It was hard to present an argument against the English Premier League being the strongest championship in the world at the start of 2009. Three of its teams had contested the UEFA Champions League semi-finals for two seasons running; Manchester United were fresh from winning the FIFA Club World Cup; and Cristiano Ronaldo had just been crowned FIFA World Player of the Year.

Half a year has passed thereafter. wants to know if the status of having the sport's best league has also passed to Spain.

There is certainly a strong case. Barcelona usurped United as the European kings, subjecting Sir Alex Ferguson's charges to a tutorial in Rome; several key components in La Roja's team that recently broke international football's longest winning steak are based in La Liga; and, after Real Madrid signed Ronaldo and Kaka to challenge a Barça side headlined by Lionel Messi, many believe the Spanish top flight is home to the three best players in the world.

Sure, the Premier League is not short on quality sides or individuals: United, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard, Michael Essien and Cesc Fabregas, pay testament to this. But has La Liga surpassed it as football's strongest championship?

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