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StefanS

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1

Sunday, September 17th 2017, 8:10am

Comparison of Strength of European Leagues

This is to offer a thread aside from the special league threads to discuss those inter-league relations. I begin with my current personal view and compare it with the last published European Cups ranking:

1. Turkey

2. Russia and Italy

4. Poland and Germany

6. France and Romania

It is important, to keep several facts in mind: the broadth of quality of a league vastly differs, i.e. relation of best to weakest teams in a league can be an huge or a small difference. My proposal above is difficult in this regard, because in Russia the differences in super league are much bigger from top to small teams than in Italian A1 for example, the same holds true of Poland and Germany (the first has much bigger quality differences). And second the European Cups ranking, unluckily only available in a dated version publicly, one year older than the latest European Cups results (ranking valid for 2018 cups includes results from 2014 to 2016 cups, not yet the latest 2017 results), contains three years, in which some leagues improved or decreased considerably (the last applies especially to Azeri superleague now, the French league suffers in ranking from the heavy loss of quality of RC Cannes in the last few years) and also considers only the best CL results with the biggest influence, the best CEV cup results with smaller, but still considerable influence and the best Challenge Cup results with generally small influence on the ranking. So leages with one outstanding top team can be ranked higher than the league in its broadth would justify, so the Swiss national league is better ranked due to strong results of Volero Zürich currently (all the time CL Playoff-6). Here are the top spots of this "current" European ranking for comparison:

1. Turkey
2. Russia
3. Poland
(4. Azerbeijan)
5. Germany
(6. Switzerland)
7. Italy
8. France
9. Romania

Due to the massive weaking of the Baku clubs and questionable, whether the always small superleague there will continue to exist, this entry 4. is not conforming to reality any more and a remainder of times, when they hired world class players with much money, what has essentially ceased. After rebuilding their roster with less many as before, Volero Zürich has to prove, if they can defend that Swiss ranking anymore...

Italy not always sent teams to CEV cup and made that way less points as they would have made when doing so, this explains mainly there weak ranking. Germany faces now a weakening because no of the clubs directly respective for qualificiation eligibe takes part in 2018 CL respective qualification for it, so Schwerin, Stuttgart and Dresden can only earn best result points from CEV cup in 2018 season (likely semi final).

From 4. place leagues for example Poland club Chemik Police is the strongest obviously, but relation of best German clubs Schwerin, Stuttgart and Dresden (and others) to Grot Budowlani Lodz and DevelopRes Rzeszow for example is to be clarified, unluckiley there will be no comparison in next time it seems.

2

Sunday, September 17th 2017, 8:37am

I agree Turkey is #1, but I find very hard to compare the leagues.

For example, Seria A is very balanced, but if you would replace their top 4 teams with, Vakfbank,Vitra,Fernerbache,Galatassary, the league would be very unbalanced as these 4 teams would just crush everyone else.

I think Russia is stronger than what mostly people thinks. When you look at, the weaker teams in Italy and Turkey are actually very mediocre teams.


Another thing, German league is balanced, simply because everyone is equally weak, while in Poland things looks not very balanced simply because Chemik is was stronger than everyone else, but if you would put Chemik in the German league, they would crush everyone every time.

How about the Swiss League, I have never watched because I can`t find a way to watch. But I read that Volero won in the final by 3-2 last season, which means the 2nd placed team could not be that weak if they took Volero to a 5 set.

I watched the Final of the France league, and at least at that game the level was really high, better than what we see in Germany and the same as in Poland.

But it is a good thing to have strong teams is different leagues.

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3

Sunday, September 17th 2017, 2:54pm

It's hard to say for sure before the start of the season because some teams that have great players might have bad chemistry and some teams that have good but not great players might have great chemistry and be better than we think.

Turkey has to be #1 IMO because Vakif and Vitra have ridiculously strong rosters and we know FB and GS can compete with them as well. A lot of the other "weaker" teams look stronger this season as well.

Italy for me is stronger than Russia. In Russia there is Dinamo Moscow and Dinamo Kazan but after that all the other teams are weaker than most of the teams in Serie A.

I didn't see much of the Polish league last season but it seemed Chemik were much stronger than everyone else. A few years ago there were many good teams in Poland but it doesn't look that way now. I guess the Polish and German leagues are a similar level except for Chemik.

