Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has made a surprising claim about his former club Real Madrid, suggesting that neither they nor Barcelona would dominate the Premier League.
The two Spanish super powers have ranked amongst the world’s elite for the past two decades and annually compete in arguably football’s most celebrated tie, El Clasico. Also boasting the two best players in the world, Messrs Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, there’s very few teams who can attest to being as good on a yearly basis.
However Jose Mourinho doesn’t agree that if the two teams were in the Premier League they would sweep all before them, drawing on his experience from his time in the Santiago Bernabeu hot-seat to come to the conclusion that there’s a chance they would find it just as difficult as the other English teams.
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“In matches in other countries you can win matches when you are resting. In Spain and in Italy, I won lots of matches resting. Where you can think, ‘what next’. Where you can think which European game is coming, where you can rest players," he said, according to talksPORT.
“This season I rested a few players against Bradford and I lost against Bradford. And that is English football. You are winning 2-0 and if you concede a goal you know you are going to have hell for the last few minutes and you might draw 2-2 and lose two points.
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“This is the reality of the Premier League. You have no time. It’s not just about the number of matches, it’s the intensity. And it’s not just physical intensity, you feel the intensity mentally.
“I think the difference between the two leagues [Premier League and La Liga] is huge. Would they [Barcelona or Real Madrid] win the Premier League? Maybe yes. Maybe not.”
Debate to be made
It’s hard to agree with Mourinho given the vast array of stars both Barcelona and their fierce domestic rivals boast. Not only do they have Messi and Ronaldo leading their respective lines but the likes of Luis Suarez, Andres Iniesta, Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez also ply their trade for Spain’s two biggest clubs.
That said Atletico Madrid aside there’s barely a team in La Liga that can go into a game against Barca or Real and have confidence about coming away with points, whereas in the Premier League the biggest sides routinely have to worry about teams who could feasibly take their scalps if they’re not on song.
In the search for evidence at Mourinho’s claim one need only look at the La Liga rankings table, where Real are 12 points away from third place Atletico and Barcelona four points ahead of them, having clinched the title with their win at the Vicente Calderon at the weekend.
That said Chelsea have lost less than either of their Spanish counterparts on their way to winning back the Premier League crown for the first time in five years.
Defeats to Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur have been the only fixtures from which Mourinho’s men have come away with no points at all, and the eight point lead they have ahead of second place Manchester City sees them comfortably in charge.
Football fans do you think Mourinho is right? Would Real and Barca dominate the Premier League? Let us know your thoughts in the comments box below.