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Football (Soccer): Professional Clubs and Leagues

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The most famous and top football (soccer) clubs in the world are in Europe. Each year there is a championship held between them by the UEFA called the Champions League. The top teams in each league from the year before qualify. It is one of the most watched and followed sports events in the world viewed by over 100 million people.


One of the most interesting differences between European football leagues and American professional sports is relegation. Each year the teams that finish at the bottom of the league are "relegated" to the next lower league, while the best teams from the lower leagues move up. Most countries have several tiers of leagues allowing even small clubs to move up to the top league if they are good enough.

Here is a listing of the top European football leagues and some of their clubs:

English Premier League - Perhaps the most followed football league in the world is the English Premier League. There are twenty clubs in the league.

List of teams in the English Premier League (2020/2021)

La Liga - The top professional football league in Spain, La Liga is home to Real Madrid, the club with the most European Cups.

List of Teams in La Liga (2020-2021)
Serie A - This is the top professional football league in Italy. It is the home to such powerhouse teams as Milan and Juventus.

List of teams in Serie A (2011) Bundesliga - The top league in Germany, the Bundesliga's most famous club is FC Bayern Munich.

Eredivisie - This is the number one professional football league in the Netherlands. The top clubs in Eredivisie are AFC Ajax, PSV, and Feyenoord.

Other top European leagues include Ligue 1 (France), Scottish Premier League (Scotland), Liga I (Romania), and the Primeira Liga (Portugal).


The top soccer league in the United States is Major League Soccer or the MLS. The MLS is a relatively new league with the first season taking place in 1996. Some of the top world players have come to the MLS near the end of their careers including David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney, Thierry Henry, and Lionel Messi. The league is divided into two conferences, an Eastern and a Western, with 29 total teams (2023).

More Soccer Links:

Soccer Rules
Soccer Field
Substitution Rules
Length of the Game
Goalkeeper Rules
Offside Rule
Fouls and Penalties
Referee Signals
Restart Rules

Soccer Gameplay
Controlling the Ball
Passing the Ball
Playing Defense

Strategy and Drills
Soccer Strategy
Team Formations
Player Positions
Set Plays or Pieces
Individual Drills
Team Games and Drills

Mia Hamm
David Beckham

Soccer Glossary
Professional Leagues

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