Friday Jan 27, 2023

La Liga’s Growth in Global Soccer

Global Soccer

There is a famous soccer league that spans across the globe called “La Liga,” and they’ve been dominating the international soccer game. The soccer tournament’s roots started in 1928 with 17 teams, and today, each team plays two games per week for 38 weeks over the course of nine months.

According to soccer fans around the world, La Liga is one of the most reputable soccer leagues, housing famous football clubs like Real Madrid, Sevilla, and of course, Barcelona, among others. In its early years, soccer was only popularised in Spain alongside the entirety of Europe. It even went as far as to gain an international audience because of the emergence of international soccer stars, like Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal), Lionel Messi (Argentina), Neymar Jr (Brazil), and Gareth Bale(Wales). This Spanish soccer league has greatly contributed to soccer’s expansion throughout the world.

La Liga or the Primera División of Spain

There are many soccer leagues all around the globe, but some have garnered more attention than others, and this includes the “Big Five,” namely La Liga (Spain), Bundesliga (Germany), Eredivisie (Netherlands), Premier League (England), and Serie A (Italy). Many soccer fans hold these soccer tournaments in high regard because they consist of internationally recognized players who have made a name for themselves through these tournaments.

La Liga is one of Europe’s five soccer super leagues that include the English Premier League, Serie A in Italy, Ligue 1 of France, and the Bundesliga in Germany. The first soccer league was created in 1888 in England. This soccer first began as an amateur sport played by students who would play for school teams after classes were over. Professional soccer was not introduced until much later when British soccer clubs started paying players to show up to games. Many countries followed suit, including Spain, which started professional soccer leagues in 1929 with La Liga. 

The Primera División has become the major European soccer league that is home to some of the biggest names in world football. Off the field, it is the first league with an average attendance of over 30,000. 

The Domination of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spain

The major powerhouses of European soccer have always been England’s Premier League, and on the continent, many would argue Germany’s Bundesliga. However, at present, there are two clubs leading a new major European league: Real Madrid CF and FC Barcelona.

These two teams are historically the most successful teams in Spain, but they are now taking their dominance worldwide by reaching record-breaking heights domestically while also shining on major international stages such as UEFA Champions League. The only problem is that these two major European clubs have a major monopoly on the major trophies. Between them, they have won everything available in Spain since 2003. Is it time for Spanish soccer to put some other teams back into major European play?

What has been achieved domestically is astonishing, with both clubs dominating their respective leagues and claiming Champions League titles. In 2015, Barcelona earned 100 points from 38 games, becoming the first club ever to win six titles in a single year. This included winning La Liga, Copa Del Rey, and UEFA Champions League in one calendar season: an unprecedented treble. 

Spain has provided major contributions to world football, with FC Barcelona winning major European titles such as the FIFA Club World Cup in 2015-16, European Super Cup in 2015-16, Spanish League Championship in 2018-2019, Copa del Rey in 2020-21, Spanish Super Cup in 2018-19 to name a few. These are only the recent ones, as they have won multiples of these titles over the years they’ve been competing.

Final Thoughts

While major European soccer looks set to continue being dominated by major clubs with massive financial power, there are concerns about how it could affect competition. In Spain, Barcelona monopolises all major honours with Real Madrid. Yet despite this domination, major European soccer has yet again progressed a long way since its infancy when major clubs such as Juventus, AC Milan, and Bayern Munich dominated the major trophies.

If Spanish soccer wants to move on from Barcelona and Real Madrid’s major monopoly, it will need to look beyond these two major clubs. Their dominance at home is something which cannot be compared with. There are other notable major clubs such as Sevilla FC, which conquered European football by winning three major trophies in 2014 and Athletic Bilbao, which won major honours such as the Europa League in 2012. This shows that major European clubs can still compete at a major European level without spending major money. However, it does raise the question of whether Spain is not developing enough teams to become major forces in the future.

Stefanie Steryn

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