The only place to watch the race for the title live
Pick your 23 men to go to World Cup with England
Pick your 23 to go to the World Cup with England. How does your squad compare to our experts?
With 49 days to go to the World Cup kick-off, can Neymar fulfil Brazil's sky-high expectations?
Why Hamilton's driving better than ever, it's all in the head for Vettel, and Kimi loses his way.
Follow the latest from the written press with the best gossip and speculation from the papers.
Jose Mourinho got under Atletico Madrid's skin and now has Chelsea two wins from epic glory.
Is La Liga more competitive than the Premier League? Guillem Balague has his say on the topic...Back to story
Hi Guilliem, Quality article, love your points in relation to the spanish league vs the prem. Also your view on torres. Great work.
Posted 14:15 20th September 2011
It's a complete fallacy to even insinuate a slight degree of similarity between Spanish and English league football. As a certain Spaniard would say just the facts! The average difference in points between 5 and bottom; Premier League - 36 La Liga - 27.33 this could be because the premier league has 3 more teams meaning that more points can be lost as well as gained. Now for the interesting stat. Average difference between 2nd and 3rd over the last 3 years Premier League 4.33 La Liga 18 The fact that Real and Barca are the two best teams in the world makes spain look as strong as the premier league... however an 18 point average between 2nd & 3rd would say its not. Spain is as competitive as Scottish football with two mega teams dominating and the rest sharing crumbs, although Man Utd and Chelsea have dominated recently there ahve been other teams like man city, liverpool and arsenal who have threatened to to win it in the recent years. Guillem would never speak down on his precious league and to say that because someone else is top after 3 games show this is a joke! I remember Hull looking like the bees knees at one stage and that stopped shortly after christmas. My point is that if the difference 2nd and 3rd is so high how can the league be competitive from start to finish its a two horse race... And thats a FACT!
Posted 14:11 20th September 2011
The Premier League being "more competitive" adds nothing to the debate over quality. The German Bundesliga is far more competitive and unpredictable than the Premier League so if that's your criteria then the Bundesliga is the best in the world. In my opinion, who cares if teams at the bottom of the league can occasionally beat the teams at the top? That happens in my local Sunday league too... and La Liga. To those who use this argument, why don't you try comparing how many points Man Utd/Chelsea won against the bottom 6 in the Premier League versus Real Madrid/Barcelona against the bottom 6 in La Liga? I have no idea what these figures are, but at least then we could objectively judge it because at the minute it gets asserted all the time and I'm not sure if it's even really true. As to it "being like the SPL" or a "two horse race," the last time a team other than Real Madrid or Barcelona won the league was 2004. 2004 was also the last time a team other than Man Utd or Chelsea won the Premier League. Additionally, Barcelona's points total is often cited to demonstrate the chasm between them and the rest which apparently shows how "uncompetitive" La Liga is.... duh? Man Utd may have finished 'merely' 9pts ahead of the team in 3rd to Barcelona's 25pts...but then look at how much better Barcelona are than Man Utd. Put Barca in the Premier League and they'd dominate it just as much as they dominate La Liga. The points distribution of teams from places 3-20 in La Liga is near identical to 3-20 in the Premier League. The relegation battle is just as exciting as it is in England. Six teams were fighting for survival on the final day. Deportivo got relegated with 43pts. 43!
Posted 13:39 20th September 2011
why are people so obsessed who has the better league??? the EPL probably is more exciting and li liga more technically but football is about what team wins the trophies not what league is best.
Posted 13:31 20th September 2011
Just disagree about few things: 1. league winners has nothing to do with quality of league. scotland also have only 2 winners of the league recently, but still far behind english league 2. euro competition doesn't prove anything either. it shows that barca (and real) are better than others, but nothing about league quality. 3. game levante - osasuna will much less interesting to watch then tottenham - blackburn, for example 4. quality of league is not judged by champion, but by the quality of rest of the teams (all 20 of them) the only way which league is better we can see if first from england plays against first from spain, 2nd with 2nd, and all the way 20th - 20th. then we can see who wins the most of those 10 matches.
Posted 13:26 20th September 2011
Craig Phipps - You got told mate lol
Posted 13:15 20th September 2011
You cannot base an arguement on looks who the top teams are at the moment after just 3 games into a season! otherwise we would be talking about how Newcastle are a champs league side now!! Plus the arguement has always gone who has the strongest league in a whole and it is the EPL as even the bottom of the table club can beat or atleast get a result against the big clubs more than once in a season. Where as La liga yes has a good top 5 and a really strong top 2 but after that it is weak in comparison!
Posted 13:15 20th September 2011
By the writer referring to a ┐realistic chance of winning┐ he is in essence saying that the team that finishes 5th in England is a lot closer to the standard of the team winning the EPL than their counterparts in LL. The points differences provides the evidence for this. I would point to the record over the last 5/10 years of the average performance of the top 4 teams coming from both leagues in the CL over those time periods. I think if one does the investigation you would find that the EPL teams have out-performed the LL teams considerably in that time period. Barcelona would be the only team keeping Spain in the conversation. The comment about most of the World Cup winners playing in Spain actually further proves the writers point. 99% of them play for Barcelona or Real Madrid. I also find the idea of pointing to one or two results in what is the infancy of their season as a bit of a joke. Valencia being top after 3 games, again, completely irrelevant, let┐s see what happens come May next year. The main issue though, is this: When we talk about a league, we are not talking about 4 or 5 teams, we are talking about 20 teams. The strength of the bottom 5 sides in each league is just as relevant as the strength of the top 5 teams. It is in this department where LL really falls apart when compared to the EPL. There is a large amount of evidence that supports the correlation between league position and overall wages spent on players. One need only look at the wages that the bottom 5 teams in the EPL can offer their players compared to their LL counterparts to realise where the big difference is between the two leagues. The bottom line is that the bottom 10 EPL teams can attract significantly better players than the bottom ten LL teams. Money talks and its talking in favour of the EPL.
