Ballon d'Or Shows Premier League's Fall in Europe

Ballon d'Or Shows Premier League's Fall in Europe

This year’s FIFA Ballon d’Or celebrated the world’s best footballers and coaches but also highlighted the increasing fall of the Premier League against Europe’s elite leagues. The La Liga has provided the last 8 winners of the title – with Cristiano Ronaldo and Leonel Messi taking four each on behalf of the Spanish league. The top three in this year’s Ballon d’or, which consisted of Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar, were all from La Liga whilst last year’s had a contribution from the Bundesliga when Manuel Neuer came third.


The Premier League has never provided a winner for the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards since it joined up with the FIFA Player of the Year Award and the last time a player from the English league featured in the Team of the Year was in 2011 when Manchester United’s Vidic and Rooney made the XI. Out of Europe’s top five football leagues, the Premier League was the only league not to have a representative in 2015 – a sign of falling standards. 2014 saw Angel Di Maria named in the team of the year while the midfielder was at Manchester United but it was for his efforts whilst with Real Madrid that earned him a place.

There were some complaints at the team this year when Real Madrid contributed four players to the XI despite not claiming a trophy last season. Barcelona on the other hand, won 5, including the league title and the Champions League. The Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 each contributed one player as La Liga supplied the other eight.

Last season, Jose Mourinho guided Chelsea to another Premier League title in emphatic style. Viewers of the Premier League claimed it was one of the best teams to win the title however given their disappointing performances this year, it’s sparked questions over whether the standard of the league was simply poor in comparison last season. Granted, no English team made it to the quarter finals of the Champions League during the 2014-15 season, the second time in three years.

Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City were all knocked out in the last 16 whilst Liverpool failed to make it through the group stage. Chelsea, who won it in 2012, are the only English team to make the semi-final of the competition in the last four years. It seems so long ago when three English teams made up the semi-final line-up for three consecutive seasons between the 2006-7 campaign and the 2009-10 season.

The standard of the Premier League has fallen so much in recent years that the fourth European place may be stripped from the English teams as Europe’s quality improves. La Liga is now home to the world’s best players and the Bundesliga is renowned for producing some of the best youth in football. So why is the Premier League falling behind so much?

It’s still regarded as one of the best leagues – despite not containing the best players or the best teams in Europe. However, it’s still one of the most unpredictable and highly contested league’s in Europe. Before the 2013-14 season when Atletico won the La Liga title, Barcelona or Real Madrid had won it every year almost a decade before then. During that time, the Premier League saw Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal as champions whilst Liverpool and Tottenham both came close. Whilst some of Europe’s other leagues, including the Bundesliga and La Liga is dominated by one or two clubs, the Premier League continues to throw up surprises and it’s not as easy to predict the champion.

Despite its competitiveness, the falling standards of the Premier League is worrying for English teams and the FA must take action to ensure its homegrown players are getting the opportunities they need to succeed. European success must become a priority for the league’s top clubs as the loss of a Champions League place would be nothing short of a disaster.


Currently studying Journalism at Media City UK, I specialise in Sports Journalism and news writing. My favourite sports include football, tennis, hockey and cricket. This is reflected in my writing.


8 responses to “Ballon d’Or Shows Premier League’s Fall in Europe”

  1. Hotspur says:

    This Ballon d’Or malarkey is getting more and more like Eurovision song contest!


    The EPL gruesome schedule is the major reason for its fall. This is followed by vicious attack by some dirty players which the referees continue to wave on. The quality of refereeing does not help either. Hardly can a week go by without blatant errors that cost teams some points. The pundits and sports writers are contributing their ow too. If you see a young player rising and an EPL team is interested in him, some will publicly say he should stay a while and improve himself, maybe RM or Barca would come calling in a couple of years. This is a defeatist attitude and it is like they have assumed LaLig is a superior league. Shame. I was annoyed to see that Charlie Adam’s goal against Chelsea was not featured as one of the best goals during the Balon D’Or event.

  3. ped says:

    I suppose when you’re main division only has three credible teams, then you’ll going to look outstanding.
    what you’ve got to look at is if barca or real Madrid were in the premiership, would they finish top of the league?
    anyway after the corruption found in footballing’s main bodies, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ballon d’Or has it’s issues too.

  4. CiTyBlUe says:

    Rubbish the ballon b’or is nothing but a farce, always has been pro Spain/Italy. Not so long ago David Silva won the Premier League, League Cup and helped Spain win the World Cup, did he win the Ballon D’or, did he fcuk, no one cares about FIFA or their poxy award in England other than Michael Owen and maybe a few Ronaldo lovers.

  5. Marc Faber says:

    You may not like the reality of market forces, but there is a reason the EPL is the no.1 franchise globally. When the people get to vote with their hard-earned dollars, than there is no competition. The European cups are again skewed towards the big guns of Europe as the EPL is so tough compared to La Liga and Bundesliga: crappy teams litter those leagues, plus EPL has no winter break and plus insane fixture intensity. It is no surprise that Premier league teams fail to deliver in Euro cups regularly. But this will change within a few years: every team is developing and establishing squads of top, top, top quality players of 30. Once this has bedded down for a few seasons, than you will see Premier League clubs once again rule in Europe. It is an inevitable consequence of buying power and improvement in organisation.

    If the Ballon D’Or was not so skewed towards LaLiga, and a similar voting system established, than I am sure the list of leading players would reflect better on the EPL: Hazard, Silva, Aguero, Sanchez, Ozil, Lukaku, etc. So that ‘list’ is suspect at best….

  6. onas says:

    Comment:You do not destroy an award because an EPL players doesnot win it.EPL has a wide coverage yet EPL players were not included because they do not merit it.

  7. Sam says:

    But it isn’t that La Liga is strong, it’s that Barca and Real are strong and each own Ronaldo and Messi. There’s a difference. Neuer also plays for pretty much the one club in his league that guarantees success, so all three players are on to a winner already (that’s not to say they’re not all top players, they are, obviously!).

    The problem with the EPL is the press push the Sky Sports Top 4 so much, that now they’re not sustaining their money-driven success any more, it’s perceived as the league getting weaker. Is it though? Look at how well other clubs are starting to do now the focus has shifted ever so slightly from brown-nosing United, Chelsea and City. More power to the non-Sky Sports Top 4 teams, I say.

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Published by EPL Index
Updated: 2016-01-19 07:50:18