Okay. It took Revista de La Liga just thirty minutes on Tuesday to mention a topic that has very much become the elephant in the room of Spanish football recently – the domination of Barcelona and Real Madrid and the ever-growing gap between them and their fellow La Liga competitors in terms of finance, performance and control.
Whilst a comfortable win was expected for Real Madrid against Real Zaragoza last weekend, not many expected the complete rout that followed on Monday night as Barcelona demolished Villareal 5-0 – a team that last year had a remarkable season finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League. In a league where 1st trounces 4th five to nothing, you have to ask yourself some very serious questions. Why is Spanish football now this uncompetitive? And how did Spanish football manage to get itself in such a farsical mess in the first place?
Whilst the title of this article is making a comparison between Spanish football and Scottish football there is now evidence that La Liga is infact worse and has indeed overtaken the SPL. Take a look at the current SPL standings and whilst Rangers unsurprisingly occupy first spot in the table after 5 games, it is infact Motherwell who sit in second place level on 13 points ahead of the usual suspects Celtic who are currently in third place although they have played a game less.
There is no doubt in my mind that only Celtic or Rangers will be crowned champions of Scotland this season but I’m sure the likes of Motherwell will give their all and keep the top Glasgow teams on their toes until the very end of the season. Whilst Scottish football still has a competitive element to it, can anyone realistically see a Spanish side coming anywhere near Barcelona and Real Madrid this season? Not a hope in hell.
For every Giuseppe Rossi at Villareal or Jesus Navas at Seville, Barcelona have a Messi, an Iniesta, a Xavi and now indeed a Fabregas and what’s worse they’re actually getting paid! Real Madrid’s array of talent isn’t too shabby either and should Jose Mourinho’s club get into a spot of financial bother, the Spanish government will act immediately and bail them out because they’re that important to Spanish culture it’s almost as if they’re a political institution.
So how can lowly teams such as Mallorca and Espanyol compete with a political institution? Just one thing and one thing only – money and lots of it. Which is why the recent takeover of Malaga FC by Sheikh Abdullah Al Thani could be the best thing that’s ever happened to Spanish football in recent times.
Judging by their 2-1 defeat to Seville on Sunday, Manuel Pelligrini’s Malaga still have a long way to go before they are force to be reckoned with. But one things for certain, it won’t be long before they start creeping up on the two giants of Spanish football and develop a side capable of pushing Barcelona and Real Madrid all the way to the La Liga title. Who knows, they might even win it one day!
So calling all rich Arab Sheikhs with more money than sense, Spanish football is in dyer straights and needs your help! Buy a Spanish football club today and receive your very own La Liga Blog fridge magnet! (whilst stocks last).