFA Cup competitions. In England seven teams were eligible for both competitions, all seven made it to the group stages, and further all seven have moved on to the knockout stages. That compares with only six from Spain, five from Germany and four from Italy qualifying for the knockout stages of European play.
When we also consider that during last years Champions League semi-finals, three of the four teams participating in that stage were from England (even though the lone non-English team - AC Milan from Italy - went on to win it all) it does seem to confirm that the English Premier League is the top soccer league within Europe, and quite possibly the whole World.
Spanish teams, with the second best performance within the group stages, and also with three of the four semi-finalists in the UEFA Cup earlier in the year are also undoub-tedly one of the dominant Leagues in all of World football, possibly the second-best football league in Europe, and the World.
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-------------------------------------------The best soccer teams in Europe
See March 2008 ranking
See February 2008 ranking
See January 2008 ranking
See December 2007 ranking
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