Saudi Pro League vs MLS ranking in the world, viewership and which football league is better

Saudi Pro League vs MLS ranking in the world, viewership and which football league is better

With the arrival of major European players, the Saudi Pro League has gained prominence and is now compared to other major leagues, have a look at its ranking vs the MLS

The top flight of Saudi association football is called the Saudi Pro League and has become the centre of attention after Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Al Nassr.

Saudi Pro League vs MLS ranking in the world, viewership and which football league is better explained

Cristiano Ronaldo’s prediction in September that Saudi Arabia will host one of the “top five” leagues in world football one day sparked a heated debate in the room.

It’s no surprise that the Saudi Pro League has signed Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, and Karim Benzema; money talks and has been a factor in Major League Soccer’s efforts to court famous players. Star names are still moving to the Middle East, and one of the biggest stories of the summer has been the massive transfer movements made by the Saudi Pro League.

“Top five” league? Might be one day and Ronaldo indeed has been a huge marketer of the league. In the upcoming time, the Saudi Pro League will get greater attention from around the world, although it still lags far behind other leagues in world football, even with its obvious and continuous improvements.

Although, Messi and Ronaldo left Europe the rivalry didn’t stop there. The fans of the two keep comparing them with their respective leagues. While playing for rival teams Barcelona and Real Madrid, they faced off frequently for nine seasons during the height of their careers.

The two are scheduled to face each other again for the first time since leaving Europe at the Riyadh Cup when Al Nassr faces Inter Miami. While the fans compare the two leagues because of their favourites, let us have a look at the top domestic leagues in the world and where Saudi Pro and MLS stand.


Saudi Pro League world ranking as compared to others

The Saudi Pro League comes in at number 36 among domestic leagues in the Opta Power Rankings for 2023, which are based on the most recent assessment by football data experts OPTA.

Lionel Messi and the MLS are well behind other major leagues, ranking 29th, with European leagues taking up the top five spots. According to the Opta Power Rankings, the English Premier League is ranked first.

The best non-European league is Brazil’s Serie A, which is ranked ninth. Their top team, Palmeiras, is placed first outside of the European “bubble,” coming in at 61st.

To produce overall standings of domestic leagues against each other, Opta has explained how their rankings and power ratings are calculated. This method is the ELO-based rating system, originally developed for chess but later extended to other sports.


The MLS has been broadcast nationally in the United States since the league’s inception in 1996 and in Canada since 2007. In 2023, Apple TV gained the sole broadcast rights for the league and the average viewership numbers of MLS in 2022 were 343,000,

The all-time Saudi Arabia League of Legends team viewership record is 159,103, but the numbers spiked in 2023 to about 800,000, with many crediting Ronaldo for the surge.

As per the latest figures, the number of spectators in MLS in the 2023 season was 7,011,953.


Which are the top five leagues in the world?

Check out the top five leagues along with their average power rating per team.

  • Premier League (England) (87.1)
  • Bundesliga (Germany) (85.4)
  • La Liga (Spain) (84.1)
  • Serie A (Italy) (83.8)
  • Ligue 1 (France) (81.9)


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