Football

La Liga has finally surpassed the Premier League

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Fans of English football will be hesitant to admit that La Liga may finally be that extra step ahead of the Premier League. However, is it still a maybe? Or is it set in stone that Spain has overtaken England as the country to watch when it comes to domestic league football?

Of course, La Liga is always going to hold two of the best teams in club football, Barcelona and Real Madrid are worlds ahead of anything the Premier League has to offer, whether it be Chelsea or Manchester City, the class difference is astronomical.

We witnessed this in the recent clash between Barcelona and Man City in Champions League round of 16 stage. Whilst the Catalan giants only came out 3-1 winners on aggregate, the performances suggested something much more drastic; Man City got outplayed and ultimately outclassed over the two legs.

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Champions League

The Champions League has been the main catalyst for this latest attack on English football, with no Premier League side making it to the quarter-final stage of the competition. There was time where English football dominated Europe, nearly all opponents from foreign leagues were no match for the likes of Manchester United and Liverpool, those days however, seem to be coming to a disappointing end.

With the Red Devils not qualifying for this year's Champions League and Liverpool having a dismal European campaign after such a promising 2013-2014 domestic season, the teams of old are either not even achieving top four finishes, or struggling to compete with even the weakest teams in the Champions League.

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English teams failing to dominate

You look at sides from Ligue 1, whilst yes, the league is becoming more competitive with the likes of Lyon and Marseille battling among the giants PSG and AS Monaco, English teams should be walking all over these sides.

Instead, Arsenal failed to come out winners in what looked to be one of the best fixtures possible for Arsene Wenger's men, when AS Monaco sent them crashing out at the round of 16 stage.

Chelsea fell victim to another French side in the form of PSG, who are finding it hard to even be kings of Ligue 1 at the moment. This epitomises the state of English football currently, there was a time where we could say the Premier League is the most competitive league in the world, therefore making our clubs prone to exhaustion when it comes to the Champions League clashes, but that cannot be used as an excuse anymore when it comes to the poor form in the Champions League.

Yes, it is the most competitive league in the world because our top teams have reduced in quality, the likes of Manchester City should be taking Burnley to the cleaners so to say, instead Burnley are overcoming the odds defeating teams of this nature.

Barcelona and Real Madrid are too strong

La Liga is different, Barcelona and Real Madrid dominate the league, with the odd inevitable blip here and there, they wipe the floor with the lower half of the division.

The thing is, La Liga has been better than the Premier League in terms of quality for several seasons now, ever since Ronaldo joined Messi in the same division, English football didn't stand a chance. That world record move at the time caused more long-term damage to the Premier League than people realise, any world-class player that develops in the Premier League follows suite of the likes of Ronaldo and now Suarez.

The Uruguayan striker cannot be blamed for wanting to play alongside the likes of Lionel Messi and Neymar in oppose to his ex-Liverpool team-mates, the La Liga sides possess the best talent in the world, therefore attracting the best talent in the world elsewhere.

Gareth Bale done exactly the same, why would he stay at White Hart Lane or move to another Premier League club when the sides in La Liga are so much more appealing? It's getting to the point now where if a great talent emerges in the Premier League, we cannot get excited, as we feel they're more than likely going to pack their bags and jump ship to La Liga.

Best players want to play in Spain

It's almost as if the Premier League is becoming the division that develops players and nurtures talent, and La Liga is the place those talents go once they get anywhere near their full potential.

So, how can the Premier League prevent this sort of thing from happening? Well there's the short-term option of slapping gargantuan price-tags on any promising player in the league, therefore making the teams like Real Madrid hesitant to splash so much cash.

However, teams like Los Blancos can afford pretty much any price the English clubs name and would only trigger inflation in prices of every player around the world at the end of the day, therefore making it harder for English teams to purchase players from foreign leagues.

The other, better method the Premier League could use is to nurture home-grown talent; Spain in general has a brilliant youth footballing system which the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and even Messi came up through. England doesn't have that at the moment, recently we've seen Harry Kane burst upon the scene, but apart from that instance, who else has there been that's taken the footballing world by storm in recent years?

The last example i can think of is Wayne Rooney during his early Manchester United days, so many English born players were lauded by the British press as the next big thing for English football, yet they didn't reach the heights expected of them. 

La Liga has overtaken the Premier League

La Liga has overtaken the Premier League without a doubt in terms of quality and the past couple of seasons, the competitiveness of the division has taken a rise as well.

Valencia and Sevilla are making the more well-known sides shake in their boots, last year's champions Atletico Madrid are exchanging blows with the likes of Valencia and Sevilla in the race for the top four.

Yet again, the top spot looks to be boiling down to the two top dogs in the league Barcelona and Real Madrid as it used to before last season, but the worry is still there for the two top sides and they will have to keep looking over their shoulder for Atletico Madrid and Valencia.

So, the Premier League is even struggling to have title for the most competitive league in the world, and even if it does hold that title, I'm not so sure that's a good thing in the grand scheme of things.

Ultimately, you look to La Liga and see Barcelona and Real Madrid methodically destroying sides in the relegation zone of that league.

It's not down to how poor the bottom half of La Liga is, it's down to how dominant the top half is, that's the problem with English football, at the end of the day, how do we expect our top clubs to conquer Europe, when in all honestly, they struggle to conquer relegation candidates in the Premier League?

It's about what we want more as a football loving country, a more exciting, competitive domestic league, or more dominant clubs within the European competitions.

If it's the latter, something drastically needs to change, getting the perfect balance of both however, is something every league in the world would love to know the secret to.

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Topics:
Football
La Liga
Premier League
Real Madrid
Barcelona

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