teddy ballgame wrote:They don't have as many elite sides yet, but that is changing (Wenger recently said he thought more German teams would begin to assert themselves in the CL in the years to come). But if we're comparing leagues then you have to consider the whole league from top to bottom and I don't think France compares at that point. The Bundesliga also moved past Serie A for CL league slots in the 2012-13 competition.
I'd say over the last couple of years, the Bundesliga has become the third-most significant league behind the Premier League and La Liga. However, you have some who think the Bundesliga is a stronger league from top to bottom than La Liga because Barcelona/Real Madrid are back to being what the Old Firm is to Scotland: two dominant sides who are the only reasonable contenders and then, the also-rans. Gone are the days when the likes of Deportivo La Coruna, Sevilla, Valencia, or even Real Sociedad could challenge for the league, partly to do with the financial climate. Still, Spanish sides not named Real or Barca do reasonably well on the European front and why Spain continues to be regarded as the best league, second to the Premier League.
Serie A is usually considered as a top 3 league at worst, but the league has declined some over the last decade. The decline hasn't been more profound than the "Calciopoli" scandal of four years ago. Juventus were relegated as severe offenders of match fixing while a powerhouse like Milan as well two decently big clubs in Fiorentina and Lazio were also punished for match fixing. The Italian league has kind of served as a coronation for Inter Milan since then. Also, Italian clubs are subjected to higher taxes than say, in Spain, which eats away at the margins at even the bigger clubs. For instance, AC Milan are in a world of hurt because of the high taxes, the debt, and it doesn't help matters when the Milan squad is an old one and in need of some new blood to do reasonably well domestically and in Europe. Serie A used to be the end-all, be-all league like the Premier League is now for many years, but that has changed for a number of reasons outside the league's control although the two big culprits were Calciopoli and the current debt crisis.