Top 20 Football Leagues in the World

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Which is the most famous League in the World? How can one determine the popularity of a League? So many criteria are to be considered while deciding the competitiveness and the popularity of a League. The derbies, famous athletes in the league, history of the sport, historical stadiums, and many more are the contributing factors for the popularity of a league.

To pick and rank the top 20 football leagues in the world is easier said than done. Here you can find the top football leagues in the world categorized based on the total attendance of the recent season of each league. Undoubtedly, the league to top the list the top-flight English Premier League. Keep reading to know more about the leagues.

1.English Premier League

Revenue (€ mil): 5,297 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 38, 168 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 14,503,954

The English Premier League is the top tier league of the English Football League system that ranks first in our top football league list on the basis of total attendance. The League was established in 1992 and has featured 47 English clubs and 2 Wales clubs so far since its inception.

The 2018-19 English Premier League was the 27th edition of the tournament since 1992, which had an average attendance of 38,168. The league saw a total of 14,503,954 viewers at the end of the season and the highest attendance was seen for the Tottenham vs Arsenal match.

The match resulted in a 1-1 draw that was held on 2 March 2019 and a total of 81,332 spectators had gathered. The Bournemouth vs Huddersfield Town match that resulted in a 2-1 win for Bournemouth saw the lowest number of viewers in the season – 9,980 on 4 December 2018.

The reigning Premier League champions are Manchester City, who claimed their 4th title at the end of the 2018-19 Premier League. As of 2 July 2019, six teams have lifted the EPL trophy and the most successful team is Manchester United with 13 titles to its name.

2.Bundesliga

Revenue (€ mil): 3,813.49 (2017–18)
Average Attendance: 43,458 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 13,298,147

The league that ranks second in the top 20 football leagues in the world is the top-level football league in German, Bundesliga. Bundesliga was founded in 1963 and till date, 55 clubs have participated in the league. It was ranked 2nd in terms of average attendance in any sports league in the world after the NFL during 2011-2012.

The previous Bundesliga season came to an end on 18 May 2019 and the team who lifted the 2018-19 Bundesliga trophy was the 27-time champions Bayern Munich. It was Bayern Munich’s 28th league title and 29th German title. The estimated average attendance of the season was 43,458.

The highest attendance of the season was 81,365, which was seen during most of the Borussia Dortmund matches. The Dortmund matches against Augsburg, Munich, Freiburg, Bremen, Gladbach, and Hannover saw the same range. The lowest attendance was recorded during the Mainz vs Wolfsburg match – 19,205.

3.EFL Championship

Revenue (€ mil): 842 (2016-17)
Average Attendance: 20,181 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 11,119,564

The English Football League Championship is the second top tier league in the English Football system after English Premier League that was established in 2004. So far, 15 seasons have been held and the most successful team of the league are Newcastle United, Reading, Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers with 2 titles each.

The 2018-19 EFL Championship marked the 15th edition of the tournament that had an average attendance of 20,181 at the end of the league. The club that won the 2018-19 EFL Championship was Norwich City and they went on to record the highest attendance of the season during their match against Aston Villa with 41,696 viewers.

Norwich City managed to claim a win over Aston and on contradiction, the least number of viewers of the season was recorded during the Rotherham United vs QPR match with just 8,018 viewers to applaud and encourage the teams. The season ended with Norwich City’s first-ever EFL Championship title.

4.La Liga

Revenue (€ mil): 3,363 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 26,886 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 10,189,869

The next league to stand 4th in the list of top football leagues in the world is the Spanish Football League La Liga, which was founded in 1929, Since then, 62 teams have competed in the league and the La Liga trophy has been won by 9 teams. The club with the most number of titles is Real Madrid with 33 trophies.

La Liga conducted its 88th edition recently and the club that won the 2018-19 La Liga season was the defending champion Barcelona. Barcelona is the most successful team in La Liga as they have lifted the trophy for a total of 26 times. The average attendance of the 2018-19 season was 26,886.

The match that received the highest attendance was the match between Barcelona and Real Madrid with 93,265. The match was held on 28 October 2018, which resulted in favor of Barcelona with a 5-1 win. On contradiction, the lowest attendance of 3,652 was seen at the season for the Eibar vs Espanyol match.

5.Serie A

Revenue (€ mil): 2,267 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 25,237 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 9,590,166

Serie A is the top league in the Italian Football league system that was founded in 1898 and the format of round-robin was implied from 1929 onwards. Till date, 117 seasons have been conducted and the most successful team of the league with 35 titles to their name is Juventus.

