The Australian A-League Men represent the best soccer teams in the country, although the best used to be in the National Premier League years before creating the new league in 2004.
Today, the A-League Men is the number one professional soccer league in the country.
Since the country moved on to the AFC some years back, the league has attained a high level, and at the same time, one of the best leagues on the continent.
The A-League Men also leads in management, revenue, exposure to the world, broadcast reach, structure and organisation.
Presently, the A-League Men is one of the top emerging leagues globally that have continued to attract players from all over the world.
The first National Soccer League in Australia began in 1977 after an agreement was made to create a single national competition for clubs.
The Australian A-League Men was established in 2004 as the new professional soccer league in the country featuring twelve teams with a proposed expansion in the future.
The league consists of Australian teams from neighbours New Zealand under licence from the Football Federation Australia.
Compared with Major League Soccer, the A-League Men runs a regular season and ends with an end of season play-offs series to determine the league winner.
The team with the most points at the end of the regular season is awarded the Premiership, and the winners of the playoffs or the Grand Final is awarded or crowned Champions of the league.
The biggest soccer teams in Australia
Soccer in Australia is one of the most followed team sports after the Austrian Football Rugby League.
The Australian A-League Men, since its inception, is currently the number competition in the country.
The best soccer clubs in the country over the years, most especially since the commencement of the A-League, have also played at the highest level of Asian football, the AFC Champions League.
Sydney FC is one of the biggest football clubs in Australia and one of the most successful in the country.
The following teams on the block are Melbourne based Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City. Other top teams that have made the headlines are Perth Glory, Adelaide United, Brisbane Roar, Newcastle Jets, Western Sydney Wanderers, etc.
1. Sydney FC
When it comes to professional soccer in the country, Sydney FC is the best team and the most successful team in all-time history, having won notable domestic and international trophies.
Sydney was the only Australian soccer team to have achieved more success during Australia’s membership of the OFC, which was discontinued in favour of the move to the AFC.
Established in 2004, Sydney FC has grown to become one of the strongest football clubs in the country.
Sydney FC is the most successful team in Australia, having won one FFA Cup, a record 5 A-League Championship, a record 4 A-League Premiership, one OFC Champions League title.
The OFC Champions League was achieved during Australia’s membership of the OFC before the change was made in 2005. Sydney FC finished in the fifth round of the FIFA Club World Cup back in 2005.
Trophies and Achievements
Australia A-League – National
Sydney FC won its first-ever league title three years after in 2006 after the league was established in 2004.
It took the club another four years for a second title in 2010, and there was another seven-year wait for a third title in the A-League era, which was achieved in 2017.
For the first time, Sydney FC made consecutive wins after it defended the title it won in 2019 the following year in 2020.
The club’s first-ever Premiership was achieved in 2010, the same year the club completed the double by emerging winners of the A-League Championship and A-League Premiership.
In 2020, Sydney FC achieved another domestic double by winning the A-League Championship and the Premiership at the same time.
FFA Cup – National
The club’s first-ever triumph in the FFA Cup was in 2017. However, the club had lost two finals in the 2016 and 2018 finals.
OFC Champions League – International
This was the clubs most notable international trophy, achieved during Australia’s membership of the OFC before the AFC move in 2005.
FIFA Club World Cup – International
Sydney FC finished in fifth place during the 2005 FIFA Club World Cup, representing Oceania as winners of the OFC Champions League that year.
Unlike other top teams across the Asian continent and Europe, the domestic scene in Australia is not short of rival clubs.
The club has two rivalries against Melbourne Victory and Western Sydney Wanderers.
The Big Blue: Sydney FC vs Melbourne Victory
The meeting between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC is regarded as the most iconic rivalry when it comes to football in Australia since the two sides represent the two largest cities in the country.
The match between the two sides is fiercely contested and has also gone into a physical duel.
This is arguably one of the biggest and strongest football derbies in Australia. The meeting between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC could be traced back to the old era of football in Australia, giving it the status as the most iconic in history.
The Sydney Derby: Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers
For the first time, Sydney FC now has a genuine and direct local rivalry in Australia after introducing Western Sydney Wanderers FC in the A-League.
