If you were able to make all-star teams from all the top leagues and pit them head-to-head, who would you select? It's a tantalizing question and with ESPN's Battle of the Leagues, we hope to answer this question once and for all.
Eight of ESPN's top writers turned managers for our tournament, created and simulated in FIFA 20, with a group stage/knockout round format to determine an ultimate winner. They were able to customize squads, tweak tactics, select from an array of available defensive/offensive styles and even choose how many players they'd commit to the penalty area for free-kicks, corners and in open play.
So how does the Premier League, an overwhelming pre-competition favorite, measure up against their European peers La Liga, the German Bundesliga, French Ligue 1 and Italian Serie A? Can Liga MX settle their rivalry with Major League Soccer once and for all? And what will the Brazilian Serie A, an outsider, do against such storied competition?
Over the next week, we'll present the matches, teams and highlights before unveiling the Battle of the Leagues champion on Monday, June 15.
- Introduction: What is Battle of the Leagues? Full explainer, including rules, format and squads for all eight teams
- Matchday One: Can Liga MX stun Premier League? Will Lionel Messi, La Liga have enough to beat Ligue 1?
- Meet the Group A managers: Is Mark Ogden's Premier League the front-runner?
- Group B preview: Gab Marcotti puts a hex on Sid Lowe's La Liga All-Stars
Matchday One highlights
- Story: Can Liga MX stun Premier League?
- Group A: Will Premier League be too much for Liga MX?
- Group A: Ronaldo, Serie A hope for easy win vs. MLS
- Group B: Ligue 1 dominate La Liga... but do they win?
- Group B: Brazil's best square off with Bundesliga
Matchday Two highlights
- Story: Ligue 1 take on Bundesliga, MLS need a win vs. Premier League
- Group A: Mane to the rescue for Premier League vs. MLS?
- Group A: Can Serie A rebound vs. Liga MX?
- Group B: Bundesliga battle Messi, La Liga
- Group B: Brazil's All-Stars take La Liga to the brink
Matchday Three highlights
- Story: La Liga vs. Bundesliga for a semifinal spot, MLS vs. Liga MX showdown
- Group A: Liga MX vs. MLS rivalry gets settled
- Group A: Serie A face must-win match vs. Premier League
- Group B: Ligue 1, Brazil square off
- Group B: Bundesliga or La Liga into semis?
Ranking the semifinalists: Which team looks strongest heading into final four?
- Donaldson: Who's the best player in the tournament?
- Story: Can Ligue 1 stun Premier League? Will Bundesliga beat Liga MX as expected?
- Semifinal 1: Bundesliga vs. Liga MX
- Semifinal 2: Premier League vs. Ligue 1
- Battle of the Leagues: Gab vs. Juls in the final
The grand final
- Story: Bundesliga or Ligue 1 to take the Battle of the Soccer Leagues crown?
- Battle of the Leagues: Neymar & Mbappe the heroes?