One of the soccer fans’ favorite things to debate is how strong one league is compared to another. A club winning La Liga, such as Real Madrid this season, is not the same task as one of the three clubs battling it out in the Premier League. Given the differences in the quality of the opposition and the fact that these are domestic leagues, it is nearly impossible to directly compare leagues.

One way to compare the two is to use Opta’s power rankings. Opta, a British sports analytics firm, assigns an ability score to each team worldwide. On this scale, the top team in the world, Manchester City, has an ability score of 100. By contrast, the worst team in the world has an ability score of zero. Clubs earn points on their Elo rating by beating teams ranking higher than them. Consequently, losing to teams with a lower rating deducts more points from a side’s ability score.

It is a vastly technical process that the number wizards at Opta have been practicing for some time. While there will never be a perfect way to analyze clubs and leagues across competitions, this is perhaps the best holistic approach.

The top 30 men’s soccer leagues in the world

The following ratings are the average club rating for every team in a domestic league as of April 3, 2024. These numbers constantly change with the world’s leagues in action. With continental competition, for example, these numbers change often.

1Premier League87.59
2La Liga84.8
3Serie A84.7
5Ligue 183.6
6Primeira Liga77.47
7English Championship76.38
9La Liga 2 (Segunda)75.48
11Liga MX75.16
12Russian Premier League75.15
13Major League Soccer75.1
14Swiss Super League74.81
16Turkish Super Lig74.54
17Argentine Primera74.53
182. Bundesliga74.39
19Austrian Bundesliga74.21
20HNL Croatia74.03
21K League73.49
22J League73.39
25Cyprus First Division72.08
26Saudi Pro League72.01
27Czech First League71.81
28Greek Super League70.76
29Scottish Premiership70.25

If you need any indication of how fast these rankings can change, look no further than two weeks prior. Again, these rankings apply specifically to April 3, 2024. On March 26, 2024, Major League Soccer cracked the top 10. Now, it is no longer the highest-rated league in North America. Instead, that honor belongs to Liga MX.

Since those rankings from just a few weeks ago, Liga MX sides have had strong results against Major League Soccer in the CONCACAF Champions Cup.

Averages ranked among the top soccer leagues in the world

Looking at the above chart, certain teams from those leagues prop up each of those leagues. The Eredivisie is one example. PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord rank in the top 40 clubs in the world. However, those two clubs are dragged down by Vitesse, Excelsior and Volendam. None of those clubs creep into the top 900 clubs in the world. Consequently, the league’s average ranks it as No. 15 in the world.

On the other hand, having a compact league can help the rankings. Major League Soccer shows that, as the highest-ranking team is the Columbus Crew, at No. 145. Twenty-five of MLS’s 29 teams are inside the top 500 clubs in the world That greatly helps the league’s positioning on average.

That said, here are the top clubs from each of those divisions to get a grasp on where they fall. The league rank on the left side is where the average falls. As a result, the best club’s rating will not follow numerical order.

League RankLeagueBest rated clubBest club’s rating
1Premier LeagueManchester City100
2La LigaReal Madrid97.5
3Serie AInter Milan97.3
4BundesligaBayer Leverkusen94
5Ligue 1PSG95.2
6Primeira LigaSporting CP89.7
9Segunda DivisionEibar78.5
11Liga MXClub America83.1
12Russian Premier LeagueZenit82.8
13MLSColumbus Crew79.6
14Swiss Super LeagueYoung Boys80.8
15EredivisiePSV Eindhoven88.6
16Turkish Super LigFenerbahce86
17Argentine PrimeraRiver Plate80.8
182. BundesligaSt. Pauli80.4
19Austrian BundesligaRB Salzburg86.3
20HNL (Croatia)Dinamo Zagreb82
21K LeagueUlsan78
22J LeagueVissel Kobe78.4
24AllsvenskanMalmo FF77.8
25Cyprus First divisionAPOEL79.7
26Saudi Pro LeagueAl Hilal86.4
27CzechSlavia Praha83.7
28Greek Super LeaguePAOK81.3
29Scottish PremiershipRangers83.1
30EkstraklasaRakow Czestochowa79.1

Looking at the ‘best of the worst’ clubs in each league

It would also be fair to see the bottom half of these extremes to even out.

RankLeagueWorst rated clubWorst club’s rating
1Premier LeagueSheffield United79.3
2La LigaAlmeria76.5
3Serie ASalernitana76.5
4BundesligaDarmstadt 9876.6
5Ligue 1Metz76.8
6Primeira LigaPortimonense70.9
7ChampionshipRotherham United69.6
9Segunda DivisionVillarreal II71.3
11Liga MXJuarez69.6
12Russian Premier LeagueSochi71.2
13MLSToronto FC69.6
14Swiss Super LeagueStade-Lausanne-Ouchy69.6
16Turkish Super LigIstanbulspor66.7
17Argentine PrimeraTigre70.1
182. BundesligaHansa Rostock70.2
19Austrian BundesligaAustria Lustenau67.1
20HNL (Croatia)Rudes65.5
21K LeagueSuwon68.6
22J LeagueSagan Tosu69.8
25Cyprus First divisionAE Zakakiou63.6
26Saudi Pro LeagueAl Hazm65.7
27CzechCeske Budejovice65.4
28Greek Super LeagueKifisia63.5
29Scottish PremiershipLivingston62.6
30EkstraklasaLks Lodz67.4