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4

Sunday, September 17th 2017, 3:14pm

My personal ranking:

1. Turkey (top 4 is out of this world, and there are even more competitive teams this season. At least 8-10)
2. Italy (top teams are really strong and others are quite balanced)
3. Russia (Russians have good local players and top teams are strong)
4. Germany + Poland (Both are similar difference for me is that German league keeps growing while Poland gets worse over years :( hope that changes.
6. France+Switzerland+Azerbaijan (I watched some matches last season, it was enjoyable)

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "beri" (Sep 17th 2017, 3:20pm)


StefanS

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5

Sunday, September 17th 2017, 6:04pm

My personal ranking:

1. Turkey (top 4 is out of this world, and there are even more competitive teams this season. At least 8-10)
2. Italy (top teams are really strong and others are quite balanced)
3. Russia (Russians have good local players and top teams are strong)
4. Germany + Poland (Both are similar difference for me is that German league keeps growing while Poland gets worse over years :( hope that changes.
6. France+Switzerland+Azerbaijan (I watched some matches last season, it was enjoyable)


You are right, just a few years ago Poland was clearly stronger overall, and not only with Chemik Police, as German league. Switzerland is no good IMHO aside of top team Volero and maybe runner-up Pfeffingen.

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6

Sunday, September 17th 2017, 8:55pm

I think Seria A is even stronger this season than last year.

This year We again have some big names in Seria A.
De La Cruz(OH), De Krujif(MB), Hill(OH), Hodge(OH), Adenezia(MB), Wolosz(s), Montano(OPP), Pavan(OPP), Zeng(OPP-OH), Milos(MB), Havelkova(OH), Dixon(MB), Nizetich(OH), Van Hecke(OH) my God and many more. I even didn't write some players that are many years in Seria A + Italy has some world class domestic players as Christina C, Egonu, Lo Bianco etc...so many good players.

I really think that this very very good for Seria A, I just hope that they can show how good Seria A is in CL, CEV CUP and CEV CHALL.

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7

Monday, September 18th 2017, 1:27am

The ranking would vary drastically depending on how you define the "strength". Comparing only top teams of the each league, or the strength of average ones, or the number of clubs that have competitive rosters to be champion etc. Each of this criteria could give a different ranking.

Turkish league was always criticized to be all about "big 4" but this season mid level teams invested a lot, there are strong foreigners playing in mid-level teams such as Olesia Rykhliuk, Charlotte Leys, Emiliya Nikolova, Yvon Belien, Maren Brinker, Megan Courtney, Wilma Salas, Daimi Ramirez, Rachel Sanchez, Yanelis Santos, Anne Buijs, Ana Carolina da Silva, Odina Bayramova, Tijana Malesevic, Natasa Krsmanovic and more. With these quality foreigners, the gap between mid-level teams and top 4 is getting closer. Many experienced local players who already played in top 4 will play in mid-level teams, which again elevate the overall quality of the league a lot.

On the other hand, the gap between Turkish league and Italian league is getting closer too. Top Italian teams can win over top Turkish teams while most mid-level Turkish teams can now win over Italian mid-level teams.

To me Russian league is not that interesting anymore, they are the 3rd strongest one based on overall quality of foreign players in the league.

Although falling down of a volleyball powerhouse such as Cannes was sad, I think this is helping the league to increase their level. Previously, most French club was hesitating to invest a lot since they always thought it is impossible to be champion while there is such a strong team Cannes. However, since last season most French clubs started to invest more and there was quite a lot of surprises during the Play-off part of season. Maybe we will see a similar situation in Swiss league too after Volero's budget drop. Other Swiss clubs might get the motivation to invest more with the hope of finally being able to beat Volero :box:

Comparing Polish and German leagues is tricky, Chemik is stronger than any teams in German league whereas top 3 German teams can beat any other Polish teams. :whistle:

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8

Monday, September 18th 2017, 6:16am

I think Russian league is indeed not valued enough by many now, despite it is mostly about Moscow and Kazan, of course. But the teams immediately behind are pretty good too, this season also Krasnoyarsk and as always Ekaterinburg should not be taken easy by any opponents, while Krasnodar couldn't keep many players and their previous level, but in Challenge Cup they should not underestimated. There are many very good players in Russia, so they don't need many foreigners to strenghten teams like most other leagues.

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9

Saturday, October 14th 2017, 6:11pm

Looks like good news from the (above mentioned) Romanian League: http://frv-web.dataproject.com/Competiti…px?ID=10&PID=15

Last season this site only showed the "scoresheet" but now apparently also the match stats. Would be really nice. :thumbup:

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