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Is La Liga really better than the Premier League?

This is quote from Sepp Blatter – President of FIFA. “The Premier League is the best marketed league in the world,” he told CNN. “It’s a good league, with good players, but when you consider not one player made the best XI of the world, maybe they should think about whether something can be adapted.”. He continued to say that Spain’s La Liga was the best league in the world due to it having more home grown players and having 8 players in the best XI shows that. La Liga is an amazing league- has the best players in the world but is it better than the Premier League?

World best XI team of the year consisted of:

Iker Casillas (Real Madrid)

Maicon (Inter Milan)
Gerard Piqué (Barcelona)
Carles Puyol (Barcelona)
Lucio(Inter Milan)

Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
Xavi Hernández (Barcelona)
Wesley Sneijder (Inter Milan)
Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona)

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
David Villa (Barcelona)

José Mourinho- Manager (Real Madrid)

As things stand in the top 5 of La Liga:  Barcelona 55pts, Real Madrid 48pts, Valencia 40pts Villarreal 39pts Espanyol 34pts

As things stand in the top 5 of the Premier League: Man United 48pts, Arsenal 46pts, Man City 45pts, Chelsea 38pts, Tottenham 38pts

Barcelona are 7pts ahead in La Liga whilst United are 2 ahead in the Premier League.  5th place Espanyol are 21points behind the leaders Barcelona whilst Tottenham who are also 5th are 10pts behind Man United which means technically they could still win the Premier League and Espanyol have very little chance of doing so in La Liga. So why are standings so close in the Premier League and in La Liga so wide?

Tottenham’s Dutch master class Rafael van der Vaart, has played in La Liga, (Spain) for Real Madrid, the Bundesliga (Germany) for Hamburg and started is career in the Eredivisie (Holland) for Ajax. This is his opinion on the Premier League and the difference between Spain and England. “I think the Premier League is the best league in the world, so its normal that everybody is watching the games, and I think its also normal because it’s a really big League, a lot of good players, good teams, so it’s the best League.

“I think the speed of the game is higher because it’s really hard, physical. In Spain they try to play more like good football, so I think that’s the main difference.”

When we mention La Liga only two teams spring to mind: Barcelona and Real Madrid. Both have amazing players- Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and have won so many trophies. But that is the point – there are only two teams in la Liga. You could argue that Valencia, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid are all good teams but the standard between them, Barcelona and Real Madrid is much higher which is why they cannot reach the same standard. El Classico – The game between Real Madrid and Barcelona ended 5-0 in favour of Barcelona. That is like Manchester United beating Chelsea 5-0!

The Premier League has more than just two teams. Just 3 points separate the top 3 and then 8 points separate 3rd place to 6th place. It is more physical and even the teams at the bottom are able to match the teams on top- Blackpool beating Liverpool twice, West Brom taking a point at Old Trafford, Newcastle beating Arsenal, whilst Wigan beat Spurs. Watching la Liga is like watching the first team teach the under 10s team how to play football. Barcelona are the first team whilst the rest of the league including Real Madrid are the under 10s team learning how to play the game. When the defenders see players like Xavi, Iniesta and Messi running at them they back off allowing them to do what they do best but in the premier league when players like Bale, Nani, Torres are running at the defenders, they match them which means the players have to work harder to do what they do best. Arsenal play similar football to Barcelona yet Spurs, Newcastle and West Brom have all beaten them at the Emirates this season. Barcelona have lost once this season and have drawn once. An amazing record, but wouldn’t Manchester United who are unbeaten in our league, be able to do the same thing in La Liga?

The point I am trying to make is that La Liga is good and has got the best players in the world but its not the most competitive league and the most exciting league to watch. Barcelona play amazing football but that’s all La Liga is about- being able to play pretty football. In the Premier League, it is about being different and using the strengths of your team e.g. Delap throws for Stoke and the physicality of Wolves to beat the best which is why there are so many ups and downs in the Premier League, which is why it’s so much more interesting to watch. La Liga is the “best league” in the world yet Tottenham and Arsenal are top scores in the Champions League. Barcelona beat an under par Arsenal side without Fabregas and van Persie to get to last years Champions League semi- finals yet when Inter Milan did not allow them to play they didn’t have a plan B. England, Spain and Italy are the three teams who are given 4 places in the Champions League yet England are the only country which still have 4 teams in the Champions League- a quarter of the last 16 is made up of English teams. This shows the dominance of English teams and shows that the Premier League is not second best to La Liga.

Sepp Blatter can think what he wants but our league is traditional, physical and with each game you see something different and I know that the fans of the Premier League would have it no other way.

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