The past decade has seen heated debates among football fans from all spectrums of life. One such topic of interest has been the most competitive league; La Liga or the Premier League. The early through to mid-2000 saw an uprise of English club football evidenced by the sheer number of English clubs in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League.
The likes of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool dominated European club football during this era, while their counterparts in Spain had to play catch up and settle with the champions league’s little brother; UEFA Cup (now Europa League).
The tide seems to have swung in the direction of the Spaniards in recent years with the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and recently Atletico Madrid literally pushing over most of their peers in Europe. While these three teams are ruling in the champions league, Sevilla, Villareal, Espanyol and Athletic Bilbao have been gunning for the Europa League.
The past five years has seen Spanish teams winning two Champions Leagues with one runner up and considering Barcelona happens to be in this year’s finals, that number can be change on Saturday. The same period has seen the Europa League won three times by Spanish teams compared to the single triumph by an English team (Chelsea in 12/13).
The English Premier League definitely boasts of the financial power, euphoria, power, pace and nerve cracking football, but it seems English representatives fail to impress in Europe where they are supposed to market the competitiveness of the league. In the contrast, the Spanish representatives sticking to their technical style of football in Europe seem to prove hard to defeat by their peers.
The pro Premier League fans argue that the teams outside the top four in La Liga are not up to the standard of those outside the top four in England because these teams in La Liga mostly end up conceding fives and sixes when they come up against the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid. This isn’t the case in England since the top four teams struggle to beat teams like Crystal Palace, Hull City, Leicester City etc.
Pros and Cons
Pro La Liga fans debunk these assertions by indicating that maybe the top teams in England are not as good as we are made to believe. This can be deemed a good point because if the likes of Aston Villa, Hull City etc. will struggle to limit Madrid and Barcelona to just a few goals. In similar lines of thought, Villareal, Bilbao, Espanyol will give the likes of Chelsea and Man City a run for their money.
The marketability and popularity of the premier league is unprecedented but when it comes to what actually happens on the field, la liga is ahead of the premiership. Smaller teams in Spain play football to entertain their fans while those in England play not to lose. Having 10 players sitting in front your own 18 yard line doesn’t make a game/league competitive, but the ability of a smaller team to try and stick to their ideologies no matter the opponent makes the game we love a beautiful game.