La Liga: The most boring competition in Europe?

October 1, 2009

A few days ago, Real Zaragoza president Eduardo Bandres said: “The Spanish league will be a matter totally and absolutely between two teams, among other things because the system for distributing television rights determines that it will be this way. It is unique in Europe and because of this the Spanish league is one of the most boring in Europe.”

The television channels would beg to differ, as they regularly run adverts or open their coverage of matches from La Liga claiming it is the ‘best league in the world’ with clips of Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi running in the background.

But Bandres has a point. Five games in, and the table has an all-too familiar look about it. There are only two clubs left with a 100 percent record – Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Who has scored the most goals? Real and Barca with 16 apiece.

Who has conceded the fewest? Real with two. Barca have let in three.

Which clubs have the most money? Real and Barca are both working on budgets of over 400 million euros, three to four times greater than their nearest rivals. They rake in around half of the money earned from La Liga’s television rights, which are not negotiated on a collective basis.

At least Valencia’s David Villa bucks the trend in the individual goal-scoring charts, topping the rankings with six, but second behind him with five each are Ibrahimovic, Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

There are four clubs expected to be mixing it at the top and competing for Spain’s other two Champions League qualification places: Sevilla, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal.

Atletico and Villarreal are in the bottom three without a win from their opening matches, and are already 12 and 13 points adrift of Real and Barca respectively. Valencia have slipped down to seventh without a win in their last three outings.

Only Sevilla are putting up a fight, and they lie third with 12 points from a possible 15. They have a squad that boasts Frederic Kanoute, Luis Fabiano and Alvaro Negredo up front, with the likes of Jesus Navas, Diego Capel and Diego Perotti providing the bullets.

They have won six on the trot in all competitions and will provide Real Madrid with their stiffest test yet when Manuel Pellegrini’s side visit the Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday. As things stand, this is Real’s most difficult league clash of the season outside of their home and away battles with Barca.

A victory for Sevilla could signal the start of a genuine challenge from the Andalucians, and add some much needed spice to the title race. A defeat would leave more people agreeing with Bandres.

PHOTO: Barcelona’s Lionel Messi celebrates his goal against Real Madrid, May 2, 2009. REUTERS/Juan Medina


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If La Liga is boring, what is the EPL, given the fact that Manchester United has won almost all EPL titles since its inception?

Meanwhile, all the best players in the world are moving to the boring La Liga. Meanwhile, English journalists continue to hype the EPL.

Given the way in which Barcelona dominated and outclassed Manchester United in the Champions League final, it is obvious that Barca and Madrid are winning because they are strong, and not because La Liga is boring.

Posted by African | Report as abusive

Its all very well Real and Barca being very strong, which of course they are, but La Liga is boring for that very reason.
Already it is a two-horse race, and a competition to see how many goals each can score every weekend – nothing more. Hardly a spectacle to promote the league as a whole.
If Sevilla cannot beat Real at home what hope is there for us to see a genuinely interesting title race? We might as well switch off until Real visit Barca at the end of November.

Posted by Mark | Report as abusive

Only Real Madrid or Barcelona can win La Liga. The Premier League can be won by Manchester United, Chelsea or Liverpool, and with realistic challenges from Arsenal, Manchester City & Tottenham.

There is no denying that Barcelona & Real Madrid are strong teams and can compete, and are possibly better, than some of the best teams in England, but the competition in Spain is boring in comparison to the English Premier League.

Posted by Q | Report as abusive

I agree Mark – I love the way Spaniards play football, but the Barca-Real domination risks making the Liga resemble the Scottish championship.

Posted by Paul Virgo | Report as abusive

The word ‘boring’ is both misguided and incorrectly interpreted. If you’re saying La Liga is boring in terms of football quality, surely Italian football is more boring than Spain? It’s slow, uninspiring football has seen Italian football drop in popularity these past few years.

If you’re saying La Liga is boring because only Real and Barca seem to ever win it, that is like bemoaning beauty and quality because no-one else can match them. It appears you would rather watch the mainly poor, inconsistant majority rather than have a glimps of beauty and excellence, simply to make the competition more open. I would rather watch the minority play the game as it should be played rather than watch the majority stumble throughout the season with a lottery to see who luckily finishes on top.

The same is true of the EPL. We may have the same old Big Four but they all play reasonably beautiful football, especially Wenger’s Arsenal. The vast majority of the rest play dreadful football, with the exception of Spurs and Man City, two new pretenders to the title.

If I have the choice between watching the minority best and their predictable domination or the remaining majority who play poor football, I know what i’ll be watching – the Champions League! The rest are in the Europa League – very open so therefore ‘not boring’ – but who watches that…

Posted by Nevil | Report as abusive

“Boring” La Liga. Sevilla dominated and outplayed Real Madrid on Sunday. After six games,
Barcelona has 18 points
Real Madrid has 15,
Sevilla 15
Unfancied Deportivo 12.
Two of last year’s Top 4, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla are in the relegation zone. That is how boring it is out there.

