Which European league is the best? – the big matches

Whilst the English Premier League is the self-proclaimed greatest league in the world, and attracts the most viewers from a worldwide audience, is it actually the best league regarding quality of players, teams and football played, or is it just that the increased media coverage makes people believe that it is the finest on offer? I decided to take a closer look at how it compares with other European leagues by comparing the biggest matches on show.

Liverpool v Manchester United

Barcelona v Real Madrid

Inter v AC Milan
PSG v Marseille
Sporting Lisbon v Benfica
Bayern Munich v Borussia Dortmund
Arsenal v Tottenham
Roma v Lazio
Liverpool v Everton

After looking through this short selection of some of the biggest and fiercest rivalries in European football, which one got you most excited?

Whilst the north London derby and Merseyside derby are always hotly contested and generate fantastic atmospheres inside the grounds, Manchester United versus Liverpool games are always something a bit special. Liverpool were the team that won everything during the 70’s and 80’s, whilst United became the dominant force in English football during the 90’s and new millennium. The fall from grace that Liverpool have suffered during the past five years has somewhat taken away from the rivalry, since they are no longer serious title contenders, but the passion displayed by both sets of fans as these teams walk out onto the pitch is enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

Italy has the Milan and Rome derbies to add spice to the Serie A championship. In days gone by, the Milan duel would include the finest footballers in the world, but these days it has lost a lot of its attraction due to the financial problems that are crippling football in the country and have resulted in many of the top stars going elsewhere. Instead of Ronaldo facing Maldini we have El Sharaawy against Walter Samuel and the interest just isn’t as high as it used to be.

My preference, and perhaps the most televised domestic game in world football, is the Spanish clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Two of the biggest clubs in the world, both very different in their approach to achieving objectives, style of play and history, but both exceptionally hungry for success and eager not to lose to the other. In recent times, Barcelona have swept all before them and El Clasico matches have become very interrupted with lots of fouls and play acting. This all began after the 2009 encounter in Madrid, when Guardiola’s side tore them to shreds in a sensational 6-2 away victory. Ever since then, angry and frustrated at feeling unable to match Barcelona’s lovely, precise passing play, the Madrid team have set about breaking it up and trying to engage in unsavoury tactics to get the upper hand. Unfortunately it has meant that the football on show has often become a side piece, with more cameras focused on the reactions of the management and players on the bench than anything else. 

Despite this, the calibre of the players on show is unmatched in leagues elsewhere and the match is beamed across the planet for fans to watch the greatest stars in the world compete. This would appear to be a victory for La Liga but because this is the only huge rivalry of note, the Premier League wins it on account of the number of fiercely contested matches across the country.

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