It is not a secret that the best volleyball players play in the best leagues. There are people who don’t know which are the best leagues, so in this post I decided to make a ranking of the best men’s professional volleyball leagues in the world. These leagues are attractive to fans, have dozens of world-class players and feature the best clubs in the world.
Before we start, I just wanted to mention that this ranking has been done according to the international awards of the clubs, the attractiveness of the games, the level of competition, the quality of the matches, the popularity, the earnings and, of course, the quality of the players.
Reading: Best volleyball leagues in the world
so what are the best professional volleyball leagues in the world?
top 3 clubs: lube civitanova, sir safety perugia, diatec trentinostars: wilfredo leon, jenia grebennikov, osmany juantorenaearnings: 9 /10game quality: 10/10
some people may argue about the best volleyball player, some may argue about the best volleyball club, but when it comes to the best volleyball league, there is no question. The Italian Super League is the best volleyball league in the world.
contains the best clubs in the world that everyone knows such as lube civitanova, trentino volley, perugia and modena that triumph in various competitions every year. the complete list of the best volleyball clubs is here. italian super league won the cev ranking that includes all european club competitions. how powerful the Italian clubs are, shows the world club championship. In the last 5 years, the Italian club has always been on the podium, having won the last 2 editions of this tournament. the same applies to the champions league (4 times on the podium in the last 5 years). the super lega is also one of the most affordable for players and the best ones reach up to €1,000,000. It is super attractive for fans because the level of competition is extremely high and there are dozens of world-class players such as Jenia Grebennikov, Wilfredo Leon and Aaron Russell. here is the ranking of the best volleyball players in 2020.
although the super league is the best in the world, it is still not as popular as football in italy.
2. russian super league-volleyball
top 3 clubs: zenit kazan, lokomotiv novosibirsk, bielgorje bielgorodstars: earvin n’gapeth, maxim mikhailov, fedor voronkovearnings: 10/10game quality: 9/10
The Russian Volleyball Super League was established in 1992. There are a couple of strong teams, with Zenit Kazan winning the league 5 times in a row from 2014 to 2018. Is Zenit the strongest team in the world? find out in this ranking. But in the next season, Kuzbass Kemerovo stopped the dominance of Zenit.
there are at least 5 teams that fight to win the Russian league every year. whoever wins has a great chance to succeed in some international tournaments. zenit kazan regularly stands on the podium of the champions league and the world club championship. they won 4 of the last 5 champions league series which is amazing. bielogorje bielgorod also does well in less prestigious competitions, having won the cev cup in 2018 and the challenge cup a year later. in general, since 2011, at least one Russian team participates in the final four of some international competition. Russian domination throughout the world is possible thanks to a large amount of money. the clubs have big budgets and the players in this league are known to earn a lot, some of them are over a million euros.
The Russian league is not as exciting as the Italian league, because most of the time there is one or a couple of dominant teams.
3. brazil- superliga
top 3 clubs: sada cruzeiro, funvic taubate, sesi são paulostars: bruno, facundo conte, sidaoearnings: 8/10 game quality: 8/10
This league is quite specific. It’s outside of Europe, which means it’s hard to find European players. but it is still one of the strongest leagues because there are Brazilian players who play or played for the national team. Brazil is one of the strongest teams in the world. You can find the complete list of the best national volleyball teams here.
It is not so easy to measure how good the super league is. they play against teams from other continents only in the world club championship. They usually do very well. sada cruzeiro in the last 8 editions, played 5 times in the final and won 3 times, beating russian teams on all occasions. The Cruzeiro team has also won the last 5 editions of the South American Club Championship. in the last season, funvic taubate won the super league by 1 point. it is a strong team with bruno rezende and thaless in the team. in addition to sada and funvic, sesc-rj and sesi also represent the brazilian league with dignity. There is no official data when it comes to earnings in this league, but I bet they are a little less than in the Russian or Italian league.
top 3 clubs: pge skra belchatow, zaksa, asseco resovia rzeszowstars: mariusz wlazly, milad ebadipur, piotr nowakowskiearnings: 7/10game quality: 8/10
The Polish Plus League is another great league with dozens of young and talented players. includes 14 teams, most of them at a similar level. the most popular and titled teams are pge skra belchatow, zaksa kedzierzyn-kozle and asseco resovia rzeszow.
The level of all the matches is very high and hard to believe, but no Polish club has ever won any international competition. the last team to do so was azs czestochowa in 2012, having won the challenge cup. but very often Polish clubs participate in several championships. Plusliga is considered as the league of players who promote themselves and find better clubs in Europe. earnings are lower compared to top leagues, but that doesn’t stop top players from playing in this league. You can find stars like Milad Ebadipur, Taylor Sander, Benjamin Toniutti, and David Smith here. however, they are not on the list of the best players in the world that you can see here. One of the richest players in this league is the experienced Mariusz Wlazly, who reportedly earns up to €300,000 per season.
