On this edition of soccer mailbag, I will try my best to teach you about the world of club soccer. I will answer three questions that might interest you, so here it goes. I hope you learn something new.
1. How many leagues are there in the world? Well it is very hard to say, because every country has at least one "pro league". But I will give you the premier leagues of the world or the first division leagues. The top tier consists of the English Premier League, the Spanish Primera (La Liga), the Italian Serie A, the German Bundesliga, and the French League. Then you have even more. For time's sake, I will copy and paste all of the world leagues that I found on wikipedia.com. The first league listed under the country's name is the premier division.
- Hyundai A-League
- Premier League
- The Football League, comprised of:
- Scottish Premier League
- Scottish Football League, composed of:
- Korea Professional Football League (K-League)
- Major League Soccer (MLS) (US and Canada - premier league)
- United Soccer Leagues (USL)
- National Premier Soccer League (NPSL)
- Pacific Coast Soccer League (PCSL)
- Major Indoor Soccer League
2. Who are the big clubs of Europe? Every year, about 8-12 (at least) teams are a key player in the Champions League. These teams are usually the ones that end up winning the trophies. The teams that are very good and come out of England are Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United. From Spain it is always Real Madrid and Barcelona. From France is Lyon, from Germany is Bayern Munich, even though they didn't make the UCL this year. From Italy are AC Milan, Inter Milan, sometimes Juventus and Roma. These are the teams that usually dominate, but others do make runs and are very good clubs.
3. Who are the big clubs of the Western Hemisphere? A couple of leagues really run the West. They are the Brazilian, the Argentine, the Mexican, and the MLS is slowly becoming a player. Every now and then you see a team suprise, but not much. The major players out of Argentina are River Plate and Boca Juniors, who are fierce rivals. The Brazilian strong men are usually Santos, Gremio, Flamengo, Sao Paulo, and Internacional. Depending on the year, different ones step up. From Mexico, you have Pachuca, Chivas of Guadalajara, Club America, Cruz Azul, and Atlas. In MLS, you have the Houston Dynamo, who look like they could win the CONCACAF Champions Cup. I left out a few teams, but I don't have all day. Those are some of the main teams.
Come back next week as I discuss some more of your questions. Please send them to Keeper and I will do my best to answer them. Thanks for your time, have a HAPPY NEW YEAR.