We are here to pay respects to Spanish Soccer, may it rest in peace.
Ashes to ashes. Dust to dust.
What a difference nine days make.
Up until Tuesday 23rd April, and for the majority of that day, Spain was seen as the best footballing nation in the world and La Liga was considered the best league.
Then the Champions League semi-finals started happening.
Spain’s two best teams took on Germany’s two best teams, in two matches, over two legs each. For fans of the No. 2 they were wonderful scenes. For fans of Spanish football, they were not.
The German champions-elect, Bayern Munich, took on the Spanish champions-elect, Barcelona, and beat them over both legs. 7-0 on aggregate.
And, while the deposed German champions, Borussia Dortmund, didn’t beat the deposed Spanish champions, Real Madrid, quite as convincingly over both legs, they did still qualify over them and beat them on aggregate.
This leaves an all-German Champions League final on May 25th and establishes the Deutschland game as the world’s premier country for football. But what for the sport in Spain now? Is there even any point in them playing it anymore?
Pep Guardiola saw the death of Spanish football coming before anyone, quitting as Barcelona boss, having a bit of a holiday, before declaring he’ll be taking up the Bayern Munich post at the end of the season.
And, looking at it, how didn’t we see the death of Spanish football sooner?
La Liga only has two major teams that are followed outside of Spain. It’s like Scotland but with nicer weather. Where as with Germany you have major teams like Bayern, Dortmund and, erm… everyone loves Hoffenheim, right?
And look at the statistics, by being in the Champions League final, technically, Dortmund are at least the second best team in Europe. So if they’re number two in the continent they are a massive twenty points behind the number one side, Bayern (also in the final, so technically in Europe’s top two).
A lot of people claim the Barcelona side is the best club side of all time, but Bayern Munich thrashed them, so what does that make Bayern? (Please don’t take that logic any further, as Arsenal beat Bayern, and Bradford City beat Arsenal, so that makes Bradford City the best club side of all time).
Even international football is in decline in Spain. The Spanish team haven’t won the World Cup in THREE years. And while they did win the Euros last year, they only managed to edge past Italy in the final, with an unconvincing 4-0 victory.
And what about the quality of Spanish players? The most expensive Spanish player of all time is Fernando Torres, and Demba Ba’s keeping him out of the Chelsea side.
And how many of the world’s top 3 greatest players play in La Liga? Only the third, Jamie Mackie, still plays in the English Premier League.
Finally, “Bundesliga” is more fun to say than “La Liga.”