Sao Paulo, Jan 9 (IANS) The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) says the Brazilian national league, the Campeonato Brasileiro, was the second strongest in 2012.
The Brazilian football tournament climbed to second place thanks to Corinthians' success in the World Club Cup, reports Xinhua.
"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," an IFFHS spokesman said Tuesday.
The Brazilian championship finished 2012 with 1,057 points, just 20 more than the German Bundesliga. England's Premier League trailed in fifth position.
The Campeonato Brasileiro 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.
The 20-year-old Neymar has confirmed he will be remaining at Santos until the 2014 World Cup. Sao Paulo's Luis Fabiano rejected lucrative offers from Champions League sides to return to Brazil.
In addition, experienced world-class veterans are also contributing to the enhanced strength of the league.
Diego Forlan and Clarence Seedorf last year joined Internacional and Botafogo respectively, and two-time Champions League winner Deco helped Fluminense lift the 2012 Brazilian title.