Sports have created a world of their own, especially now when they can be so readily accessed. In this world there are some names and organizations that are more recognizable than others. While there are countless professional and minor leagues throughout the world, these ten stand out as the most prominent and successful of them all.
If you didn’t recognize the Australian Football League don’t be too ashamed, most people aren’t familiar with it since it’s confined to Australia. The AFL has 18 teams currently and they play 23 games during their regular season before the playoffs. And no, it’s not the same thing as rugby.
9. Nippon Professional Baseball
Baseball is one of the most played sports in the world, and Japan boasts one of the best leagues in the world. Several great MLB players actually have their roots in Japanese baseball including: Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and Shohei Ohtani. Baseball is a very beloved sport in Japan which is why the league is so popular and qualifies for this list.
8. Formula One
This is another selection that may surprise you, but it shouldn’t. Formula One is actually really popular, just not so much in the United States where NASCAR is king. But the rest of the world favors Formula One as their favorite racing league. With small, sleek, electrifying vehicles and unique tracks all around the world, its’ popularity is undeniable.
Just like the other three major sports leagues in the United States, the NHL is the greatest hockey league in the world. Currently the league has 31 teams including the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadians, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Toronto Maple Leafs. Some of the league’s most popular players include: Sidney Crosby, Connor McDavid, and Alex Ovechkin.
We’re just starting to hit a wall of soccer/football league’s you’ll be seeing shortly, but Germany’s best league is the first one to appear on this list. The Bundesliga is dominated by Bayern Munich, one of the most well known teams in the world. Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Marco Reus, and Robert Lewandowski are some of the most recognizable players from Bundesliga.
The MLB is the greatest, most diverse baseball league in the world. The league has a storied history with many great players and teams that have inspired generations of young talents. Athletes from all over the world travel to the United States, and Canada, to compete at the highest level of baseball.
Some of the league’s current stars include: Mike Trout, Clayton Kershaw, Jose Altuve, Aaron Judge, Bryce Harper, Mookie Betts, and Max Scherzer. The league features beloved and prosperous team like the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Los Angeles Dodgers.
4. La Liga
We’re not getting away from soccer/football for long because of the strength of Spain’s La Liga. Some of their teams you might recognize include Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid, and Barcelona. The last two teams stand out the most in recent history because of their ties to players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Luis Suarez, and Andres Iniesta. Most of them have now changed teams, but their legacies are forever tied to their time in La Liga.
Basketball is becoming one of the world’s most popular and beloved sports and the NBA is at the center of it. The association is arguably the most progressive of the four major sports leagues in the United States and boasts a plethora of legendary players with names and brands recognizable all over the world.
The association’s most notable players are LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry but the game also has a lot of well known legends like Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Michael Jordan. There are also some very expensive and well known teams in the NBA, including the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, Boston Celtics, and Golden State Warriors.
It may seem a little strange since the NFL is only the most dominant league in the United States and American Football is not a world wide sensation like Soccer, but the NFL is truly a giant and people need to understand that. The game’s best active players include the likes of Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Donald, Todd Gurley, Antonio Brown, Patrick Peterson, and many more. And in a short span the league has developed a rich history with plenty of well known and colorful legends like Dick Butkus, “Mean” Joe Greene, Reggie White, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, and coaches like John Madden, Bill Belichick, and Vince Lombardi.
The league also features well known teams like the Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, New England Patriots, and Philadelphia Eagles. The Cowboys are actually the most valuable sports franchise in the entire world.
1. Premier League
Soccer/football is the world’s most popular sport and the English Premier League is the pinnacle of the sport. The league features teams like Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool, and Arsenal, and boasts popular names like Mohamed Salah, Harry Kane, David Silva, and Gabriel Jesus. With tons of consistently great and underdog teams, everyone can find a squad to root for. The Premier League has also been the most profitable soccer/football league in recent history.