A 53 Goal Season: An amazing feat but would it have been possible in any other League or if he was playing for any other team?
During Real Madrid‘s 8-1 domination of Almeria on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo broke the record set for most goals in a Primera Division season set by Madrid player Hugo Sanchez in the 1989/90 season, and Athletic Bilbao legend Temlo Zarra in the 1959/60 season of 39 goals. His 40th La Liga goal of the season was a typical driving run through the midfield before slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner from just outside the box – the type of goal we have become accustomed to from Ronaldo and his Barcelona counterpart Lionel Messi.
But as much as watching the world’s two best players fight it out for a golden boot race that is almost more interesting than the title race itself – it unfortunately shows the gaping hole between the English and Spanish Leagues. Barcelona and Real Madrid have been the two best clubs in the world this season containing the two best players in the globe. The players in these two teams and the football that they play gives many people the opinion that the Spanish La Liga is the best league in the world. But if these two giants of world football played in the Premier League we would most certainly not see the dominance that these clubs enjoy in their own country.
They would probably still win their titles but wouldn’t be scoring 6 goals every three games. The reason they can is because the other 18 teams in La Liga are so poor – which is the reality of the Spanish first division. You turn on the TV and if it’s Barcelona or Madrid you watch because you like watching absolute displays of football class and masses of goals. If its any other of the teams though, you look for something else.
The defences on every other team lay it on a plate for the big two’s dominance. Ronaldo’s record breaking goal was case and point. There were 5 defenders that ended up surrounding the winger but none of them affected his run in any way and gave him time to shoot. He would have been closed down much quicker if he was playing Stoke, Bolton or Newcastle and it probably wouldn’t have been a goal.
The league itself in Spain is no where near the quality of the Premier League. There is only two teams in the title race and Barcelona had pretty much won before the season had started. In England, there were 5 teams still in it in December. The rest of the teams in La Liga have one or two good players but the quality of football is much lower. 14th place Levante would get beaten by Blackburn, 14th in the Premier League, 5 out of the 7 days of the week. Same goes for pretty much every position below 2nd.
That’s the reason why the Premier League is much further ahead than La Liga. You get quality football in most games in England, not just when the top two are playing. Even Messi, gradually becoming the best player ever would struggle to score 35 goals let alone 40 that Ronaldo breezed his way to against Primera backlines.
But unfortunately, Barcelona will beat Manchester United at Wembley and it’s just another reason why people will say that La Liga is a better competition than the Premier League.
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