Football

Would any of Europe's top 5 win their domestic league?

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Last week Richard Scudamore, the Chief Executive of the Barclays Premier League, posed the question where England would finish if they were to take part in their own domestic league. He couldn't answer it.

And who is surprised? With club football reaching new heights every year in terms of players, money, and indeed quality, would the England, Spain, Italy, France and Germany national teams win their own league?

England

In a word, no. Looking at the last 5 major international tournaments, England have not made it past the quarter-finals in any of them.

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Didn't even qualify for Euro 2008 and didn't win a game in Brazil 2014. They are currently undergoing a massive overhaul in their squad, with Hodgson working on a younger squad with more pace in it.

Since the embarrassment of last year, England have gone on an impressive run without having to face real stern opposition. Although credit must go to a 2-0 away victory in Switzerland, regarded as the toughest game of the Euro 2016 qualifiers.

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Contrast this to any of the teams that finished in the top 4 last season. Can anyone envisage the likes of Diego Costa and Hazard struggling against the current England defence?

The top 4 of the Premier League is star-studded to say the least, boasting the likes of Sergio Aguero, Alexis Sanchez, Yaya Toure, Mesut Ozil, Angel di Maria and of course Wayne Rooney himself - and this does not take into account any signings made this summer.

Predicted Position in the Premier League: 5th

Spain

It wouldn't take much of a debate to come to the conclusion that the Spanish national team is considerably better than England.

Winners of Euro 2008, the 2010 World Cup and then the 2012 Euros, the team still failed miserably in last year's World Cup, being thrashed by Netherlands and then losing with a wimper to Chile.

They are also in the process of incorporating a lot of new faces into the squad. Xavi and Xabi Alonso, the midfield maestros of the last seven years are gone, Fernando Torres and David Villa have also departed the international scene.

This has paved the way for some of La Liga's stars such as Koke, Paco Alcacer, and several others to make their international debuts. Their future look bright but results in the past year have been sketchy and inconsistent.

Compare that to Real Madrid and Barcelona. The two between them have won the last two Champions Leagues and nine of the last ten league titles.

Real Madrid's team is worth more than £500 million and it is likely that Barcelona's is more (were they to sell Messi and co.), the national team would need a small miracles to weigh up to either of these superpowers of the game.

Spain vs. Atletico would be a much more interesting match, despite differing playing styles. Atletico's doggedness will be an interesting clash against Spain's slick passing and movement, and these two will have to fight it out for third place.

Predicted position in La Liga: 3rd

France

The French national team is arguably the strongest it's been since the 2006 World Cup and they could have progressed further at last year's World Cup if they were not drawn with eventual winners Germany.

With rising stars Paul Pogba and Alexander Lacazette amongst their ranks, they are only going to get stronger and look like a balanced and rounded team, with very few weaknesses.

The only team that they may struggle against is current champions PSG. The billionaire-backed club have the talents of Edinson Cavani, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lucas leading their front-line and have Brazil captain Thiago Silva at the back.

However, their midfield is relatively light-weight compared to some of the European powerhouses and some of the other members of the starting eleven are not of the highest standard.

Predicted Ligue 1 finish: 1st

Italy

Similar to France, Italy are at their strongest point for some years, although this falls well short of the heights they reached in 2006. They failed to make it out of the group stages in Brazil and haven't progressed much since then.

However, the domestic league has been weak for the best part of five years, since Inter Milan's triumph in the Mourinho era.

With the exception of Juventus, the rest of Serie A have failed to make an impact in Europe and have subsequently failed to attract the quality that they once did.

Having said that, Inter Milan are undergoing a lavish spending spree and rebuilding job, as are AC Milan. The allure of playing for the pair of them has clearly not faded, with many of Europe's top players opting to ply their trade in Milan if they are not approached by the Premier League or another major player.

Predicted Serie A Finish: 3rd

Germany

By far the closest match-up. Germany vs. Bayern Munich would be a game to behold as both sides would be made up by a lot of the same players.

Bayern may have Robben and Ribery on the wings and Robert Lewandowski leading their attack, but Germany have answers of their own in Marco Reus and Andre Schurrle. Add into the mix the quality of Gundogan and Hummels vs Xabi Alonso and Benatia and the game could not be called to save a life.

Germany's recent World Cup success was followed by several high-profile international retirements which weakened their squad somewhat, however their playing style has been known to be particularly successful against Pep Guardiola's short-passing high-pressing game.

But, even if they do beat the Bundesliga Champions, will their style be just as effective as the rest of the league, who play in a similar fashion? Probably.

Predicted Bundesliga Finish: 1st

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Topics:
Internationals
Spain Football
Germany Football
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England Football

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