There are a few players in world football who will command the attention of the world’s media no matter where they play, and Cristiano Ronaldo is definitely one of them.
It was a shock when he completed his transfer to Juventus in 2018, while it was only natural that there would be talk of La Liga losing it’s status as the best league in football.
Obviously that’s something that’s impossible to measure because we all look for different things, but it was certainly the league with the most exciting individuals in terms of Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar for a while.
Two of the three have since moved on and Messi’s departure now looks likely for the first time ever, so La Liga’s President Javier Tebas has tried to defend his competition, but he does protest a little too much when asked about the potential departures of Messi and Sergio Ramos.
“Obviously, I don’t want them to leave La Liga, but if that were to happen, we’d all have to give more to take up the slack,”
“Cristiano Ronaldo left, as some haters reminded me on Twitter. I can assure you that nothing has changed for us. To be honest, I don’t think Serie A has improved much either, they barely noticed his arrival.”
“Neymar went to PSG, but Ligue 1 is still only Ligue 1. The La Liga brand and the big clubs that take part are above any individual player, no matter how talented.”
His first mistake is to refer to Twitter as some sort of measure in this case because it’s full of nonsense these days, but it’s hard to deny that La Liga isn’t on the slide just now.
Real Madrid and Barca haven’t been serious Champions League contenders in the past couple of years, while you can legitimately argue that Serie A has improved since then.
Obviously Juventus keep winning the league and that is an issue, but we’ve seen Lazio, Inter Milan and Napoli improve to the point where they can challenge for the title, while AC Milan are starting to show signs of life too.
The reality is that La Liga was harmed when Cristiano Ronaldo moved on, but clearly the President can’t admit that to the public.