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Soccer is the single largest sport in the world by every metric. Some countries do tend to favor other sports, like Canada and Finland with hockey, or The United States and Japan with baseball, but in terms of total fans across all leagues, it’s soccer. But it is not just one league that dominates fan attention or has clear stand outs in talent, like with the NFL, MLB, or NHL. So which league is the best for us fans? We ranked the top 8 based on information from the fans themselves.

How We Chose the Best Soccer Leagues?

For our list we turned to the fans to let us know what leagues are the best. We focused on attendance as a major criteria, as it lets us know how many of the loyal fans we can expect to enjoy the game with. In the same vein we also examined social media across leagues and factored in the number of followers on different platforms. Finally, we looked at revenue. Again, this is the fans letting us know what they like to watch and which clubs they want to support.

Best Soccer Leagues Popularity Statistics  

Who are the best soccer leagues in the world?

The best soccer leagues in the world are the ones that the fans follow. We could take a nitty gritty look at the statistics, like goals or red cards per game, or the salaries of the stars to see which leagues are the best for them. Although these are valuable and can determine a lot about different leagues we chose to make our list by the fans and for the fans because without the fans, we would have no leagues.

#1 English Premier League (EPL)

English Premier League Celebration

The Premier League is our top league. Located in England, the Premier League boasts the highest level of social media engagement and revenue by a long shot and falls just short of our top spot in attendance. It should not come as too big of a surprise either. 

The league filled with extraordinarily talented clubs like Manchester City and Liverpool is going to draw a crowd. Young rising stars like Bukayo Saka and Erling Haaland clash regularly with fan favorite pros including Kevin De Bruyne or Harry Kane. This combination of history and an exciting future creates a terrific environment for those familiar with the league and those just starting to watch.

#2 Bundesliga


Bundesliga was able to steal the highest levels of attendance while slipping a bit lower in revenue and social media. The attendance and revenue discrepancies are also interesting, but the devoted fans of some Bundesliga clubs are so invested that organizations like Bayern Munich only sell season tickets on a lottery system, meaning that it is a special event to get into those matches. 

The Bundesliga is defined by the loyal fans that attend every game. They are devoted to their clubs.  And these are only fueled by legendary rivalries, whose matches are referred to as derbies. Rivalries like Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund have been raging for decades. For fans looking to invest in a tight knit community, this league stands out as a great option.

#3 LaLiga


In a twist that we did not expect, based on the composite system we used, LaLiga and the Bundesliga tied for second position. LaLiga was consistent and had the second largest media following. It was also the only social media following to rival the Premier League, coming up 15 million followers short with 142 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

This large following is expected as LaLiga is arguably the most historic and recognizable league in the world, especially given long stints with stars like Ronaldinho, Christiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi, all of which are considered to be some of the greatest soccer players to ever live. Even with the recent departure of these legends, the fanbase of many clubs in La Liga continues to grow and the future is bright. It is arguably a great time for new fans to jump into the league.

#4 Serie A


Serie A placed fourth across all our categories. In some form or another Serie A has been a major figure in soccer for 94 years. Through the years we have seen many greats pass through and engage not just Italy, but the world at large leading it to be just a few hundred in average attendance short of La Liga.

 After a few years of stagnation where Juventus won nine straight Serie A championships, the league has more parity again. Different teams are winning, like Napoli, the most recent champion, who won their third championship in team history. It is an exciting and hard-to-predict time in Serie A.

#5 Ligue 1

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain v Stade Rennes - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - March 19, 2023
Stade Rennes' Arnaud Kalimuendo scores their second goal past Paris St Germain's Gianluigi Donnarumma REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Ligue 1 has at times been considered one of the big five European leagues hailing from France and has very comparable numbers to Serie A, just a bit lower. The margins between Ligue 1 and Serie A are so slim that they do truly feel like peer leagues. 

What makes Ligue 1 special is that like Serie A in the past, it is relatively top heavy. And a lot of that is thanks to Paris Saint-Germain. This club has been in the league championship each of the last eleven years, claiming nine titles in that time. A large part of that is Kylian Mbappe and with his return now slated after rumors of him leaving the club, it seems like PSG is poised for more success in Ligue 1.

#6 Liga MX

(L-R), Fernando Gorriaran of Tigres and Angel Marquez of Atlas during the game Atlas vs Tigres UANL, corresponding to Round 08 of the Torneo Clausura 2023 of the Liga BBVA MX, at Jalisco Stadium, on February 18, 2023.

Liga MX is Mexico’s top league and holds very solid attendance and a great social media following, but is second lowest in revenue. It is unfortunate but those are the rules. This does not mean that some of Liga MX’s numbers are not good though. With over 14.2 million followers across social media, they hold a large gap above those below them. 

This League is also known for high competition and quality teams across the board. During the  year the short tournament format allows fans to see every team face off in matches, all of which are important to having a shot at a championship. It is anyone’s year every year in Liga MX.

#7 Brasileirão Série A


One indicator that a league may be less popular or notable than another is when they share a name. Both Serie A and Brasileirão Série A have a similar name, but the Brazilian league needs to be noted as such or soccer fans will likely think that you are talking about the Italian league. And this thought exercise is supported by our data, which shows that Brasileirão Série A has the least social media followers of any league listed here today. Despite that, a large reason they are higher in the rankings is the revenue that they have annually, more than MLS and Liga MX. 

Brasileirão Série A, like Liga MX is known for competition. With 124 clubs in the system, relegation is a genuine fear for some clubs. To some American sports fans this might seem like a ton of teams, but for a league system in such a large country, it is not very many. Never think a team can’t come back in a year or two in Brasileirão Série A.

#8 Major League Soccer (MLS)


MLS takes the final spot on our list. As the youngest league on the list by far, with its first season in 1996, fans have had less than 30  years to appreciate the league. When compared to the hundreds of years of history that some leagues have and generations of fans backing them we can understand why it has the lowest attendance and revenue of any of our top eight leagues. 

MLS does not have a relegation system and its format is familiar to many American sports fans, especially those who have not ventured into soccer leagues and systems and how they work before. Every year two major awards are given out, the MLS Cup and the Support’s Shield. The Cup goes to the winner of the playoff tournament at the end of the year, but in a unique twist the Support’s Shield goes to the best regular season team based on wins and points per game. This second award gives incentives to teams to compete at all times and further glory to the victors.

Soccer League FAQs

According to the fans, no, or potentially more importantly not yet. MLS is a growing league while the Premier League has been long established. For now, the Premier League is the top dog, but with Lionel Messi making waves in Miami and other talented players , the MLS could one day rival the Premier League.

The MLS is the better league. It has more fans, more engagement and significantly higher attendance at their matches. Although the Saudi Pro League has been making huge moves to improve and grow, so has MLS so closing the gap may be more difficult than anticipated.

It is close, but the Premier League is better than LaLiga. Although LaLiga has seen more social media growth in the past years, it has never been able to surpass the levels of the Premier League. More fans follow the Premier League.

As of the latest UEFA ranking, no they are not, but they do hold the fifth best fan ranking amongst European leagues. 

Soccer tiers vary by governing body and country. For example the English system, which has the EPL on top has 11 tiers, but the United States system only has three.

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