Ligue 1 ranked the most competitive league in Europe

According to a report by The Athletic, Ligue 1 ranks as the most competitive league out of the top five European divisions (plus Liga Portugal and the Eredivisie). 

In their study looking at the different squad values throughout the seven leagues, Ligue 1 is ranked by the website as the most competitive with most of the teams in France’s top-flight having similarly valued squads. 

The elephant in the room is of course Paris Saint-Germain. The club have a squad worth £816 million more than double the next biggest in France, Stade Rennais with £329 million. However, it is when you begin to look beneath PSG that you can see the true equity on offer. The fight for Europe has been one of the most compelling races in this year’s campaign. There are nine teams (not including the capital club) with a shot at qualifying for one of next season’s competitions with four to five games remaining.

Ligue 1: The fight for Europe and the great escapes 

The Champions League race has been particularly bitter with nine points separating RC Lens in sixth from AS Monaco in second, and no team yet certain of who will occupy those final spots come the end of May. 

Even the bottom of the table shows a sense of uniformity which is helping to create these very intense showdowns which means that every weekend feels as if something is at stake. The bottom three is almost completely different from what it was five weeks ago with Clermont Foot the only team remaining at the bottom of the barrel. At the time FC Nantes and FC Metz occupied bottom spots but now FC Lorient and Le Havre have joined Clermont. 

The issue and the criticism for France will always be the stranglehold that PSG has on the division since their 2011 takeover put their finances in a different stratosphere to their local rivals. However, to write off the league is to miss just how competitive it can truly be, and how clubs like Stade Brestois with the 13th most expensive squad in the country can mount a fairytale campaign that could see them rubbing elbows among the very elite. 

GFFN | Nick Hartland

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