As we near another Champions League final, the more La Liga is cemented as the best top flight in Europe and the world. Spanish sides have won 47 out of the last 50 two-legged ties, won against foreign teams leaves Spain at the top. Spain is the only country with three teams in the quarterfinals of the European competition.
Spain's dominance cannot be denied.
The numbers speak for themselves: in the last 7 seasons Spain's top flight have won 4 Champions League titles, FC Barcelona in 2009, 2011 and 2015. Real Madrid winning in 2014 against Athletico Madrid (who are still looking for their first). Though in 2010 and 2012 they won the Europa League. And Sevilla has won the Europa League for the last two seasons and looks to make that three seasons in a row against English side Liverpool in a weeks time.
We're just getting started, 35.7% of Champions League Semi-Finalists have been Spanish sides. Runner up is England with 30.4%, Germany clocks in at #3 at 14.3% and Italy in fourth with a 12.5%. Teams from Spain fare far better than their counterparts around the globe. Madrid's success in Europe is no secret with them winning the first five of what was then the European Cup, and having amassed 10 trophies with a shot at an 11th when Madrid takes on neighbors and rivals Atleti.
Here is the current UEFA Rankings by country.
Real Madrid is at the top of the club rankings again, no surprise. Closest EPL team is Chelsea which is amazing given their year. Out of the Top 5, three of them are from La Liga: Real Madrid, Barca, and Athleti.
Only two English teams are in the Top 10: Chelsea (#5) and Arsenal (#10).
One of the arguments I've heard in defending the EPL is that La Liga is boring and predictable. I would point to this season to say that nothing is predictable. It's football, and once you think you've got it figured out - football smacks you on the back of the head letting you know that you don't know anything about it.
Football is a cruel mistress.
No Body Scores More Than La Liga
These are numbers from the 2014/2015 season.
- La Liga: 1,091 Goals, that's an average of almost 3 goals a game (2.87)
- English Premier League: 1,063 Goals, it's close to La Liga as the average sits at 2.8 per game.
- Serie A: 1,003 goals or an average of 2.64 goals per game.
La Liga is also home to one of the greatest and historic rivalries in all of Football. You really can't compare it to anything else: El Clasico. This is more than a football game, the political implications of such a tie is Catalonia v Madrid. The Spanish capital versus the 'oppressed' Catalonia that dates back to the Spanish Civil war.
World Class Players
That shouldn't surprise anyone. Seriously.
Other leagues around the world like the Premier League and Serie A have world class talent as well but not on the level that La Liga does. Players may leave La Liga but they come back or show their talent on a different stage but what matters is that it started in Spain.
And it really doesn't stop there, look at the talent that's been imported from other leagues: Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale are just a couple of names and there will be more talent coming soon enough.
Ronaldo vs Messi
These two men are on a different plain of existence when it comes to football. And that alone draws all sorts of attention to La Liga. Without a doubt the pair will go down in the history books as the best the world has to offer. Nobody scores more goals per game than these two.
This will be a debate that will go on for a very long time (and cause bar fights).
Who doesn't want to come to Spain? But I think it takes a special type of player to play in La Liga, and if you can't adjust, you'll burnt out and find yourself on the bench or transferred out. England has a new TV deal kicking next season and you could see some extra spending from teams in the Premier League. I think you'll be surprised at teams that will be spending money this summer (talking mid-table and maybe lower table) because of the extra revenue coming in, and this could be harmful to Spain as English clubs could lure top Spanish talent to the Premier League.
I have no doubt that La Liga and Real Madrid in particular will sign talent this summer. True, there is a transfer ban looming but from what I understand that might not kick in until the winter window. And if that's right, you bet they'll be out looking for players. With it (the 2016/2017 season) being Zidane's (hopefully) full season at the helm, he want go out and find "his" guys as I believe they're going to give him a bit of space to do what he wants, at least until Florentino Perez decides it is his show to run.
All signs point to La Liga staying on the top of the heap for the foreseeable future. Unless something drastically happens and it goes to hell in a hand basket.
Now, if we could just do something about the quality of referees...