Much is said about Spain's first division La Liga football. If you live in Spain you'll hear phrases like "The best league in the world!" or "The best players in the world." True, Spain are the current World and European champions and ranked number one by FIFA.
But having the best players in the world and being the number one ranked national team does not necessarily mean having the best league in the world. When local TV commentators, journalists and sports pundits all say La Liga is the best league in the world, you have to wonder by what parameters "best" is measured.
I can only conclude that "best" is in reference to having Lionel Messi (Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) playing in two of Europe's most successful clubs. In fact, the last time a club other than these two won a league championship was back in 2004.
La Liga has become so predictable; there's no parity. If Barcelona doesn't win it, Madrid will or vice versa depending on your inclinations. Two clubs do not a league make but in this case, they do. The combined annual budgets of these two clubs is more than the rest of the eighteen first division teams put together.
Moreover, the rest of the teams never play at 100 percent unless they're playing Madrid or Barça because that's the only bragging right they have left; it's their only prize because they are not going to win anything else. So the only matches worth watching are those involving Madrid or Barça, and then, only to see if they lose.
The second half of the season starts next weekend. Already we know that it's going to be either Madrid (1st) or Barça (2nd) at the top by season's end. There's no other possible outcome.
That's why the English Premier League is, in my opinion, the best in the world. On any given year, any one of five or six teams can take top honors. Aside from Manchester United and Chelsea, you also have Manchester City, Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool.
Secondly, and most importantly, the EPL knows how to market its league. They've adjusted their playing times to capture both the North and South American and Asian markets. La Liga has so far discarded favoring the huge Asian market.
Third, the EPL has made inroads in the US. The US is the last major market open to all leagues and it is huge in terms of sponsorships and TV rights. La Liga has only recently tapped into this market but is not as nearly well know as the EPL.
So, is La Liga the best league in the world? Definitely. The second best.
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