Juventus is the current champion of the 2018-19 Serie A season and it was their 8th title in a row. The season saw an average attendance of 25,237. The attention-seeking match of the season was the match between Internazionale and Milan during which the recorded attendance was 78,725.

The match resulted in favor of Inter Milan with a 1-0 win. As a contradictory, the lowest attendance of the season was seen at the match between SPAL and Parma that was played at Bologna with just 7,000 viewers. SPAL won the match with a score of 1-0 on 26 August 2018.

6.Ligue 1

Revenue (€ mil): 1,644 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 22,799 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 8,663,784

The top level of the French Football league system Ligue 1 was officially inaugurated in 1932. The league stands 6th with an average attendance of 22,799 – recorded at the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season. The club Paris Saint-Germain was the defending champion who won their second consecutive title in the 2018-19 season.

It was the 81st edition of the tournament that saw the highest attendance of 64,696 during the match between Marseille and Paris Saint-Germain on 28 October 2018. The match ended as a 2-0 win for PSG and the club later went on to win their 8th title of the league.

PSG holds the record for the highest number of titles to their name – 8. The least viewers for a match at the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season was recorded during the Monaco vs Angers match that saw just 5,502 spectators at the stadium. The Angers won the match with a score 1-0 but probably there were not many to applaud and cheer.

PSG holds the record for the highest number of titles to their name – 8. The least viewers for a match at the 2018-19 Ligue 1 season was recorded during the Monaco vs Angers match that saw just 5,502 spectators at the stadium. The Angers won the match with a score 1-0 but probably there were not many to applaud and cheer.

7.Major League Soccer

Revenue (€ mil): 851 (2017)
Average Attendance: 21,873 (2018)
Total Attendance: 8,552,503

Major League Soccer is the men’s professional soccer league that was founded in 1993 and the inaugural season of the tournament took place in 1996. Since the inception of the league, the tournament has been conducted every year and till date, 13 distinctive teams have lifted the league’s trophy.

Lately, the 23rd edition of the season was held and the team that won the 2018 Major League Soccer title was Atalanta United, which was their tournament win. Since 2015, the title has been claimed by different teams. The average attendance of the 2018 MLS season was 21,873. 

On 15 July 2018, the Atalanta United took over Seattle Sounders which had the highest number of viewers – 72,243 and unfortunately, the match ended in a 1-1 draw. The lowest attendance of the season was recorded when DC United played against Houston Dynamo with just 5,158 viewers.

8.UEFA Champions League

Revenue (€ mil): 2,107.96 (2017-18)
Average Attendance: 49,304 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 6,163,044

The annual football competition UEFA Champions League is considered one of the most prestigious tournaments, which has its root 65 years back in 1955. The UEFA Champions League stands 8th in the list of the 20 top football leagues on the basis of the total attendance recorded in the recent season.

So far, 64 seasons of the league have been conducted and the club that has claimed the trophy most of the times is Real Madrid with 13 titles to their names. The 2018-19 UEFA Champions League was the 64th edition which featured the top teams from the strongest UEFA national associations.

The title was claimed by Liverpool for the 6th time and the average attendance of the season was recorded as 49,304 at the end of the season. A total of 63,272 people had gathered to watch the final match between Liverpool and Tottenham at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.

9.2. Bundesliga

Revenue (€ mil): 635 (2016-17)
Average Attendance: 19,128 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 5,853,246

2. Bundesliga stands second in the German football league system below Bundesliga that has existed since 1974. Since the foundation of the league, 127 clubs have participated in the tournament and since 1992, a total of 16 teams have been crowned as the champions.

The 2018-19 2. Bundesliga marked the 45th edition of the tournament and the average attendance of the season was 19,128. When compared to the 2016-17 season that had an average attendance of 21,732, the average attendance of the 2017-18 season got reduced to 17,595.

The two matches of club Hamburger against St. Pauli and Kiel saw the maximum attendance, as a total of 57,000 viewers had gathered to watch the teams play. The lowest attendance of the same year was just 4,778, which was recorded during the Sandhausen vs Heidenheim match.

10.J1 League

Revenue (€ mil): 860 (2017)
Average Attendance: 19,079 (2018)
Total Attendance: 5,838,050

The top level of the Japan football league J1 League was founded in 1992, which is considered one of the most successful football clubs in Asia. The J1 League conducted its 26th season in 2018 and the title was claimed by Kawasaki Frontale for the second time.

The highest attendance of the season was recorded at the Urawa Red Diamonds vs Vissel Kobe match on Matchday 27 with 55,689 viewers. The lowest attendance of the season was seen during the match between Shimizu and V-Varen Nagasaki with just 6,189 having spectators gathered to watch the game.

