The Big 5 in the Last 10 Years in European Soccer - Who are the best teams? Who are the best leagues?

In the soccer world, the big leagues are La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Serie A (Italy), Premier (England), and Ligue 1 (France.)

In the last 10 years:

La Liga has been won by Barcelona (6), Real Madrid (3), Atletico Madrid (1)
As you can see between Barcelona and Real Madrid, they have dominated the competition. Not surprisingly, these two clubs probably have the largest international following

Bundesliga has been won by Bayern Munich (7), Borussia Dortmund (2), Wolfsburg (1)
Even more extreme than La Liga, is the record that Bayern Munich has run up in the Bundesliga. Currently, Bayern has won the last five in a row.

Serie A has been won by Juventus (6), Internazionale (3), Milan (1)
However, Juventus has an even stronger monopoly with six in a row currently.

Ligue 1 has been won by Paris Saint-Germain (4), AS Monaco (1), Montpellier (1), Lille (1), Marseille (1), Bordeaux (1), Lyon (1)
At first glance, it looks like this league has some parity. However, four of the last five Ligue 1 titles have been won by PSG.

Premier has been won by Manchester United (4), Chelsea (3), Manchester City (2), Leicester City (1)
The crown for most diversity of recent title winners goes to the Premier League with four different teams winning the prize in the last five years.

Thus, in terms of league play, it could be argued that the English Premier League has the most "balance" in that there are a number of clubs that are in contention for the title. This competitive balance has been cited as the reason why the EPL hasn't fared well in the Champions League as the teams are worn down by the weekend matches of their domestic league leaving them unable to play at 100% for the mid-week Champions League competitions.

The biggest prize is the UEFA Champions League.
In the last 10 years:
2016-2017 Real Madrid
2015-2016 Real Madrid
2014-2015 Barcelona
2013-2014 Real Madrid
2012-2013 Bayern Munich
2011-2012 Chelsea
2010-2011 Barcelona
2009-2010 Internazionale
2008-2009 Barcelona
2007-2008 Manchester United

In the last five years, Real Madrid or Baracelona have won four Champions League Cups. In two of these finals, their opponent was Atletico Madrid, also a La Liga Club. And over a 10 year period, 7 Cups have been won by La Liga clubs.

Thus, it would seem that the top La Liga teams are the best teams in the world.

As far as the best league overall, if competitive balance at the top is important, then the EPL is probably the best.

The question of league depth will be put to the test as 4th place Hoffenheim of the Bundesliga will be matched with 4th place Liverpool of the EPL in a qualification playoff for the Champions League this month. The winner goes into the round of 32 group play while the loser is shunted off to Europa League Cup play.

Attempts to quantify the strength of clubs are imprecise but the UEFA Club Coefficient is such a metric. Liverpool is rated #35 while Hoffenheim is ranked #125. However, the Liverpool score is skewed upward by their strong showings from the 2014-2016 seasons. Take those numbers out and they are very close. Should be a good test for the two clubs!

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