El Centrocampista


Your everyday fan is generally quite precious when it comes to football.

They will be difficult, opinionated and hypocritical when involved in any debate on the beautiful game. One topic that really gets fans worked up however, is the ‘Which league is the best?’ argument.

Many are firmly in the English Premier League’s corner, others preferring to champion Spain’s La Liga. Both vary massively in styles, yet both – in their own right – are able to generate moments of such beauty, passion and excitement that the cases put forward for each league seem almost unbeatable.

The frantic pace of the English league, with the unexpected – and almost unbelievable – twists and turns often make for some truly compelling viewing. On the other side, the Spanish league’s moments of invention, mesmerising skill and touch of class leave fans genuinely astounded.

But just how do you define the characteristics of ‘the best league’? Both marketing and PR companies for the leagues will have you believe that they are the best; reeling off the positives, the clubs and the players. Many will be sucked in by this, therefore leaving them firmly rooted so firmly in a corner.

There is no real way to analyse the situation, it seems. If you try and find a way to, it is ultimately flawed. How the teams fair in the top European competition? Currently Barcelona dominates, but English clubs have been involved in finals and the latter stages of the competitions more than any other country in recent years, including Spain.

Plus, that only takes into account the teams that regularly qualify for European competition. What of those sides that fight to avoid relegation, or sit in mid-table mediocrity. The quality of those sides are ignored, leaving the analysis totally unbalanced.

The amount of goals is another argument often thrown into the mix, but what exactly is that showing us? It could be taken in different ways, depending on how you look at it. So if more goals are scored in one league, does that make it better? Or does it mean the defending is particularly poor? After all, goals aren’t everything.

We have all witnessed the 0-0 draws that have taken our breath away with their relentless drama. Games like those will not be counted when you look at the amount of goals as evidence of ‘the best league’.

The amount of world class players plying their trade in that country is another argument that is wheeled out to support the case for ‘the best league’. The recent exodus to Spain – particularly from England – suggests that they hold the advantage.

Real Madrid have amassed a collection of the finest talent in world football and, along with Barcelona’s mostly home-grown dream team, they hold the majority of genuinely world class players. Though that is not to say that England doesn’t have any players of that calibre either.

Manchester City’s new found wealth means that they can attract the top quality, along with the traditional bigger sides and their expensively assembled squads. But even this argument is flawed, world class players do not always make the most entertaining. Some of the most thrilling games come at the lower end of the table at times.

Clubs scrapping for their top-flight status, and putting their all into every minute of the game – the joy of watching this for ninety minutes is one of the greatest attractions of football. The skill may not be of the same quality as the big boys, but the entertainment is second to none.

If you were to look at it from a neutral point of view, it is clear that both of these top leagues are extremely flawed. For all the positives that are pushed by the supporters, the problems are not far behind. The debt from both leagues is astronomical – essentially they are ticking time bombs, something will have to give.

We’ve seen clubs become no more, while others are still now on the brink of extinction. The sad situation does not apply to the richer, more successful clubs. Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona and Chelsea all have their own debts – all keep winning, too.

In Spain, the shockingly unfair television rights deals put Real and Barcelona at a distinct advantage, but all this goes ignored by supporters of these sides – it doesn’t fit in ‘the best league in the world’ handbook.

The debate will continue to grow – and frustrate – as fans highlight the reasons why. Premier League fans will point towards the continued dominance of Barcelona and Real Madrid, claiming that La Liga is a glorified Scottish Premier League. To an extent, you can see where they are coming from. As mentioned before, the individual television deals put the big two on a pedestal – and until that is made fairer, the gap will only widen.

Although, it has to be said, this argument is hugely disrespectful to sides such as Valencia, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao – as well as others – who are brilliantly talented sides in their own right, and even successful in Europe. La Liga enthusiasts have been quick to jump on the two-horse race that the Premier League has seemingly become this year, pointing out the similarities to jibes aimed at La Liga.

As well as that, there is the loud outcry each time Barcelona drop points – “Who said La Liga was a two-horse race?” and “We told you it was competitive!” – just to prove the doubters wrong. England’s poor production line is another stick used to beat the league with.

The fact that the youth system is so unorganised and, quite frankly, useless is one thing that is swept under the carpet when we are told how amazing the Premier League is. These are the kind of arguments that will go back and forth without much resolution.

It is ultimately down to what the football fan wants, what they enjoy, and how they want the game to be played in their eyes. It would be refreshing if both sides could take a fresh outlook and see each of the leagues for what they are – the best two in Europe; the most enjoyable, thrilling and intrinsically flawed.

Can we not just enjoy both without trying to make it into a competition?

Lets leave all the hype to the marketing strategies and watch some beautiful football.

One Comment

  1. Pingback: Nyheter om UK premier league – #1 | Fantasy football

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Follow us and get La Liga news right in your feed!

Already a fan?