On the whole, the average attendance of the 2018 J1 League season was 19,075, which is slightly higher than the previous year’s average audience count of 18,883. Kashima Antlers is the most successful club of the league as they have a total of 8 titles to their name.

11.Chinese Super League

Revenue (€ mil): 945 (2016)
Average Attendance: 24,107 (2018)
Total Attendance: 5,785,776

The top tier of professional football in China is the Chinese Super League that was established in 2004 and since then, the league has been conducted every year. The recent 2018 Chinese Super League season was the 15th edition, which was won by Shanghai SIPG for the first time ever.

The most successful club of the Chinese Super League is Guangzhou Evergrande as they have claimed the title for a record of 7 consecutive times. The 2017 CSL season saw an average attendance of 23,766, which got increased to 24,107 in the 2018 CSL season.

The highest attendance of the season was recorded when Beijing Sinobo Guoan played against Shandong Luneng Taishan on 5 August 2018. The number of viewers count was recorded as 56,544 at the end of the match. The match between Beijing Renhe and Guizhou Hengfeng saw the least number of spectators 5,651.

12.Eredivisie

Revenue (€ mil): 451 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 17,964 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 5,496,857

Eredivisie is the top tier professional football league in the Netherlands that was founded in 1956. Since the inception of the league, the title has been claimed most of the times by the club Ajax with 34 titles and is also the reigning champion of the 2018 Eredivisie season.

The 2018-19 Eredivisie season saw an average attendance of 17,964 at the end of the season, which is very less than the previous year’s 19,014. The highest attendance of the season was recorded as 53,720, while one of the matches received very less audience in the season with just 3,811 viewers.

13.Russian Premier League

Revenue (€ mil): 701 (2016-17)
Average Attendance: 16,801 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 4,032,184

Russian Premier League is the top tier football league in Russia that was founded in 2001. So far, 27 editions of the league have been conducted and the club to have won the most trophies of the league is Spartak Moscow with 10 titles to their name. The current champion of the league is Zenit Petersburg which was their 5th title.

The 2018-19 Russian Premier League marked the 27th edition of the league and the estimated average attendance was 16,801. The average attendance has increased this year when compared to the previous season’s average attendance of 13,971.

The highest attendance was recorded during the match between Zenit and CSKA with 61,500, which resulted in a 3-1 win for Zenit, while the lowest attendance of the season was when Yenisey and Arsenal played against each other with just 1,285 viewers.

14.Segunda División

Revenue (€ mil): 299.7 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 10,578 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 3,993,942

The second division league of the Spanish football league system is the Segunda Division which was held between 2018and 2019, marking its 88th season. With 9 titles, Real Murcia holds the record for winning the most titles in the tournament. The 4-time Winner Osasuna is the reigning champion of the competition.

The average attendance of the 2018-19 Segunda Division has increased from the previous year’s 8,770 to 10,578 and the attention-grabbing match of the season was Deportivo La Coruña vs Mallorca match which ended in a 2-0 win for Coruna. The viewers’ count was 29,271, while the lowest of 1,515 were seen at Alcorcón vs Málaga match.

15.Primeira Liga

Revenue (€ mil): 366 (2016–17)
Average Attendance: 11,639 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 3,561,484

The Primeira Liga is the top division league of the Portuguese football league system which was established in 1934. Since the league’s inception, a total of 70 teams have competed and the most successful team of the league is Benfica who have claimed 37 titles so far.

Benfica won their 37th title during the 2018-19 Primeira Liga, which was the league’s 85th edition. The average attendance of the season was 11,639, whereas the highest attendance was seen at the Benfica vs Santa Clara match with 64,064 that ended up in favor of Benfica with a 4-1 win.

On contradiction, the match between Belenenses SAD and Moreirense did not have many spectators as the recorded attendance was just 298. This was the least-watched match in the season and the game resulted in a goalless defeat for the Belenenses, while Moreirense scored 1 goal.

16.J2 League

Revenue (€ mil): 262 (2015)
Average Attendance: 7,049 (2018)
Total Attendance: 3,256,416

The second top-level division on the Japanese football league system J2 League was formed in 1999. The 20th edition, 2018 J2 league crowned Matsumoto Yamaga as the champions, which was their first title of the league. Consadole Sapporo is the most successful club of the league with 3 titles to their name.