EPL winners since 1992:

1992-93 Manchester United
1993–94 Manchester United
1994–95 Blackburn Rovers
1995–96 Manchester United
1996–97 Manchester United
1997–98 Arsenal
1998–99 Manchester United
1999–2000 Manchester United
2000–01 Manchester United
2001–02 Arsenal
2002–03 Manchester United
2003–04 Arsenal
2004–05 Chelsea
2005–06 Chelsea
2006–07 Manchester United
2007–08 Manchester United
2008–09 Manchester United

La Liga winners since 1992:

1992-93 FC Barcelona
1993-94 FC Barcelona
1994-95 Real Madrid
1995-96 Atlético Madrid
1996-97 Real Madrid
1997-98 FC Barcelona
1998-99 FC Barcelona
1999-00 Deportivo de La Coruña
2000-01 Real Madrid
2001-02 Valencia CF
2002-03 Real Madrid
2003-04 Valencia CF
2004-05 FC Barcelona
2005-06 FC Barcelona
2006-07 Real Madrid
2007-08 Real Madrid
2008-09 FC Barcelona

Posted by African | Report as abusive

Indeed, it is not surprising to see how the English press carry out their untiring efforts to project the EPL as against the rest, especially the La Liga.

Sevilla dominated and beat Real Madrid and Barca had a very tough time beating Almeira. Were they easy matches for the two EUROPEAN GIANTS? I doubt. The EPL sometimes have such moments like the Wigan-Chelsea duel, which makes the league competitive as well.

Above all, the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain is quite similar to the dominance of Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in recent times. It is obvious that the dominance criterion used to backlash the La Liga equally victmizes the EPL as well.

I think they are both exciting in some sense and boring in another. We only have to enjoy them!!!

Posted by For Real | Report as abusive

The spanish league has some of the most technical football, however only have 2 great teams, as oppose to the EPL’s 4-6 good teams is what makes the difference… I personally don’t watch La Liga unless Real play Barca…But then I only watch the scottish premier league when Rangers play Celtic…good comparison? probably not for skill and technical ability, however in terms of the competitiveness of these 2 leagues you can’t deny the similarity.. EPL all the way..

Posted by Xebo | Report as abusive

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Posted by Real look CR9 dependent as Sevilla heed cry for challengers – Posted In LA Liga | Soccer News Info – Soccer News Info | Report as abusive

La Liga is a million miles more entertaining than the English Premier League, and the reason is not hard to find. The basic standard of footballing competence among the English homegrown players is shockingly low. I’m talking about ground-level things, fundamentals of technique like first-touch, passing, ball-control. As for imagination, it seems almost unknown amoong the English players – although, to be fair, why develop a footballing imagination when you lack the technical basics to implement it?

And as for the fallacious “competitiveness” argument – in the last fourteen years, five different clubs have won La Liga. In that time, only three clubs have won the English league, and Man United account for NINE of those fourteen.

Posted by Blake Williams | Report as abusive

Firstly I’d like to say I watch all the different leagues around the world. AND YOU CAN NOT SAY ONE IS BETTER THAN ANOTHER.

You can’t objectively say one league is better than another
in the same way you cant say white chocolate is better than
dark chocolate. Or that coke is better than pepsi.

The delusion shown here by la liga fans is worrying. The English premier league has had four different winners and the Spanish five different winners.

But what is funny by the Spanish is that they got a lucky decision or shall I say 10 lucky decisions AGAINST Chelsea? Truth is they shouldn’t have even been in the 2009 champions league final! So how can you say Barcelona has a better head to hear record? As you will see below the record is equal. And in 2008 people seem to forget Manchester United knocked out Barcelona in the semis and went on to win. Also the 2008 was an all English final. This is not to say the English league is better but doesn’t that show the English teams are as good as the Spanish teams?

You fools. The statistics for MANCHESTER UNITED v.s BARCELONA ——– they are EQUAL

***These are Barcelona wins***

07.03.1984 Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United

02.11.1994 Barcelona 4-0 Manchester United

27.05.2009 Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United

***These are Manchester United wins***

21.03.1984 Manchester United 3-0 Barcelona

15.05.1991 Manchester United 2-1 Barcelona

29.04.2008 Manchester United 1-0 Barcelona

23.04.2008 Barcelona
0-0 Manchester United

r1gd Barcelona
3-3 Manchester United

r1gd Manchester United
3-3 Barcelona

r1ga Manchester United
2-2 Barcelona

So how can you say one team is better than another?

Also someone said that the Spanish league is “more exciting”. I don’t know how you can say that. Have you not seen the English games? Every game the players give it their all. They come from behind and take wins. They fight for draws. Look at them stats. The Spanish league is more slow passed but based more on skill. Both having their strong points.

Why have UEFA ranked the English league number 1 league in Europe for the last 10 years? The Spanish league often being number 2. You can not right off the English league?!!!! Both leagues are good in there own way.

Posted by Loveforthegame | Report as abusive

La Liga is not competitive???? In the last 10 years, La Liga started the all country CL final with valencia and real madrid, valencia went to final twice, Madrid went to final twice, and Barca went to final twice, won 4. in UEFA they totally dominated, that without the help of any finance or money. Atletico, seville, valencia tasted european success in UEFA CUP. atletico technically outclassed fulham, both in the mid table.

Posted by khiladi | Report as abusive