Brasileirão ranked second best league of 2012
The Brasileirão was the world's second strongest league in 2012, according to the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS).
The IFFHS, which was set up in 1984 with the blessing of FIFA, takes into account the level of play and competition of local or national leagues, as well as the international status of teams.
The Brazilian national league has climbed into second place after finishing 2012 with 1,057 points, according to the IFFHS' ranking, which is primarily due to Corinthians' success in the Club World Cup.
An IFFHS spokesman said: "The Brazilian, German, Italian and English leagues are at the same level, but the Brazilian division takes second place due to Corinthians' participation in the World Club Cup. Without these 34 points, the German and Italian championships would be in front of the Brasileiro."
The Brazilian league, which is ranked the best in South America, continues to grow in strength and stature as an increasing number of top level players are either staying in the country or returning earlier in their careers than previous generations, such as Alexandre Pato who recently left AC Milan for Corinthians.
Santos star Neymar has confirmed he will be remaining at Santos until the 2014 World Cup, while São Paulo’s Luís Fabiano rejected lucrative offers from Champions League sides in favour of Brazil.
La Liga finished top of the overall list and the German Bundesliga was just 20 points behind Brazil, while the English Premier League trailed in fifth.
Top 10 leagues, according to the IFFHS