The average attendance of the 2017 J2 League was 6,970, which got increased to 7,049 in the following year. The highest attendance of the season was recorded during the match between Niigata and Matsumoto with 22,465, while the match that had very few audiences was Sanuki vs Yamagata match with just 1,510 viewers.

17.Serie B

Revenue (€ mil): 276 (2011–12)
Average Attendance: 7,379 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 2,516,102

Serie B is the second top-flight division of the Italian football league system after Serie A that has existed since the 1929-1930 season. So far, 87 seasons of the league have been featured and the team to be considered the most successful is Atalanta and Genoa, having won the title 6 times each.

The 2018-19 Serie B was the 87th edition of the league and the club that lifted the trophy for the 4th time was Brescia. The average attendance of the season was 7,379, with Palermo’s match against Cittadella saw 28,351 viewers. A very few people had come to the stadium to watch Carpi take on Cittadella with just 1,500 viewers.

18.Swiss Super League

Revenue (€ mil): 227 (2015–16)
Average Attendance: 11,278 (2018-19)
Total Attendance: 2,018,707

The top-level league of the Swiss football league system is the Swiss Super League that was established in 1898 as Swiss Serie A. The club that has collected the most Swiss Super League trophies is Grasshopper with 27 titles to their name. The club faced a disappointing relegation to the 2nd division for the first time in 68 years in 2019.

The recent 2018-19 Swiss Super League marked the 122nd edition of the tournament in Switzerland. The title was snatched away by the club Young Boys which was their 13th title of the competition. The overall average attendance of the season was recorded as 11,278.

The match that had the highest attendance of the season was when Young Boys played against Basel. The match saw a huge crowd of 31,120 spectators and the match ended in a 7-1 win for the Young Boys. The match that received very fewer viewers was during one of Lugano’s matches with just 2,049 viewers.

19.Allsvenskan

Revenue (€ mil): 162 (2017)
Average Attendance: 8,401 (2018)
Total Attendance: 2,016,270

The top-level Swedish professional league Allsvenskan was established in 1924, which has successfully conducted its 94th edition of the competition. The 2018 Allsvenskan tournament was won by the 5-time champions AIK, who went on to claim their 12th Swedish Championship title.

An average attendance of 8,401 was recorded at the end of the 2018 season and the match that received huge attention was AIK vs Sundsvall match with 50,128 and the game between Dalkurd and Häcken saw a very few people at the stadium, very easy to count as there were just 202 viewers.

20.K League

Revenue (€ mil): 509 (2014)
Average Attendance: 5,381 (2018)
Total Attendance: 1,483,140

K League is the top flight division of the South Korean football league system that was founded in 1983 with the club Seongnam having claimed most of the championship title so far with 7 titles to their name. The 36th season of the league was won by Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, which was their 6th title.

The 2018 J2 League featured some of the attention-grabbing events that led to an average attendance of 5,381. The highest attendance of the season was recorded as 30,122 when Seoul took over Suwon, while the match that saw very few audiences was the Sangju vs Gangwon match with just 290 spectators.

Top 20 football Leagues in the World – Based on Revenue

We have collected the revenues of the top leagues in the world and have made a list of their ranking based on it. Once against English Premier League stands first in the table. Check out the complete list of the leagues and their corresponding revenues below.

LeagueSportCountrySeasonRevenue
(€ mil)
Rev. / team
(€ mil)
English Premier LeagueAssociation footballEngland
Wales
2016–175,297264.9
BundesligaAssociation footballGermany2018–193,375187.5
La LigaAssociation footballSpain2016–173,363168.2
Serie AAssociation footballItaly2016–172,267113.4
UEFA Champions LeagueAssociation footballEurope2016–172,089.465.3
Ligue 1Association footballFrance
Monaco
2016–171,64482.2
Chinese Super LeagueAssociation footballChina201694559
J1 LeagueAssociation footballJapan201786048
Major League SoccerAssociation footballUnited States
Canada
201785138.7
EFL ChampionshipAssociation footballEngland
Wales
2016–1784235.1
Russian Premier LeagueAssociation footballRussia2016–1770143.8
2. BundesligaAssociation footballGermany2016–1763535.3
K LeagueAssociation footballSouth Korea201450926
EredivisieAssociation footballNetherlands2016–1745125.1
Primeira LigaAssociation footballPortugal2016–1736620.3
Segunda DivisiónAssociation footballSpain2016–17299.713.6
Serie BAssociation footballItaly2011–1227612.5
J2 LeagueAssociation footballJapan201526211.9
Swiss Super LeagueAssociation football Switzerland
Liechtenstein
2015–1622722.70
AllsvenskanAssociation footballSweden201716210.1

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