In terms of head to head and who can be seen as the best in the local derby, Sydney FC is the best, leading Western Sydney Wanderers with the most wins since the two teams began to meet each other.
Sydney FC is one of the heavily supported football clubs across Australia most, especially in the most famous city of Sydney.
2. Melbourne Victory
Since the club’s debut in the modern soccer scene in Australia, the club has won unique trophies in the domestic scene.
Today, Melbourne doubles as the second most supported club in Australia and the second most successful team.
The club holds the record as the only club in Australia to win all four major domestic trophies in the modern era of soccer in the country.
Melbourne Victory has won 4 A-League Championship, 3 A-League Premiership, 1 FFA Cup, 1 A-League Pre-Season Challenge Cup. Alongside Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory has also won the treble and a double.
Doubles and Treble winners
A-League and A-League Grand Final (3): 2006–07, 2008–09, 2014–15.
A-League, A-League Grand Final and A-League Preseason Cup (1): 2008–09.
Highlighting Melbourne Victory’s success
A-League Championship – National
The club’s first-ever success in the A-League Men was in 2007, the year of the club’s first double when it lifted the A-League Men Premiership.
There was a short two-year wait for a second title which was achieved again with a double after the cly emerged winners of the Premiership and Championship.
In 2015, Melbourne Victory emerged winners of the Championship and the Premiership winners to become the only club to win more than two doubles.
A-League Premiership – National
The club’s first-ever league win was 2006–07, followed by another successful campaign during 2008–09.
The club further went on to win another title during 2014–15.
FFA Cup, the domestic knockout competition, is one of the most competitive. Melbourne Victory won its first title in 2015.
Melbourne Victory is one of the top clubs in Australia, having some notable domestic rivalry with other top teams to date.
The club holds some high profile rivalries with significant sides, including Melbourne City (formerly Melbourne Heart), Western United, Sydney FC, Adelaide United, etc.
The Big Blue: Melbourne Victory vs Sydney FC
This is by far the most significant soccer rivalry in the history of club soccer in Australia to date.
The derby is regarded as one of the oldest rivalry, which could be traced back to the ancient era.
The derby between the two clubs stands due to the teams’ nature as the two most successful and with the most supporters in the country.
It had always been fiercely contested rivalry between the two sides and have continued to grow over the years due to the craze of fans of the respective clubs.
Melbourne Victory vs Melbourne City (formerly Melbourne Heart)
The clash between the two sides remains the true local rivalry in Melbourne City.
Melbourne Victory’s rivalry with Melbourne City most notably began in 2011 after the club was admitted into the new domestic league.
The two teams began facing each other when Melbourne City represented the city as Melbourne Heart before its name change in 2014. The new name has further made the rivalry more famous in Melbourne City.
In one of the meetings in the 2020/2021 season, there was a heavy scoreline as Melbourne City thrashed Victory 6-0. In the return leg, City when on win Victory 7-0.
The Original Rivalry: Melbourne City vs Adelaide United
Melbourne City also holds another famous rivalry with Adelaide United, an interstate rivalry. This is also another top and fiercely contested rivalry in the league.
The Westgate Derby: Melbourne City vs Western United
This is one of the newest rivalries in the domestic scene. It is gradually gaining attention despite its short history.
The clubs are also the most supported in the Australian domestic scene. Melbourne City has consistently recorded high matchday attendance over the years.
3. Western Sydney Wanderers
Western Sydney Wanderers held the first Australian soccer team to win the AFC Champions League in 2014.
Western Sydney Wanderers became the third most successful team in Australia after it was added to the AFC Champions League in 2014.
The International success in 2014 makes it one of the most respected.
But in terms of domestic titles, Western Sydney Wanderers are yet to dominate except for the A-League Premiership, which it first lifted in 2013. Also, in 2014, the Wanderers finished in sixth place in the FIFA Club World Cup.
Based in Sydney, the club boasts some top national and regionally recognised derbies with Sydney FC and Macarthur FC.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Sydney FC
It is currently regarded as the actual local derby of Sydney. The rivalry is considered the league’s biggest derby due to their geographical and historical peculiarities.
Sydney and Eastern Sydney teemed up against Western Sydney Wanderers from the Western part of Sydney City.
