The English Premier League is without a doubt, the most followed football league in the world. But, does that make it the best league in the world? The league also boasts of having four different champions in the past 10 years, which surely makes it an interesting league to watch, but again, does that make it the best league in the world?
The revenues from broadcasting rights and sponsorship deals have made the English premier league by far, the richest league in the world and in spite of the heavy spending on top players and managers, they still seem to struggle against their Spanish counterparts.
If you think about it, football in Europe has evolved by leaps and bounds in the last decade, which is also a fair time period, to understand how the top flight leagues fair against each other.
Inability to dominate Europe
A real face-off between the top clubs of Europe takes place during the Champions League and it is a known fact, that seven out of the last 10 Champions League titles have gone to Spain as compared to just the one title won by an English side(Chelsea) in 2011-2012.
But then, the top tier clubs alone from any given league do not represent the quality of an entire league, do they? Hence, the second tier of European football, ie. the Europa League which includes some solid teams has also been dominated by Spain (six titles) as against England(two titles) in the past 10 years.
And if it is not always about titles, the fact that Spanish clubs have won 20 out of the 24 European knock-out ties against the English opponents in the last decade, is conclusive enough to suggest their dominance over their English counterparts
Producing the best talent
Many of the top players who have played in the English premier league in the last 10 years have been imported from the LaLiga. You could argue that some of these players have gone on to reach their top level playing the EPL, but would it be possible without the coaching provided under the stellar youth system at Spanish organizations?
David Silva, César Azpilicueta, David de Gea are just a few to name, who have risen through the ranks in the La Liga and made it big in the English Premier League. How many home grown English players in the last decade have made the reverse switch and went on to rule Spanish football (or in fact a switch to any other top-flight league)?
The best players
The last time I checked, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo [Since 2009-10] have not been playing for any English side in this decade. They have undoubtedly been the face of world football for the last decade now.
Their dominance, and plying of their trade in the Spanish League means that the LaLiga is the preferred location for the best in the world.
The minnows and beautiful football
The minnows in La Liga or Bundesliga are often thrashed by huge margins by the league leaders, which is often used as an argument for downgrading the quality of the entire league.
The only counter question to this would be, if the top Spanish or German teams are easily able to get past the top English teams [Considering the most recent games: Barcelona won 5-1, 5-3 and 4-1 on aggregate against Arsenal(2016), Manchester City(2016) and Chelsea(2018) respectively; Bayern Munich won 10-2 on aggregate against Arsenal in 2017], then what should stop them from scoring freely against the weaker teams in their own league?
This argument also contradicts the present situation in the Premier League, wherein the top teams have signed players at a price more than the worth of the entire squad of a newly promoted team and we see the likes of Manchester City and Liverpool scoring freely against the so-called weaker teams.
The overall style and gameplay of football in the LaLiga is a notch above the English Premier League and it is also more pleasing to the eyes.
La-Liga is by far, currently the best league in Europe. Having said that, this might change in the near future owing to the heavy investments made by some of the top English clubs, who have built some impeccable squads.
We might love a club playing in the English Premier League and we also might hate a club playing in the same league, as a result of which, we enjoy watching it the most. However, this bias should not blind us from considering the English Premier League as the best league in the world.
Published 09 Sep 2018, 14:07 IST