Why Italy's Serie A Is Better to Watch Than Spain's La Liga

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor IFebruary 26, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20:  Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona compete for the ball with Stephan El Shaarawy of AC Milan (R) during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 first leg match between AC Milan and Barcelona at San Siro Stadium on February 20, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

Before we get into a senseless which league is better debate, let me clarify that this is by no means a brash statement outlining the dominance of Serie A over La Liga, as that would be a comical stance. Spain has arguably the two most quality-filled sides worldwide in Real Madrid and Barcelona.

This is, however, a personal statement from a lifelong soccer fan who has learned to love the intricacies and faults of both leagues. 

The past five years in La Liga have essentially been a two-horse race between Barcelona and Real Madrid, as either one has had a 20- or even 30-point lead over the third-place side by the end of the year.

This season, things have unfolded a bit differently, as the league was called over in December by Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho after Barcelona took a double-digit lead in what was their greatest-ever start to a La Liga campaign. 

There are only so many 5-0 Barcelona beatdowns on poor, lower-table sides that I find myself watching for a full 90 minutes, as the competition has been sucked out of the opponents by the Blaugrana around the 35th minute.

Things have unfolded quite a bit differently across the Mediterranean Sea, as Serie A has been lauded for its dramatic storylines, polarizing owners and incomparable parity.

Matches aren't so predetermined before they start, as a lowly relegation-bound squad can shred one of the Italian giants on any given matchday. 

It's the tactical nature of the Serie A which has captivated me far more than a full 90 of hypnotic tiki-taka lulling me into a coma.

The Italian league shows a consistent master class of defensive effort every week, as noted in the last Champions League match between Milan and Barcelona, where a very average Serie A defense managed to neutralize the greatest attack on earth.

To further prove this point, Lionel Messi has only scored three goals (all penalties) in nine matches against Italian sides.

Even though the two most talented teams are in Spain, it's the parity and overall competitiveness of Serie A which has led me to write this article. It might have seen better days, but the overall tactics, coaching strategies and wackiness behind it is what made me fall in love in the first place.