The teams two have met on several occasions, increasing the existing rivalry.
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Macarthur FC
This is the second derby played by the Wanderers. The rivalry exists as the two clubs are based in Greater Western Sydney.
Since Macarthur FC is a new team on the block, the first-ever meeting between the two groups began in the 2020/2021 season, where Macarthur FC emerged winners.
Western Sydney Wanderers is one of the most supported soccer clubs in the A-League.
The AFC Champions League success in 2014 and the team’s participation in the FIFA Club World Cup in 2014 were significant factors that have brought increased recognition across the country.
4. Adelaide United
Adela United is also one of the top sides in the country. The club has won 1 Championship, 2 A-League Premiership and 3 FFA Cups.
Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory
5. Perth Glory
Perth Glory was one of the founding members of the Austrian A-League in its inaugural season in 2004.
Perth began winning the domestic league title in the old National Soccer League, which is now defunct and replaced by the A-League from 2004.
The club’s first major trophy was achieved during the 1999–2000 season. This was the A-League Premiership in the now-defunct National Soccer League.
The club won two Premierships in the National Soccer League and a Grand Final win in 2003 in the defunct National Soccer League.
In total, Perth Glory has won 4 A-League Premiership 2 A-League Championship.
Highlighting Perth Glory trophies
A-League Premiership – National
Perth Glory has a joint record number of wins in the A-League Premiership with four titles with Sydney FC.
Years Won: 1999–2000, 2001–02, 2003–04, 2018–19.
A-League Premiership – National
The club boasts two titles in the early years and four finals.
The Distance Derby: Perth Glory vs Wellington Phoenix
It was named the distance derby since Wellington Phoenix is the only team from New Zealand competing in the A-League. The two teams have met on several occasions in the A-League.
6. Melbourne City
The club has won 1 A-League Premiership and 1 FFA Cup.
Melbourne City vs Melbourne Victory
The rivalry is currently seen as the actual local derby in Melbourne City, and the two teams usually face each other fiercely.
Melbourne City vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Melbourne City plays the Wanders, currently the club’s second rivalry.
7. Brisbane Roar
Brisbane Roar is one of the oldest soccer clubs in the history of the A-League, established in 1957.
The team won trophies in the Brisbane State League and the old National Soccer League Cup.
In the modern era, Brisbane Roar has won 3 A-League Championship with 2 A-League Premiership.
Brisbane Roar vs Perth Glory
Brisbane Roar has an intense rivalry with Perth Glory with a strong mention even on social media by fans of the two sides.
Brisbane Roar also has another intense rivalry with Sydney FC, New South Wales and Queensland.
Brisbane Roar is originally from Queensland, while Sydney FC represents New South Wales.
8. Newcastle Jets
Newcastle Jets is one of the fastest-growing A-League sides showing signs of improvements.
The popularity of soccer in Australia
Soccer is one of the most popular team sports in Australia. The domestic league, the Australia A-League Men, boast of having one of the highest match day attendance.
In the beginning of the National Soccer League and the transition to the new A-League established in 2004, soccer has continued to thrive as a major sport.
The game is currently one of the most lucrative professional sporting competitions.
Competition in Australian soccer
The Australian A-League Men, A-League Women and the FFA Cup are the three top competitive soccer competitions producing teams that have gone on to represent the country at international competitions.
Over the years, the competitiveness of the A-League has brought back the old soccer vibes in the country compared to the National Soccer League era.
Performance of Australian teams on the continent
Before Australia’s move to the AFC in 2015, Sydney FC became the first club to win the OFC Champions League.
Since the country’s move to the AFC, only Western Sydney Wanderers have emerged as winners of the continental showpiece, the AFC Champions League, in 2014.
Western Sydney Wanderers successful is regarded as one of the best in competitions history since the 2000s
Top teams like Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets have competed in the continental competition.
The soccer scene in Australia has continued to grow over the years. Today, the A-League is followed globally and not just in Australia alone.
In Australia, the best football clubs are Sydney FC, Melbourne Victory, Western Sydney Wanderers, Melbourne City, Perth Glory, etc. This is because they’ve won remarkable domestic and international trophies combine.