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MLS momentum continues as it enters Opta Top 10 strongest leagues in the world

  /  autty

Major League Soccer’s progress continues as the US league secures tenth place in the latest Opta Power ranking listing of the world’s statistically strongest leagues.

Europe’s ‘Top 5′ strongest and/or most powerful leagues generally see little in terms of fluctuation with the Premier League leading the way with the likes of LaLiga, Bundesliga and Serie A battling it out for a place on the podium with France’s Ligue 1 generally occupying fifth position.

It’s generally when one leaves this top five that more movement is seen between other contenders with the latest Opta Power Ranking top ten featuring two leagues outside Europe as Brazil’s Serie A holds ninth position ahead of MLS making its debut in the top ten as it leaps from its previous 29th standing in August 2023.

MLS has seen steady growth over the past decade and the introduction of the innovative Apple broadcast deal and the like of recent big name signings such as Luis Suárez. Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Hugo Lloris, Lorenzo Insigne and of course, Lionel Messi has seen the league blossom.

The Opta rankings are based on collective performance at the club level and MLS team’s strong showing at the 2023 Leagues Cup, which is contested by MLS and Liga MX teams, last summer will have greatly impacted on the listing with Inter Miami proclaimed champions in the competition while six of the eight quarter-finalists were from MLS.

Liga MX on the fringe

Away from UEFA based leagues, trailing the Brasileirao and MLS are Liga MX, the Argentine Primera División and the Saudi Pro League although the SPL can boast the highest non-European side in the overall club ranking as Riyadh powerhouse Al Hilal soar up to 44th place on the individual club ranking and sit between Fulham and Union Saint-Gilloise of Belgium.

As we start to see a shift on the pitch in the CONCACAF region with the USMNT starting to eclipse Mexico for on-field domination, this is also now happening at institutional level with the impressive growth seen by MLS as it leaps 19 places in the latest Opta survey.

MLS vs Saudi Pro League

As things stand, the Opta Ranking lists the Saudi Pro League in 26th place, some 16 places below Major League Soccer despite the massive financial outlay from the top four sides with the likes of Al Ahli, Al Ittihad, Al Nassr and Al Hilal spending over $950 million last summer in luring big name players to the Roshn Saudi League.

Despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s claims that the Saudi Pro League is stronger than other leagues with the Portuguese striker citing Ligue 1, Opta’s latest rankings suggest that the veteran striker’s claims are someway off the mark, at least for the moment.

Related: Al Nassr FCRonaldo