Can These 4 Clubs Play In The Premier League? (Explained)

The Premier League has been the best competition in the world for the past two decades. Unfortunately, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and PSG are not included. You may be curious why those elite clubs are not eligible to play in England. 

Here’s what you need to know:

Can Spanish, Italian and French teams play in the Premier League?

Spanish, Italian and French teams are unable to play in the Premier League, as they come from different countries, and those teams have their own domestic competitions. 

Each UEFA country has its own domestic League 

Almost all members of UEFA have already had their own domestic leagues. Here are several notable leagues in the continent, including the top five major ones:

League Country
Premier LeagueEngland
Serie AItaly
La Liga Spain
Ligue 1France
Jupiler Pro LeagueBelgium
Primeira Liga Portugal
Super LigTurkey

Spanish, Italian and French top flights are, in fact, the rivals of the Premier League. In UEFA League ranking, they have been in the top five in the past twenty years. They are all included in the top five leagues with the highest UEFA coefficients.

Why are Barcelona and Real Madrid not playing in the Premier League?

Barcelona and Real Madrid have been in the Spanish region since the beginning. It means they are bound to play under the Spanish football federation. It would be odd for them to join the Premier League. 

In their football pyramid, La Liga is on the top level. Those two arch rivals have won the most domestic league titles. In fact, they have never been down to the second tier too since its establishment in 1929.

How do Barcelona and Real Madrid fare against English teams?

Throughout history, both Spanish giants tend to be superior against English teams. This does not only apply in the Champions League, but to the lower competitions as well.

The Catalan side has won 43 games and only lost 22 times in 88 outings compared to the English sides. Meanwhile, Los Blancos have picked up 20 wins and suffered a loss 16 times in 44 games against them. 

Barcelona’s most notable victory was in two Champions League finals, 2009 and 2011. They managed to crush Manchester United on both occasions by 2-0 and 3-1 respectively. Pep Guardiola and Lionel Messi were the key figures in those two memorable finals. 

Yet, Blaugrana’s last meeting against the English team was devastating. They were hammered 4-0 by Liverpool in the 2019 UCL semi final. It was a superb comeback from Jurgen Klopp’s side after The Reds’ 3-0 defeat at the first leg in Camp Nou.

Here are Barcelona’s last five encounters against Premier League clubs:

11/12/2018Barcelona vs Tottenham    1-1Group stageChampions League
10/04/2019Manchester United vs Barcelona   0-1Quarterfinal leg 1Champions League
16/04/2019Barcelona vs Manchester United  3-0Quarterfinal leg 2Champions League
01/05/2019Barcelona vs Liverpool 3-0Semifinal leg 1Champions League
07/05/2019Liverpool vs Barcelona 4-0Semifinal leg 2Champions League

In the meantime, Real Madrid’s remarkable win over an English club was last year. They thumped The Reds 1-0 to clinch their 14th title in the Champions League. Brasilian forward Vinicius Jr scored the winning goal in the summit. 

Yet, their unforgettable defeat was in the 2020 Champions League round of 16. Under Zinedine Zidane’s reign, Los Blancos slumped to a 2-4 defeat in aggregate versus Manchester City. It was their last disappointing campaign in the continental competition. 

Here are Real Madrid’s last five meetings against Premier League clubs:

06/04/2022Chelsea vs Real Madrid  1-3Quarterfinal leg 1Champions League
12/04/2022Real Madrid vs Chelsea  2-3Quarterfinal leg 2Champions League
26/04/2022Manchester City vs Real Madrid 4-3Semifinal leg 1Champions League
04/05/2022Real Madrid vs Manchester City 3-1Semifinal leg 2Champions League
28/05/2022Liverpool vs Real Madrid 0-1FinalChampions League

Why is Juventus not playing in the Premier League?

Juventus’ home base is in Turin, Italy. It means they are under the jurisdiction of the Italian football governing body, FIGC. As a result, La Vecchia Signora has been competing in the Italian football league system. 

Founded in 1898, Serie A has grown to be one of the major leagues in the continent. Juventus is still the record holder of winning league titles. 

How does Juventus fare against English teams?

Juventus’ head-to-head record against English clubs is rather even, with more wins from their side.  In 52 games, they have clinched a victory in 21 matches but lost 17 times.  

La Vecchia Signora’s most memorable triumph was in the 1985 Champions League final. At that time, Giovanni Trappatoni’s men thumped Liverpool 1-0. The French talisman Michael Platini scored through a controversial penalty. 

Their most humiliating defeat was in 2010 Europa League. Juventus was dismantled 4-1 by Fulham and failed to progress as they only won 3-1 at the first leg in the round of 16. It was one of their darkest periods after their involvement in Calciopoli.

Here are Juventus’ last five meetings against Premier League clubs:

07/03/2018Tottenham vs Juventus   1-2Round of 16Champions League
23/10/2018Manchester United vs Juventus  0-1Group stageChampions League
07/11/2018Juventus vs Manchester United  1-2Group stageChampions League
29/09/2021Juventus vs Chelsea 1-0Group stageChampions League
23/11/2021Chelsea vs Juventus 4-0Semifinal leg 2Champions League

The Calciopoli is one of the ways that match-fixing occurred in football, and you can find out whether football is really scripted here.

Why is PSG not playing in the Premier League?

PSG was, in fact, a merged club of two Paris-based sides, Paris FC and Stade Saint-Germain. The former was newly founded whereas the latter had already been competing in the French professional league. Thus, PSG naturally plays in France. 

The French football league system was first introduced in 1930 with Ligue 1 as the top tier. PSG gained their promotion to the top flight only one year after its establishment in 1970. They have become the mainstay there since 1974. 

How does PSG fare against English teams? 

PSG appears to be quite inferior against English teams. In the head-to-head record, they have only beaten them eight times but lost in 11 games out of 27 matches. 

Le Parisiens’ memorable victory was in the semi-final of UEFA Cup Winners Cup 1997. They crushed Liverpool 3-0 at home and only suffered a 2-0 defeat. It was enough for Benoit Cauet and Co to advance to the final. 

Their devastating loss came in the 2020/21 season. They were hapless while taking on Manchester City in the Champions League semifinal. At that time, Mauricio Pocchettino’s men suffered a 1-4 defeat in aggregate.

Here are PSG’s last five encounters against all Premier League clubs:

02/12/2020Manchester United vs PSG 1-3Group stageChampions League
28/04/2021PSG vs Manchester City 1-2Semifinal leg 1Champions League
04/05/2021Manchester City vs PSG 2-0Semifinal leg 2Champions League
28/09/2021PSG vs Manchester City 2-0Group stageChampions League
24/11/2021Manchester City vs PSG 2-1Group stageChampions League


Only clubs that are within the jurisdiction of the English FA will be eligible to play in the Premier League. What’s more, did you know that some Welsh clubs actually play in the Premier League and other English leagues?

You can find out more in this article here.

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