Historically, soccer and fandom have over the years been a male-dominated sport with its celebrations hinged on masculinity.
In a world where gender-based discrimination is gradually becoming a thing of the past in women’s football, top-flight leagues across the world are gradually soaring to the pinnacle.
In terms of acceptability, the years 2021, and 2022 saw a surge in women’s football as new viewing numbers were recorded, particularly at the club level.
Before now, football is an invention by men for men, but today you’ll agree that women’s football is also being accepted and followed due to the success and progression that has come with it in the last few years.
However, while the above statements give credence to the significant progress women’s soccer is enjoying, which leagues are the best in the world?
- National Women’s Soccer League – (NWSL, USA)
- Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League – (WSL, England)
- Frauen-Bundesliga – (Germany)
- Division 1 Feminine – (France)
- Primera Iberdrola – (Spain)
- Damallsvenskan – (Sweden)
- Serie A Femminile – (Italy)
- A-League Women – (Australia)
- WE-League – (Japan)
- Campeonato Paulista de Futbol Feminino – (Brazil)
National Women’s Soccer League – (NWSL, USA)
In the conversation of the world’s leading women’s soccer nations across the globe, the USA’s national team certainly comes to mind as one of the best considering their success stats.
Like England’s WSL, the NWSL also underwent an organic restructuring in 2012 with a proper league format.
The high competitiveness, solid fan base, and the fact that the league parades some of the finest USA women’s soccer players and foreign talents make the league the best.
So when doing a roll-call of the best women’s football leagues in the world, the NWSL will certainly be included because of its well-laid structures.
Barclay’s FA Women’s Super League – (WSL, England)
Since 1992 the English Premier League has often heralded a new season as being the biggest yet.
However, since the inception of WSL in 2011 no women’s league in the world has arguably witnessed the level of growth and success the Women’s Super League is experiencing presently.
While the WSL is driven by substantial investments and structural changes implemented by the FA.
However, it must be said that the league’s ability to lure world-class players from other leagues makes it the second-best in the world.
The competitive nature of the WSL with teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, Manchester United, and City, coupled with a rise in media coverage makes the league one of the best in the globe.
Frauen-Bundesliga – (Germany)
While women’s football is currently undergoing a significant level of acceptance, it must be said that the Frauen-Bundesliga is one of the pioneers of women’s football leagues.
The German women’s top flight was founded in 1989, and since then it’s been one of the most consistent, competitive, and properly run leagues in the globe.
Over the years the Frauen-Bundesliga is known for its excellent infrastructure and most importantly its history of producing quality players.
The fact that the league is home to one of the most successful clubs in the Women’s UEFA Champions League (Wolfsburg Feminine), gives credence to how big and well-run the Frauen-Bundesliga is.
Division 1 Feminine – (France)
Like Frauen-Bundesliga, the French women’s top-flight was established in 1974 which makes it one of the oldest pioneers of women’s league in the world.
While the German women’s top division can boast of Wolfsburg feminine, the French feminine can also boast of Olympique Lyon a team who holds the record of titles (8) won in the Champions League.
The success and bigness of the ‘Division 1 Feminine’ is based on the world-class infrastructure and conducive environment put in place to make the league one of the finest in the world.
At the international tournaments, the level of consistency often shown by the big biggest club in the league (Olympique Lyon) says a lot about the French women’s top division.
Primera Iberdrola – (Spain)
The Spanish Iberdrola was founded in 1988 but didn’t get the level of acceptance and media coverage it presently experiencing now then.
However, the recent surge in viewers’ attendance and competitiveness in recent year in a league game involving Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid feminine, makes the league ranks amongst the best in the world.
While the WSL is arguably the go-to league for world-class players presently, considering the upturn in substantial investments and elite infrastructure, the Iberdrola is also one of the finest leagues that home lots of outstanding players.
Damallsvenskan – (Sweden)
If there’s any women’s soccer top division that had home some of the finest players that played or still playing the game in the past before moving elsewhere, it’s the Damallsvenskan.
Damallsvenskan has been around since 1988 and has had excellent players featured in the league with iconic clubs like Umea IK, a team that had appeared in (7) semi-finals, (8) quarter-finals, and (5) finals in the Champions League.
Some of Europe’s biggest leagues such as WSL, Frauen-Bundesliga, Division 1 Feminine, and Primera Iberdrola might be enjoying the best of media coverage to further push them to the faces of spectators.
However, that doesn’t negate the fact that the Swedish top division isn’t one of the best leagues in the world having built a great legacy at the start of the millennium.
Serie A Femminile – (Italy)
Serie A, Italy’s top division is one of the world’s most lucrative leagues in the globe that home some of the finest teams in club football.
While its female counterpart, Serie A Femminile, is not considered a professional league until the beginning of 2022-23 has been in existence since 2015.
After proper structuring and financial support were put in place by the FIGC to grow the league in 2015, the league grew in terms of popularity during 2017-18 when Juventus women joined.
Serie A Femminile may not be on the same level as the listed leagues above in terms of popularity, rating, on-field success, and bigness in recent years.
However, the league is certainly one of the best in the world presently due to the organic restructuring and financial investment the FIGC has been able to pump into the division.
A-League Women – (Australia)
Australia’s top-flight men’s and women’s soccer competitions, basically the A-League and W-League went through a collective rebranding in 2021 under the merged banner of the A-Leagues.
This means by the start of the 2023-24 season, there will be a full home and away schedule consisting of 132 games.
In a decision designed to promote gender equality and inclusivity, the Australian FA decided to rebrand the league after consulting with the players, coaches, and fans before reinventing it.
While top players have left Australia in search of more playing time in Europe’s top leagues, the fact about the league is that it still maintains the injection of imported internationals and academy graduates.
WE-League – (Japan)
As women’s football continues to grow globally, it’s becoming so difficult for Japanese fans not to envy what the top leagues in Europe are experiencing in terms of growth.
The WE-League (Women’s Empowerment League) is less than four years old in Japan, but its development has been an organic growth since 2020.
While the women’s top-division leagues are ranked as the best in the world, the Japanese league is also included in that conversation.
Recently, the head of Japan’s professional women’s soccer league says support for sports, particularly women is still lagging behind compared to other countries.
However, WE-League is still ranked as one of the finest women’s soccer leagues in the world.
Campeonato Paulista de Futbol Feminino – (Brazil)
In Brazil, there are three-tier women’s soccer league structure in the country which includes Campeonato Brasileiro de Futbol Feminino Serie A1, Brazilian Women’s National Championship A2, and Serie A3.
As for the Serie A1, 16 teams play in the top division and they play against each other once in the round-robin stage.
For emphasis reason, the Campeonato Brasileiro de Futbol Feminino is the Brazilian top-division league for women, and it’s been in existence since 1987.
The league being one of the best in the world has produced amazing talents who didn’t only prove themselves in the division alone but also at the international level.
- Toppserien Women – (Norway)
- Elitedivisionen Women – (Denmark)
- WK-League Women – (South Korea)
- Liga MX Femenil – (Mexico)
- Hollywoodbets Super League – (South Africa)