Huge game in the SPL tonight – The Clásico

Ah the SPL. In all it’s dullness. Two dominant teams, streets ahead of their domestic competition both monetarily and in terms of fanbase, fractured by political and historical divisions. Lesser teams ruptured by financial problems as the winter break edges ever closer.

Not true! I hear you cry, the success of Inverness Caledonian Thistle under Terry Butcher is no mean feat! Hearts and Hibs are on the up! Everyone still enjoys referring to the Queen of the South! And rehashing the scoreline of Forfar 4 East Fife 5 for mildy amusing tongue twisting comedic value!

Worry not – for I speak not of Scotland but of the Spanish Primera Liga. In all it’s two horse racing glory.

The Spanish sports daily Marca goes with the headline “The Envy of the World” in describing the anticipation leading up to the Clásico. This may be true, and the weight of press coverage outside of Spain would probably back this claim up – but at what cost? Seen from afar the Primera Liga looks glamorous, distant and full of stars. The impending Clásico is truly packed with globally recognisable names, World Cup winners, champions of this that and the other, and undoubtedly the best two footballers on the planet at the moment.

The problem is not this game, it is what happens when the rest of the world is looking away for 363 days of the year. The reality is that, well, it’s a bit dull. The Clásico is necessary tonight for the mere fact that it’ll be good to see one (or both) of the teams not pick up all three points again. And again. And again. The games involving Real Madrid and Barcelona have turned into ‘how many are they going to score’ affairs rather than anything of competitive value, and for those of us following the league for all 38 rounds of fixtures, it get mighty tiresome.

The Primera Liga has managed to reach and surpass the zenith of non-competitiveness that the Premier League achieved a couple of seasons ago. Luckily for the English league the balance has been somewhat restored by financial restrictions and outstanding advancements amongst the so-called lesser clubs. Not so in Spain. The problem lies in many respects with the fans themselves. In most cases football supporters follow two teams – their local one and either Real Madrid or Barcelona. This maintains the status quo and inhibits the growth of teams to be able to compete on the same level. There is no comparison this year between the Premier League and the Primera Liga in terms of overall excitement and weekly entertainment. Yet I’d be very suprised if any team other than Real Madrid or Barcelona wins the Champiions League this year.  

Between them Real Madrid and Barcelona have lost 6 of their last 100 league games, scoring 266 goals and conceding 73. The Clásico will be an extraordinary game tonight, but at what cost to the new SPL?

Comments Welcome


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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Jimbeamfan on November 29, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Agreed. Nice site keep up the top work. Jimmy. Colorado


  2. Posted by Laliga on November 29, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Don’t really see your point..every team in la liga could beat every team in the spl


    • Posted by Robbie Davids on November 29, 2010 at 5:04 pm

      That’s not the point I’m trying to make LaLiga, I´m talking about the distance between the top teams and the rest both on and off the pitch in their respective leagues.


  3. Posted by johnny on November 29, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    i see the point you are trying to make and appreciate it. however villareal and valencia are perennial “contenders” as well usually about 10 pts back in the end. i believe in 2005 valencia won it. not to say madrid and barca have an extreme upper hand from talent and financing, but they attract attention from league players around the globe because of their winning traditions. maybe there should be some sort of a cap on the teams to even the playing field?

    Great article:)


  4. The English Premier league has teams beating other teams more often than La Liga but by the end of the season the same teams are up there. You have to look lower down if you want to see power balances.


  5. Posted by Pratik on November 30, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Didn’t know that Barca and Real played in the Scottish Premier League. Although I agree, yes the Scottish League is a two horse race.


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