Detroit Sports Nation’s guide to soccer

4. HIERARCHY OF TEAMS

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In soccer, there is a hierarchy much like American leagues. The situation in soccer can become much worse than American leagues however since there is no regulation of salary use for teams. Clubs like Real Madrid, Paris St. Germain, and Bayern Munich can spend as much as they make while teams on the level of Blackburn Rovers or Bastia are left at a severe disadvantage. Anyone looking into becoming a fan of a club must consider this dichotomy and just how difficult it is for lower tier teams to truly succeed. There are obviously some anomalies like Leicester City and Tottenham Hotspur that play against convention, but many of the top teams retain the best players amongst themselves or poach other star players that started at other clubs.

The big players in European soccer can boil down to these squads: AC Milan, Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Chelsea, Inter Milan, Juventus, Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Paris St. Germain, and Real Madrid. Barcelona and Real Madrid are much like Michigan and Ohio State. They are fierce rivals that have a storied past together that includes their own touted rivalry game named El Clasico.

Manchester United is the evil empire of the European soccer world. They run business much like the New York Yankees do in Major League Baseball. If you hate the Yankees, then it is a very easy jump to hate Manchester United as well. They are the most wealthy sports organization in the entire world and funnel in star players from all over Europe. The Red Devils were able to reel in Juventus star Paul Pogba, Paris St. Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and former Chelsea midfielder Juan Mata.

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