Best Football Leagues in Europe

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Last Updated on: 03.03.2023

Europe is home to the finest football leagues; indeed, there are five that stick out for the staunchest fans. This guide will give you the inside track on the records, stats, and favourites to win their respective divisions, and we will also cover the top betting sites for the best football leagues in Europe.

Introduction to the Premier League (England)

Kicking off our run through the best football leagues in Europe is the Premier League — widely considered to be the best league in the world. Featuring 20 teams, the Premier League provides unscripted drama week in and week out with last-gasp goals, and there are usually a few shock results.

Favourites To Win League

Premier League 2022/23 – Outright Winner Odds

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
Arsenal4/5William Hill
Manchester City11/8bet365
Manchester United10/1888sport
Newcastle United33/1BoyleSports
Liverpool100/1William Hill
Tottenham Hotspur150/1VBet


Previously known as the Premiership, the Premier League’s inaugural season was in 1992/93 starting with 22 teams, and by the 1994/95 campaign, this was reduced to 20, with each side playing 38 league games per season.

The Premier League has gone through a bit of a remodel over the past 20 years from a branding perspective, with various sponsors, including Barclays fronting the competition.


As one of the best football leagues in Europe, the Premier League has seen some incredible records set over the years. Brian Deane netted the first Premier League goal for Sheffield United against Manchester United in August 1992.

Meanwhile, Petr Cech has the honour of having kept the most clean sheets (202) during his Premier League career, while Alan Shearer is the league’s all-time top scorer (260).

Leading Players

Many top players have graced the Premier League, and there are a few that stand out: Thierry Henry, Shearer, Peter Schmeichel, Gianfranco Zola, and Dennis Bergkamp — all of whom left an indelible mark on the competition.

The current crop of players have elevated the game to new heights, including Liverpool hitman Mohamed Salah and Manchester City midfield dynamo Kevin De Bruyne.

Most Successful Teams

Manchester United have been the most successful team in Premier League history, with 13 titles to their name. Their crosstown rivals Manchester City are aiming to win their third title in a row in 2023, while Arsenal and Chelsea have also been serial champions.

Table of Best Football Betting Sites for 2023

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Introduction to La Liga (Spain)

Despite seeing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi leave over the past few seasons, La Liga remains a big pull for Europe’s top talent, and therefore, warrants a place in our top five football leagues.

Usually, Real Madrid and Barcelona are among the betting favourites to lift the Champions League, while Atlético Madrid have emerged as a force to be reckoned with in recent years. Spain has also enjoyed success in the Europa League, with Villarreal, Atlético, and Sevilla getting their hands on the title in the past decade.

Favourites To Win League

La Liga 2022/23 – Outright Winner Odds

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
Real Madrid7/4888sport
Real Sociedad150/1Unibet
Atlético Madrid150/1Betway
Athletic Bilbao250/110bet


The first national football league in Spain was founded in 1929. For the first season, it consisted of one division and contained 10 clubs. By 1987, Spain’s top flight swelled to 20 teams, and for a brief period between 1995 and 1997, there were 22 teams.

Usually, the top four will qualify for the Champions League and the bottom three will be relegated to the second division mirroring the Premier League.


La Liga boasts some incredible records as one of the best football leagues in Europe. Andoni Zubizaretta has the most La Liga appearances under his belt (620), and in his career he played extensively for Athletic Bilbao, Barcelona, and Valencia.

Meanwhile, no player tasted more victories than Iker Casillas, with the former Real Madrid shot-stopper clocking up 334 match wins during his decorated La Liga career.

Leading Players

La Liga has been blessed with sheer talent throughout the years. You could go back as far as the 1950s, when Alfredo Di Stefano was strutting his stuff both home and abroad for Real.

Meanwhile, Messi was a metronome during his time spent with Barcelona, netting 463 La Liga goals, and he managed the best return in a single season (50) back in 2011/12.

Most Successful Teams

Barcelona and Real Madrid have both been almost untouchable in La Liga history. The pair have enjoyed almost unparalleled success, with Real lifting 35 titles and Barcelona trailing on 26. Atlético Madrid have tried to break up the duopoly in recent years, but Barca and Real remain the benchmark.

Introduction to Fußball-Bundesliga (Germany)

The Bundesliga has arguably been more one-sided in terms of the top leagues in football, and there has been an air of predictability, but it still generates plenty of interest.

In particular, the Der Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund always stirs up plenty of excitement.

