Guillem Balague's post on La Liga | Latest updates on Sulia
La Liga, Bundesliga and Premier, as competitive as each other
It is generally accepted in the footballing world that the three strongest leagues in Europe, at the moment are La Liga, the Premiership and the Bundesliga. Let's assume that is the case.
Some talk about La Liga being boring as it has been won by Barcelona already. If you want to see competitive football, the critics say, avoid Spain.
Emotive talk and fortunately not the attitude taken by Barca’s last two league opponents; Real Sociedad, who inflicted the first defeat of the season on the league leaders and Valencia, who earned a well-deserved draw against them and might consider themselves unlucky not to have taken all three points.
It is however a point of view that can be argued were it not for one minor detail – the facts. So let’s take a look at them. After 22 games Barcelona are nine points clear of nearest rivals Athletico Madrid and 16 points ahead of Real Madrid. And guess what? In the Premiership, Manchester United are nine points ahead of noisy neighbours, Manchester City and 16 points in front of Chelsea. Now there’s a coincidence.
And what about the Bundesliga? After 20 games Bayern are 11 points clear of second place Dortmund having conceded just seven goals all season and only one goal in ten away games.
Now if I were a betting man, I admit I would be reluctant to bet against Barcelona regaining the La Liga title they lost last year, but no more than I would be to plump for anyone other than Bayern or Manchester United to win their respective leagues.
Ultimately perhaps maybe it isn’t the attitude of the leaders that matters but that of the chasers. When Roberto Mancini was asked if the league was over after seeing his team fall a further two points behind Man Utd, his reply was immediate. “Absolutely not. There’s always time for someone to make a mistake.” After Diego Simeone saw his side lost 4-1 to Barca at the Camp Nou, he said,” This league is boring. Barcelona are just in a different league to the rest.” Simeone changed his words yesterday to say that Atletico "have got a very small chance of winning the league".
At the end of the day, maybe that’s the only real difference.