The Premiership Or La Liga?

Andrew BarrySenior Analyst IJune 24, 2008

So the debate initially sparked by Ronaldo's desire to leave United, returns. Man Utd or Real Madrid but essentially this is the Premier League v La Liga.

Who has the better league and ultimately the greatest league in the world, Spain or England?

The Premiership replaced the old First Division in 1992 and the early titles were won by Manchester United. Many of the Premiership's qualities are based around passion and a willingness to do anything for the shirt.

La Liga—founded in 1929—was suspended for the Spanish civil war and returned in the 40's. Unlike in England, the idea of foreigners was embraced much earlier and greats like Di Stefano, Puskas, and Kubala emerged as stars.

The Premiership experienced a landmark year in '94/'95 when Blackburn Rovers wrestled the title away from the monopoly of United. Shearer and Sutton scored the goals to take the title to Ewood, temporarily at least.

The 90's in La Liga were Barça's years, lead by Cruyff, Robson, and van Gaal, the team boasted stars such as Ronaldo, Rivaldo, Koeman, Laudrup, Romario, and Luis Enrique, and claimed the title seven times in ten years.

Arsenal moved in on United's success as did Chelsea in the new millennium and the Premiership became a three horse race. La Liga saw the emergence of Deportivo and Valencia to challenge Madrid and Barcelona.

The introduction of Sky's coverage and the redevelopment of major stadiums saw the attraction of England's league grow dramatically in the 90's. La Liga had already done its development and now the Premiership threatened to overtake it.

Foreign players were soon attracted to the Premiership as Zola, Henry, Bergkamp, Asprilla, and Ginola all gave stellar performances to increase the image of the Premiership.

Players only seem to move to La Liga when they've had the Premiership experience already—Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo for example—while many leave La Liga for England knowing it has the perfect blend of passion and technique.

The Champions League is another area of contention between the two leagues.

Since 1997, Spain has had four winners while England has had three. However, it's worth noting that since 1997, Spain has had just two runners up while England has had three.

The area of history is how Spanish clubs lure players from the Premiership. For example, Real Madrid will tell Ronaldo and all possible buys how they won the European Cup five times in a row and its historic triumphs in 1966, 2000, and 2002.

However that is history and the dominance of English clubs is something that looks set to remain.

Money is another issue in the two leagues. According to the Deloitte Football Money League, only three Spanish clubs are among the 20 richest in the world. Compare that to the six English clubs on the list and it's easy to see where the money lies.

In conclusion, if you want passion and many of the best players in the world, then the Premier League is the league for you. If you want more focus on technique and skill, then La Liga is for you.