Favourites To Win League

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
Bayern Munich1/40Paddy Power
RB Leipzig22/1Betfair
Borussia Dortmund40/1Coral
Freiburg50/1William Hill
Eintracht Frankfurt66/1888sport
Union Berlin66/1BetVictor


Tracing back to 1963, the Bundesliga was formed out of a desire from the players to professionalise football. Before that, the German football pyramid was split into regional tiers.

In total, 56 teams have competed in the Bundesliga, with Union Berlin being the most recent addition in 2019/20.


Of the most eye-catching records, Bayern have endured the longest spell as champions in Bundesliga history (nine years), and they also returned the highest points tally in 2012/13 (91).

Meanwhile, Tasmania Berlin’s meagre return of eight points in the 1965/66 campaign remains the lowest.

Leading Players

The Bundesliga has borne witness to some incredible players in the past, most notably Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, and Franck Ribery.

Of the current crop of Bundesliga talent, Bayern’s Jamal Musiala and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham are known to fans worldwide.

Most Successful Teams

Bayern Munich sits heads and shoulders above their rivals as they have landed 32 Bundesliga titles since the foundation of the league. After that, it’s a long way back to Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach, who have both clinched five league wins apiece.

Introduction to Serie A (Italy)

Widely regarded as one of the top five leagues in football, Serie A is also perceived to be one of the more defensive ones. That said, you will be able to see some of the game’s leading lights perform at some of the most celebrated stadiums, including the San Siro.

Favourites To Win League

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
Inter Milan6/1Parimatch
AC Milan7/1William Hill


One of the oldest top football leagues in Europe, Serie A was established in 1929, and it started with 18 clubs. As it grew in stature, so did the number of teams. Since the 2004/05 campaign, 20 clubs compete in Serie A. The top four teams qualify for the Champions League, and the bottom three drop into Serie B.


Silvio Piola remains Serie A’s all-time top scorer, netting 274 times between 1929 and 1952. After him is Francesco Totti, who scored 250 goals between 1992 and 2017, and they were all for one team — Roma.

Paolo Maldini, meanwhile, holds the record for most appearances (647), which he managed for AC Milan between 1984 and 2019.

Leading Players

The great and good have all plied their trade in Serie A at some point in their career. C.Ronaldo, Zidane, Maldini, Del Piero, and George Weah are just a few who made a huge impact.

Most Successful Teams

Juventus have been the dominant force in Serie A, lifting the championship on 36 occasions. The Milan giants were previously in the doldrums, but Inter are the second most successful side with 20 titles, while AC have been crowned champions 10 times.

Introduction to Ligue 1 (France)

Perhaps the weakest of the top five leagues listed, Ligue 1 has traditionally revolved around the dominance of one team — Paris Saint Germain — and part of that has been down to their cash-rich Qatari owners, who have bankrolled the club.

Favourites To Win League

TeamBest OddsBookmaker
Paris Saint-Germain1/20Paddy Power
Monaco50/1William Hill


In its original form, the French league was founded in 1932, and in 2002, it was rebranded Ligue 1. Since 2017, Ligue 1 has been referred to as Ligue 1 Uber Eats due to sponsorship reasons.


There has been a raft of records set over the years in France’s top division. Mickael Landreau is the league’s all-time top appearance maker, having turned out 618 times during an 18-year playing spell.

Meanwhile, Bernard Lacombe is one of five players that has hit over 200 goals in the league.

Leading Players

While the current cadre of stars — including Mbappe, Messi, and Neymar — have lit up the game, there have been a plethora of great players who have graced the division in years gone by, such as Ibrahimovic, Ronaldinho, and Cantona.

Most Successful Teams

PSG, along with Saint-Etienne, are the most successful teams with 10 French league titles each, while Marseille comes in third for most championships lifted (nine).


Of the top five leagues in Europe, the Premier League and La Liga are considered the strongest.
La Liga is the most consistent performer across European competition, but it is worth bearing in mind that the 2021 Champions League Final was an all-English affair between Chelsea and Manchester City.
The Premier League is the most affluent, generating around £5 billion a year. More than half of the top 20 richest clubs come from England’s top division.
Once again, the Premier League draws the highest global audience, underlining its claim to being the best football league in the world.
Yes, at the sites we have mentioned, you will be able to place pre-game bets including sections such as anytime goalscorer or wagering on the total number of corners over/under. Alternatively, you will find outright odds, so you can bet on who will win the league.


As we have seen, European football garners huge interest. With more money pumped in each year, these best football leagues in Europe can attract the top players, and the Premier League in particular has become a major pull for those wishing to test themselves at a higher level. Whatever league you wish to bet on, you will find some exciting markets at the best football betting sites.