Last week, I got caught in one of those barber shop sports arguments that try men's souls. The moot arose from a meandering chat about football, spanning the relative merit of Lionel Messi and the recent All-time Eleven picked by World Soccer magazine.
As the conversation turned and swerved, the big question became clear: which football league is the best?
Barcelona is a good candidate for the world's best club team of recent years. Not only has the Messi-Xavi-Iniesta core led Barca to dominate Europe, they've also won the Club World Cup twice. Some even think that at its peak, that Spanish team is the best of all time.
That, however, doesn't respond to the moot. Spain has two great club teams, Barcelona and Real Madrid, but that doesn't alone make La Liga the strongest. Two German clubs, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund, played in this year's European Champions League final, so the Bundesliga probably has the edge in Europe right now.
There's more evidence of Spanish dominance in the results of the Europa League, the second tier of combat on the continent. Spanish clubs have won five times in the last 10 years. Combine that with the success of Barcelona and Real Madrid and the balance of European power in the last few years might well be leaning toward La Liga.
So is that league, home to Messi and Ronaldo, the best in the world?
The only way to be sure would be to have another league where champions played home-and-away in a bid for supremacy. That's never going to happen. There's just no time.
Interestingly enough, business interests are again talking about a European Super League with big-name clubs breaking away from their home leagues to face each week in, week out. That's delicious for fans, but UEFA must be worried. A Super League wouldn't just take the cream off the top of the Premier League, La Liga, the Bundesliga and Serie A, but it would certainly kill off the Champions League.
It's not hard to envisage UEFA backlash if the Super League takes form and shape.
As things stand, domestic play includes leagues and typically two knockout tournaments similar to England's FA Cup and League Cup. Then time is set aside for international friendlies and competitive games.
With no time for a World Super League, the only measure of relative club strength is the Club World Cup.
Staged by FIFA, the sport's world governing body, it has some predecessors, but in its current form, it has been dominated by Brazilian clubs. Like Barca, Corinthians has won twice.
There are two other Brazilian winners: Sao Paolo, who beat Liverpool in 2005, and Internacional, victor over Barca in 2006.
Last year, Corinthians edged European Champions League winners Chelsea of England.
In the barber shop, I was battered by assertions that the Club World Cup is a substandard tournament. One argument is that not all teams are at peak when the CWC is being played. That might be true, but it is still the only measure of relative league strength.
This year's Club World Cup will be played in Morocco in December and Bayern will carry European hopes. The South American champions, winner of the Copa Libertadores, are Atletico Mineiro. That team includes 2004 and 2005 World Player of the Year Ronaldinho, former Arsenal star Gilberto Silva, and Diego Tardelli, who was in Brazil's 2010 World Cup squad.
My barber shop friend appeared to be a big Chelsea fan so I expect a hard talk the next time we meet.
We don't watch too much Brazilian football here, and it's hard to contemplate that there are better teams than the ones we watch every week.
The Club World Cup results won't probably make my next barber shop football argument any easier.
Hubert Lawrence has made notes at trackside since 1980.