La Liga

Is La Liga a “two horse” race?

Given Barcelona’s and Real Madrid’s recent dominance and superstar rosters, some sports pundits and commentators have labeled Spain’s La Liga a two horse race in which the other 18 teams are merely spectators. However, some teams in Spain beg to differ.

For the last ten (10) seasons of Spain’s La Liga, only Barcelona (6), Real Madrid (3) and Atletico Madrid (1) have won titles. During that span, Barcelona won the UEFA Champions League – Europe’s top inter-league tournament – 4 times, while Real Madrid won last year and holds an all-time best 10 titles in the tournament.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have also topped the list of the most valuable clubs and top revenue earners for the last couple of years, while Real Madrid Cristiano Ronaldo has won the FIFA World Player of the year/Ballon d’Or three (3) times, while Lionel Messi of Barcelona have won it four (4) times. These two teams have indeed been dominant, but this does not mean that they are the only relevant, competitive squads in Spain

Barcelona and Real Madrid are both unquestionable leaders not only in Spanish soccer but in soccer worldwide. Their recent dominance is not due to their league’s lack of talented teams but rather to the unprecedented levels they each have reached with their current squads. Barcelona is indeed labeled as the greatest team ever, with the best player ever, so it should be no surprise that Spanish teams have had practically no chance at the Liga title.

However, the recent performance from other teams such as Atletico Madrid. Valencia, Sevilla and Athletic Club suggests that La Liga does hold highly talented players and produces internationally competitive teams. And if they played in other European leagues where they didn’t have to compete against unprecedented super-teams, these “spectators” might end up giving European superpowers a run for their money




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