The top level of the Hungarian football league system is Nemzeti Bajnoksag I. OTP Bank Liga is the league's official name, after its title sponsor, OTP Bank. It is placed 33rd in the UEFA European league rankings and 42nd in the world's top 50 football leagues.
The season starts on August 17 and ends on May/June with the national championship finals. The champions are awarded the Puskás Prize, which is worth €100,000 (approx. $110,000).
There are two other professional divisions in Hungary: Nemzeti Bajnokság II and III. The latter has only four teams and plays a separate schedule. National division three began play in 2013 and will have eight participants next season.
Nemzeti Bajnokság I has 16 clubs and was founded in 1945. Since then, it has always had more than 10 teams playing in it. Currently, these are the most popular clubs: Ferencváros, Budapest Honvéd, MTK Budapest, Debreceni VSC, Vasas SC, Zalaegerszegi TE, Szombathelyi Haladás, Újpest FC.
Since 2009, when they were promoted from the second division, Gyirmót FC Győr also takes part in the championships.
Albania and Andorra are members of the United European Football Association. Armenia, Austria, and Azerbaijan Belarus and Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Estonia Finland France Georgia Germany Greece Hungary Iceland Israel Italy Japan Kosovo Latvia Lithuania Malta Norway Poland Portugal Romania Russia Slovakia Sweden Switzerland Turkey Ukraine Vietnam.
Europe has a long history of soccer competition, with many countries having their own national teams by the early 20th century. Today, there are UEFA nations championship titles for men's football, with the most recent being Spain in 2010. Women's football has its own championship called the UEFA Women's Championship, which was first held in 1991 and since then has been won by Germany three times. There is also an intercontinental cup known as the FIFA World Cup that is world-widely regarded as the highest achievement in international soccer. The last World Cup was hosted by Brazil and was known as the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Within Europe, the largest number of people who play football are in Russia where approximately 70 million people love the game. In fact, more Russians play football than anyone else outside of Africa! After Russia, the next largest number of players are in England where around 55 million people enjoy the game. Other large countries where people play football include Germany, France, and Italy.
National icons such as Petr Cech, Pavel Nedved, Tomas Rosicky, and Milan Baros are among the finest Czech soccer players. Current Czech football heroes include Vladimir Coufal, Tomas Soucek, and Patrik Schick, who guided the Czech Republic to a quarter-final place in the Euro Cup 2020.
Czech football has been dominated for many years by players from the country's two biggest cities: Josef Bican (a Prague native) and Karel Poborsky (a Brno native). Both were members of the legendary "Golden Team" that won the first ever World Cup in 1930. Other notable names include Alfred Finnbogasson (who was born in Sweden), Antonín Panenka (born in the Czech Republic), and Oldrich Neumann (who was born in Germany).
The Czech national team has won the European Championship once in its history (2008), as well as the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics. Its most recent appearance at a major tournament was at the Euro 2016 where it was knocked out by France in the last 16 stage.
However, even though the Czech national team is currently not very successful, the quality of play is still very high. For example, former Manchester United player Pavel Nedved used to say that he felt like he was playing against someone strong enough to beat any team in the world.
Genclerbirligi's reserve team is Hacettepe SK, while Altinordu's reserve team is Nigde Anadolu FK. Other clubs have U21 and U18 teams that play outside of the main league system. Turkish football's four professional leagues are all amateur leagues. However, some players can earn a small salary by playing in the D1 League which is the highest level of competition.
The first club to be called "football" team was Beşiktaş JK, which was established in 1877. Today, Beşiktaş is based in Istanbul and plays in the Süper Lig, the highest level of football in Turkey. The other major teams are Galatasaray SC, which is based in Istanbul and plays in the Süper Lig as well. Trabzonspor FC, which is based in Trabzon and plays in the TFF First League, has been called the "Turkmenian Arsenal" because of its many talented players. Fenerbahce SK, which is based in Istanbul and plays in the Süper Lig.
In addition to these four major teams, other clubs also compete in the Turkish Football League. But due to financial problems or differences with the league, many clubs have left over the years. So, today only four major teams remain in the league.
There are several reasons why Turkish football is not very popular in Europe.