Posted 13:13 20th September 2011
Lets be real here. Whatever football club you support, most are in agreement that Barcelona are without doubt the worlds greatest team. But to say La liga is better you are having a laugh. I watch La liga a lot on sky and to be honest, i find it hard watching a game all the way through outside of Barcelona as it is just boring to watch. Even though Madrid have players like Ronaldo, Ozil, Kaka etc, they do not play attractive football. Those who disagree with me, watch them play week in week out. Barcelona are a pleasure to watch but apart from that, most games are simply not interesting. Forget about the likes of United and City, the good thing about Epl and even German Football which is very good to watch, is that games are a lot more pleasing on the eye and entertaining. Apart from watching Barcelona, I struggle to watch a full game on La liga!
Posted 13:12 20th September 2011
GUILLEM, The question put to you was about the strenghts of the EPL and La Liga, NOT the Champions league. I have notice with football betting even when Barca or Madrid are away they are regulary more than 5/1 ON, When Man Utd, Chelsea or Man City are away at at Wigan, QPR or Norwich they are no where near that short, Put them Barca and Real at home they go to 12/1 ON. There was no big gap in the market on EPL Betting, Yes Man Utd were faavoutires but City an Chelsea were only a fraction off that. Yes Barca an Real are quality but as for the rest of the competition no. You ask any other team in Europe would you rather face 3rd and 4th from La Liga or the EPL and 9 times out of 10 they will choose the LA Liga side as they are Weaker!
Posted 12:47 20th September 2011
I quite agree with the views of Guillem.under AVB Chelsea is fast evolving into a team with attacking zest with pace and dynamism.i for one don't expect a resounding season from Chelsea as it is a work in progress under AVB.in the next two seasons under AVB you can expect an emerging finished work of a Chelsea team that can continue to win trophies let alone the coveted champions league.
Posted 12:37 20th September 2011
Your refer to the fact that Spanish teams come out well in head to heads with English teams in the CL. However, over the last six years Arsenal, Liverpool (twice), Chelsea and Manchester United (three times) have all appeared in a CL final. You can not say the sme for Spain where correct me if I am wrong but only Barcelona have appeared in a final. Also, Manchester City finished third in England last year and have a realistic chance of wining the CL. I can not see this being the case in La liga for the forseeable future as the Spanish league is set to become less competetive with the distribution of television money favouring your two big clubs. Furthermore, Villareal finished fourth last year and many expect them to challenge for the CL again, although I would be surprised if they pick up a single point in their CL group. The emergance of the bundesliga is also worth taking note of as la liga fails to remain competetive and the lower clubs struggle financially and sportingly. Overall the EPL is far stronger than La liga, whch despite the fact that it posseses two great sides (although this Real side are yet to win a major trophy) is undoubtably a league in decline, despite the early 'setbacks' which the big two have faced expect another 'barbaric' points tally as they fight for the title.
Posted 11:58 20th September 2011
Guillem, I think the Premier League is no where near as good technically as La Liga, but for excitement, the Premier is a better league. One thing that you must be very embarrassed of though is the diving and simulation in La Liga, the Premier is getting bad but in Spain it is simply shameful. Especially the 1st Semi final in the Champions League last season between Real and Barca, the Cheating was disgusting, especially by Barca and in my opinion they cheated themselves into the FInal. I couldnt watch that week in week out as to me that is football in the correct manner. What do you think
Posted 11:43 20th September 2011
How can you use of English Vs Spanish teams get on against each other in the Champions League as evidence of a stronger league, both leagues have 20 teams and only 4 representatives in CL. 20 teams for 20 teams the premier league is much more competitive.
Posted 11:42 20th September 2011
i totally disagree with you about the la liga being stronger than primier league. I mean you can always talk about fact, but the truth is English league and German league are the two best league. if you see the number of winners since 2004, then, yeah, the winners in england is same as the winner in spain. but, it doesnt say anyting about the competition. in case of la liga, if you give all the other team a 10 points start apart from real madrid and barcelona, barcelona and real madrid will still be number 2 teams in la liga. do that, in premier league, apart from chelsea and man utd over the last 5 years, the result will be different. although, i would admit with you that the best team of la liga is better than best team of england. and also, i do believe, la liga soon will be different though coz, even in english league, it used to be like that, until, money power such as chelsea and man city join. where else, la liga never had it. But, now, since they are having it, i believe, it will change all this disagreement. i would also agree all the best players in the world are in la liga. The difference of opinion in these two leagues is only because, the physical aspects of premier league.
Posted 11:29 20th September 2011
In terms of an element that can be seen, Spanish football is stronger. Obviously Barcelona has set the pace and skill with the ball of so many participating in all positions is a pleasure to watch. Allied to this is movement off the ball and skillful change of pace. Using these qualities, Barcelona in particular quite often never appear to break sweat until it is absolutely necessarty. Unlike viewing English football, I don't get bored too easily. One thing I have noticed is how English teams are trying to adopt Spanish skills, but lack the level of ball control to make them work.
Posted 11:23 20th September 2011