English, Spanish, Germans..
Brazilian, Portuguese, Dutch, MLS, Turkish, Russian,
Something like those groupings, granted as it gets further down, i am really only basing it on my knowledge of the better teams and how i feel the best would compete against each other
The last comment pinpoints why there is so much lively debate about the strengths of various leagues.
We only have evidence of a few top teams playing each other in a meaningful competition (and with Europa you really have to watch the actual matches since only half the bigger teams play a strong lineup).
Therefore, a league like Serie A (which has a lot of traditional powers rebuilding in light of FFP) or the EPL (in a down year at the top like this one) is going to look worse but their "strength" is in the amount of quality teams further down the table (both in actual strength of teams that finish #7 #12 or #15 but also the amount of talent the better teams have coupled with the prestige to actually to keep a lot them).
Furthermore, the Tottenham/Chelsea/Arsenal loser, AC Milan/Fiorentina/AS Roma loser as well as probably Liverpool, Everton, Inter, Lazio and probably others are CL teams in any league outside of the big 4 which even further skews the picture we get by just comparing CL results.
I'd argue for a ranking of leagues that at least accounts a bit for the "strength" of a Liverpool or Inter in comparing them with a St Etienne.
If I had to rank the leagues, I'd say: 1/2 La Liga / EPL
(I think La Liga right now is stronger in starting elevens through the top 10 or so than any other league. But there's a lot more questions about the economic health of many of those top teams to remain at their current levels, especially with the way the payouts are geared towards Barca and Real.) 3/4 Bundesliga / Serie A
(Bundesliga has 2 world class teams (maybe the best 2 in the world) at the moment whereas Serie A has only one. Bundesliga is stronger economically and has the huge benefit of the extra CL spot. However, I would argue that Serie A still has a bit more quality all the way down through the bottom of the table after the top 2. Is #3 Bayer Leverkussen really that much better than #8 Lazio? Whether this continues to be the case or not is an open debate but more Serie A clubs are getting their finances in order (concentrating on younger talent, marketing, building stadiums etc) and I don't expect clubs like Inter, Milan to disappear from the top 10 for long while Roma, Fiorentina, Napoli etc are also looking to pretty bright near futures. 5 Ligue 1
As someone who watches a lot of Ligue 1 and often defends the league as underrated, it's still not close to the level of Serie A. It's going to take more than simply PSG (and regardless of what happens with Monaco in the next few years) before the league won't be closer to 6-10 in these rankings than replacing one of the top 4. They do have the huge benefit of the sheer number of quality French / French speaking players but really need to have more than 1 or 2 sides capable of keeping the better of those players before they make a jump. 6-10
Here's where I really only watch some of the top teams here and there and it's even harder because you have leagues like Russia's with clubs spending a lot to bring top players compared to leagues like in Holland or Brazil with so many young stars breaking out each year. Brazil
After the top 10, I really have little idea. Argentinian, Mexican, Greek, Ukranian leagues probably then MLS, J League??
The Ukranian league, for example, has a very, very good Shaktar side but even the soccer fanatical, nationalistic Ukranian guys I know who watch the league religiously think it's pretty weak after the top 2-3 clubs.
This post was edited on 4/29 at 2:34 pm