The English Premier League: The World’s Toughest Football League

The English Premier League (EPL) is no doubt the most watched football series in the world. Every match day, millions of people around the globe, are sat on the stands, or in front of television sets, to witness the explosive action that comprises 20 teams in the top division.

Even with these fantastic numbers, the question still abides of whether this is the toughest league in the world. It is among the top five leagues in Europe alongside the Spanish La Liga, Italian Serie A, German Bundesliga and French Ligue 1. That already makes a case for the EPL, because European football is already the cream of world football.

But is the EPL the crème de la crème? This is a raging debate with a lot of talking points.

First up, you have to define the word ‘toughest’ in context. Usually, it is used to mean ‘most competitive’ and, thus, the best.

Proponents of the Premier League as the toughest division, point at the absence of a single team that dominates the league for an extended time. At a time when Juventus has won the Italian title for seven years in a row, PSG has little competition in France, Bayern is the single horse in the German race, and Real Madrid see-saws with Barcelona in Spain, the EPL title is a sort of a merry go round.

In the eight years leading to 2018, the English title has been a toss-up between Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City. Many times it is a close race, almost too close to call. Even Leicester City won it in their dream season!

Often, players who move to the division, hail the league as their ultimate challenge. That some of these are among the world’s best players makes for a good argument.

Those against this claim point to England’s persistent underperformance in the Champions League. Liverpool’s presence in the 2017/18 final will have dealt that argument a big blow.