La Liga looks more competitive than ever
When you hear La Liga (Spanish Primera Division), you always think about Barcelona or Real Madrid. The two Spanish giants have ruled the Spanish Primera Division. Both of them have cut the competitive level of La Liga making it a duopoly, rather than opening the league for all 20 participating teams.
Barcelona and Real Madrid duopoly has made the name for both Spanish giants, but it hasn’t helped in the overall development of the league. Nine different teams have won the La Liga titles since its inception in 1928/29, but it hasn’t helped greatly in their development as great Spanish teams.
Athletic Bilbao had produced a great show to challenge Barcelona or Real Madrid winning La Liga title four times out of seven seasons in initial years. But, Bilboa only managed 8 titles up to now and their latest was back in 1983/84 season.
Similarly, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Deportivo La Coruna, Real Sociedad, Sevilla, and Real Betis tried to challenge the Spanish giant duo, but they failed short financially to catch them. Now, it seems the time for other Spanish clubs to catch them.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid to Juventus and Barcelona’s golden generation departure one-by-one each season has brought confidence back in other teams to catch them. Atletico Madrid is at its best, Valencia has rediscovered themselves, Villarreal is looking sharp, and Sevilla ready to make a difference in the league. La Liga looked more competitive than ever.
Atletico Madrid after winning Europa League last season and starting this season with 4-2 UEFA Super Cup win over Real Madrid seems to be ready for La Liga challenge. They looked fresh with added strength and Diego Simeone started to believe that he really can use his bench strength.
Los Colcheneros have a matured side with quality footballers who can lead them to La Liga’s success. Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Jan Oblak, Diego Costa, Koke, Stefan Savic, Jose Jimenez, Filipe Luis, and Juanfran is there from long time. Thomas Partey, Saul Niguez, Thomas Lemar, Lucas Hernandez, Rodri, and Nikola Kalinic adds more strength to the team. They really look like a side hungry for success.
Villarreal looks like a team not ready to sit back as well. They have made major changes in their side. Ramiro Funes Mori, Miguel Layun, Santiago Caseres, Santi Cazorla, Ramiro Guerra, Alfonso Pedraza, Matias Nahuel, Daniel Raba, Gerard Moreno, Karl Toko Ekambi and Carlos Bacca adds more strength to Yellow Brigade. They are giving a strong statement that they are ready for Champions League football.
Valencia CF is in a hurry to be there, where they belong. They have won the league twice in 21st century and they have spend heavily to be successful for the third time. They are playing well under Marcelino and they have good mix of attacking and defensive player.
Michy Batshuayi (on loan from Chelsea) and Kevin Gameiro arrived as centre-forward despite the presence of Santi Mina and Rodrigo in their lineup. Russia’s World Cup famed winger Denis Cheryshev has arrived on loan from Villarreal as well.
Veteran Dani Parejo and Carlos Soler were already operating in their midfield, but addition of Daniel Wass, Uros Racic and Geoffrey Kondogbia have made them solid in midfield department as well. Inter Milan loanee Jeison Murillo, Lyon’s Mouctar Diakhaby, and Sporting CP’s Cristiano Piccini transfer to Valencia makes them a title contender side.
Other than them, Sevilla, Celta Vigo, Espanyol and Real Sociedad is ready to bring challenges for the Europa League positions as well. certain teams can be unpredictable for a season as well. We have seen in case of Leicester City in Premier League and RB Leipzig in Bundesliga. La Liga can produce its own surprises as well. It is certain that La Liga looks more competitive than ever.