FIFA and UEFA bosses do not want to believe that the Premier League has emerged from the shadows to become the best league in the world. Now all they do is compare the league with the English squad, which has been showing mediocrity in Euro and World Cup competitions.
Before we go any further, let us understand one thing; it is possible for a weak country to have a very strong league. Therefore, we should learn to distinguish between the two.
Sepp Blatter, the FIFA President recently came out to further add salt to England’s wound by claiming that by Spain’s dominance on FIFA’s XI, and England having no representative at all, justifies that La Liga is the better league between the two.
That to me is a crippled analysis, because it would imply that Serie A and the Bundesliga, who also have representatives on the team of the year, are better than the Premier League- which of course is a joke.
The reason why Spain dominated the XI is simply because they were exceptional and deserved champions at the World Cup. Other than that, Spanish clubs were poor in Champions League. Madrid was battered by Lyon in the last sixteen, while in the semi finals, Barca couldn’t get past a resilient Inter Milan side that had accrued a 3-1 advantage at the San Siro.
Let’s get to the facts.
La Liga’s days of domination are over
In the70’s, 80’s, 90’s and early in the last decade, the Spanish league dominated the world of football with Real Madrid coming on top as many times as possible.
The only able wrestler and contenders were AC Milan and Juventus and perhaps Liverpool. By miles and bounds, La Liga was coveted and obviously the best league in the world with teams like Barcelona, Valencia and Deportivo.
However, regardless of their domination, the Spanish national team was a complete under achiever, always being humiliated by other countries in both Euro and the World Cup.
This should serve to show that the best league does not have to necessarily come from the best footballing country. Ridiculing the Premier League simply because the Three Lions are not performing well is just an undercover ploy by Blatter and his executive in crime, Platini to ridicule the English.
The Champions League factor
Michel Platini admitted he hated a champions league final repeat between two English sides; lucky for him, Chelsea was cheated in the semi final by match referee Tom Henning Ovebro and United was no march for Barca in the final in 2009.
Regardless of that, the Premier League has dominated the Champions League, with all four clubs going into the quarter finals in 2008, something that hasn’t happened for Spanish teams in the last decade.
As a matter of fact, the last time Spain dictated is in 2002 when Deportivo La Coruna, Barcelona and Real Madrid all qualified for the quarters, compared to only Manchester United from England which made the quarters.
From that time on, the Spanish have had two, one or no teams at all in the quarter finals, whereas the English league’s lowest contribution to the quarter finals since 2003 has been two clubs.
Question of the Transfer market
Right now, Blatter and his colleague Platini have passed a law restricting clubs from spending more than they earn. The move, which of course is positive and will help clubs stay in healthy financial positions and prevent falls like that of Leeds and Valencia, is also questionable in its timing; why now?
When Madrid, Juventus and Bayern enjoyed a huge chunk of the transfer market in the 90’s nobody made noise about how much they would spend to buy players. Madrid went on to assemble a strong team of “Galacticos” without causing stirring criticism from FIFA.
“When Madrid wants a player, they will get him!” was the slogan; that’s how they were able to get players like Zinedine Zidane at a whopping £47 million cost, Luis Figo cost £38.7m, Ronaldo the Brazilian cost £30m from Inter Milan and David Beckham cost £25m from United… all which were record transfers.
90% of the most expensive transfers were conducted between Spanish and Italian clubs. When now Chelsea and Man City get wealthy owners who can dig from their pockets to buy relatively expensive players and pay them highly, FIFA then remembers to come out and impose new transfer rules. If that is not bias, then I don’t know what it is.
The competition and marketability factor
By far, the Premiership is far more competitive and more interesting than La Liga. The enthusiasm, the affection and the full stadiums all prove the Premier League as a superior league.
In Spain, Barca and Real Madrid cruise to countless wins without a single loss. They play each game as clear favorites until they meet in the El Classico when certainly one of them is bound not to win.
In the premiership however, the Top Four find huddles throughout the competition, yet on top of that, have to win and lose points amongst themselves.
Blatter claimed that although the Premier League is the best marketed league in the world it is still not superior to the Spanish League- this sounds like a thought not well calculated.
All strong leagues in the world try to market themselves in a way, but no matter how much you market your product, people will still not buy it if it’s not of the quality they expect, or if there is something of better quality available on the market.
Therefore, the only reason why the English Premier League is more coveted around the globe is because people enjoy it more than they enjoy other leagues.
The English league, unlike the Italian and Spanish, is where a black player will be cheered like the rest of the team and not have monkey chants directed at him. Ask Eto’o- the lad has suffered racial abuse in Spain and Italy.
This serves as another reason why La Liga is undermined around the world, where people of every color want to enjoy the game without being racially insulted.
Instead of Blatter praising the league which upholds the logo “kick racism out of football”, he is going about speaking complete fallacies about the Premier League’s strength.
As we speak right now, all four English teams have qualified to the knock off round in the Champions League, while only three from Spain have made it. The forth Spanish team, Sevilla, didn’t even make the group stages after a 5-3 wallop by Portuguese side, Braga.
Forbes magazine, year in year out, lists four premiership sides among the ten most valuable clubs in the world, compared to only two from Spain. This must speak volumes about those two leagues!