5. turkey- efe league
Top 3 clubs: Fenerbahce SK, Arkas Spor Izmir, Halkbank AnkaraStars: Salvador Hidalgo Oliva, Konstantin Čupkovic, Emre BaturEarnings: 9/10Game quality: 7/10
the turkish league efe is another solid league, in which the players are paid very well. volleyball fans should know the Turkish teams that have played well in recent years. they are not successful in the world club championship, but they play well in the other competitions.
in the last 3 editions of cev, 3 other turkish teams got on the podium. players from teams like halkbank ankara, arkas spor izmir and fenerbahce sk earn a lot of money. according to unofficial data, a couple of them earn €500,000 per season. Most of the players in the EFE league are Turkish, but there are also many prominent foreign players, such as Cuban Salvador Hidalgo Oliva and Serbian Konstantin Čupković. At least 8 of the 12 Turkish teams can compete to win the EFE league. the team with the most titles is eczacıbaşı having won 12 titles.
6. germany volleyball bundesliga
top 3 clubs: berlin volley recycling, vfb friedrichshafen, uv frankfurtstars: nicolas le goff, siergiej grankin, jeffrey jendrykearnings: 8/10game quality: 6/10
The German volleyball bundesliga for years is among the top 10 volleyball leagues in the world. some people may accuse the bundesliga of not having any success in the world club championship, but they have some good teams that do quite well in the european championship.
it was a long time ago, but vfb friedrichshafen won the champions league in 2007. since then, volley recycling berlin has participated in 2 “final four” tournaments, but they could only win a bronze medal in 2015 the only success recent for the german club was in 2016 when berlin recycling volleys won the cev cup. when it comes to domestic competition, the bundesliga is clearly divided into 4 or 5 teams fighting for the title, and the rest at a worse level. the volleyball bundesliga is not as popular as the football bundesliga in germany. that’s why players don’t earn as much as in russia or italy and there aren’t many world class players. the best earn around €200,000 per season.
7. belgium-million euro volley league
Top 3 clubs: noliko maaseik, knack roeselare, lindemans aalststars: gert van walle, michiel ahyi, pieter coolmanearnings: 7 /10game quality: 4/10
If I had to pick the most boring league in this ranking, I’d seriously consider Belgium’s Million Euro Volley League. that’s because it includes only 8 teams, and only 3 of them are serious. If you don’t believe me, you should know that last season, the third team had 32 points and the fourth team had 16 points less. that’s a big difference for such a low number of clubs. teams that dominate this league sometimes show up well in minor international tournaments. For example, Knack Roeselare played in the CEV Cup Final Four. At the same time, Prefaxis Menen was third in the challenge cup. Belgium’s league is quite old and was established in 1944.
8. france- league a
top 3 clubs: tours vb, paris volley, chaumont vb 52stars: nicolas rossard, renan buiatti, gary chauvinearnings: 6/10game quality: 6/10
french pro a is quite a competitive league with decent clubs that sometimes surprise European volleyball fans. for example, in 2017 tours vb won the cev cup, beating the great trentino diatec in the final. you can’t ignore this tour team.
has won the ligue a-league 8 times and is now the best French club without world-class players, but with a good connection of talented players from all over the world. pro a is quite an attractive league and although the vb tour is winning at the moment it is always exciting to see how they compete. in the last season the tour won but only by one point over montpelier volley and two points over rennes volley 35. the league is a great place for young players because it allows them to gain some experience and earn some decent money.
9. argentina- series a1
Top 3 clubs: UPCN Voley Club, Personal Bolivar, CiudadStars: Zbigniew Bartman, Martín Ramos, Nicolás LazoEarnings: 4/10Game quality: 4/10
Let’s be honest. The Argentine A1 Series is not a popular volleyball destination for players. it is also unknown to volleyball fans. Do you know at least 2 teams from this league? I doubt it. but i think you should pay attention to the argentina serious a.
Teams from this country very often participate in the final four of the world club championship. the greatest success is upcn san juan, which in 2014 and 2015 came third in this competition, beating paykan teheran and sada cruzeiro. There is no Champions League in South America, but there is a different tournament called the CSV Club Championships. Of course the Brazilian teams dominate there, but sometimes the Argentine teams dig in and win. It was in 2015, 2013 and 2010. Argentinian players are earning quite a bit of money compared to other significant leagues and that is why this destination is not popular for foreign players, but there are exceptions of course. the club with the most titles is upcn volleyball club, having won 7 titles since 2010.
10. iran-super league
top 3 clubs: paykan teheran, matin varamin, saipa alborzstars: farhad zarif, farhad zarif, kay van dijkearnings: 6/10game quality: 5/10
Iran’s super league is a good level league. Most of the players come from Iran, one of the strongest men’s national teams and that’s why it is so powerful. includes names like sa’id maruf and farhad zarif. It’s not that boring, because there is no dominant team. the most successful club internationally is paykan teheran. In 2015 this club was among the four finalists of the Club World Cup and in 2010 it was third. the iranian super league contains 13 teams in which at least 7 seriously compete to win the league. i guess super league can be affordable for players but this part of the world is not too safe and not that popular with foreign players.
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