NOT JUST REAL AND BARCA
There has been a lot of talk that the Spanish la Liga has become about Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the national team manager of Spain – Vicente del Bosque – disagrees with this statement.
He has said that there are several other la Liga clubs that are capable of offering much more in the European competitions. However, he expects only Real Madrid and Barcelona to be competing for the Champions League title this season. Both the Spanish national team and the Spanish clubs have been hugely successful in terms of trophies over the last five years.
However, there is a feeling amongst the media and the fans that Spanish football is on the decline due to the dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona. Further, there is a feeling that the Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and the Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo have scored a lot of goals in the last few seasons due to the poor quality of the league.
However, Vicente del Bosque has disagreed with this statement by pointing to the fact that only the Spanish teams remain in the Champions League in full strength. Four teams from Spain started in the competition and they all remain despite the competition progress into the knockout stages.
"Spanish football is not in decline. Players like [Lionel] Messi and [Cristiano] Ronaldo do not score this much because the opposition is poor. Four out of the remaining 16 teams in the Champions League are from Spain. The final of last year's Europa League was a match between two Spanish teams. And Atletico are on the rise again. Barcelona and Madrid are winning most of their games, but they are extraordinary teams. They are the favourites to win the Champions League for me," said del Bosque. Barcelona will face AC Milan, while Madrid will face Manchester United in the knockout stages.