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Saudi Pro League in crisis as 26 leagues ranked higher including Lionel Messi's MLS

Saudi Pro League in crisis as 26 leagues ranked higher including Lionel Messi's MLS

It's a low ranking.

The Saudi Pro League has been ranked as the 27th best league in the world, behind the MLS where Lionel Messi plies his trade.

Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo made headlines when he told the Dubai Globe Soccer Awards, that the Saudi Pro League is a better league than Ligue 1 - the top tier of French football, ranked by many among the top five divisions in Europe.

The 38-year-old said: "To be honest, I think the Saudi League is not worse than the French league, in my opinion. In [the] French league, I think you have two or three teams with a good level. In Saudi now, I think it's more competitive.

“They can say whatever they want, it's just my opinion. I played there one year so I know what I'm talking about. But I think right now we are better than [the] French league, we still improve."

It was a bold claim and one which the stat boffins appear to disagree with.

Opta’s Power Rankings have assigned an “ability score” of 0-100 to each club, based on a wide variety of factors and stats, with reigning Champions League and Club World Cup holders Manchester City the world’s highest-ranked club.

And when one averages the scores of all the teams in a league, it is possible to rank the standard of the world’s leagues.

The Premier League is ranked as the best league in the world, followed by the Bundesliga, Serie A, La Liga and Ligue 1.

Notably the Championship is sixth on the list, ahead of the Eredivisie and Portugal’s Primeira Liga.

Meanwhile, the MLS, where reigning Ballon d’Or winner Messi has played since last summer, is 15th on the list.

Ronaldo’s Saudi Pro League is 12 places behind, in 27th.

Here is a look at the full list, first put together in October 2023.

  1. English Premier League 87.66
  2. German Bundesliga 84.04
  3. Italian Serie A 83.46
  4. Spanish La Liga 83.43
  5. French Ligue 1 81.41
  6. English Championship 78.58
  7. Dutch Eredivisie 77.24
  8. Portuguese Primeira Liga 77.20
  9. Belgian Pro League 77.19
  10. Brazilian Serie A 76.43
  11. Swiss Super League 75.72
  12. Turkish Super Lig 75.65
  13. Russian Premier Liga 75.08
  14. Danish Superliga 75.00
  15. MLS 74.77
  16. Austrian Bundesliga 74.76
  17. Spanish La Liga 2 74.42
  18. Polish Ekstraklasa 73.88
  19. Argentine Liga Professional 73.66
  20. German 2. Bundesliga 73.62
  21. Croatian HNL 73.45
  22. Mexican Liga MX 73.20
  23. Cypriot First Division 72.47
  24. Swedish Allsvenskan 72.30
  25. Japanese J1 League 72.16
  26. South Korean K League 1 72.09
  27. Saudi Pro League 71.94
  28. Israeli Premier League 71.56
  29. Romanian Liga I 71.40
  30. Norwegian Eliteserien 71.33
Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Football, Saudi Pro League, Saudi Arabia, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Premier League