The teams finishing at the top of a country’s league may be eligible also to play in international club competitions in the following season. The main exceptions to this system occur in some Latin American leagues, which divide football championships into two sections named Apertura and Clausura, awarding a champion for each. The majority of countries supplement the league system with one or more “cup” competitions organised on a knock-out basis. Attract most of the world’s best players and each of the leagues has a total wage cost in excess of £600 million/€763 million/US$1.185 billion. The majority of countries supplement the league system with one or more “cup” competitions organised on a knock-out basis.
|QUICK STATS (2016)
Some countries’ top divisions feature highly paid star players; in smaller countries and lower divisions, players may be part-timers with a second job, or amateurs. The five top European leagues – the Bundesliga (Germany), Premier League (England), La Liga (Spain), Serie A (Italy), and Ligue 1 (France).
One of the attractions of association football is that a casual game can be played with only minimal equipment – a basic game can be played on almost any open area of reasonable size with just a ball and items to mark the positions of two sets of goalposts. Such games can often have team sizes that vary considerably from eleven-a-side, use a limited or modified subset of the official rules, and are likely to be self-officiated by the players.