Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why Serie A is Superior to La Liga

I have sometimes been criticized for liking Serie A too much. Some people have said to me that Serie A is an inferior league to the Premier League and La Liga. While I will not argue that Serie A has some work to do in order to match the Premier League, I feel that right now Serie A is a better league than La Liga.

I will try and come to the defense of Serie A.

First, I feel you must look at the number of quality teams that play in each league.

When you look at La Liga it is a league of 2 giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona. Since the creation of La Liga only 9 different teams have ever won the title, with Real Madrid winning it 31 times, and Barcelona winning it 18 times. Currently, Madrid and Barcelona have two of the most stacked lineups of any team in the world, with player like Iker Casillas, Raul, Cannavaro, Messi, Xavi and Henry all playing for those two squads. 

However, when you look past these two teams there isn't much else to offer in La Liga. In my opinion besides Real Madrid and Barcelona there are only 3 teams that have a chance of competing for the La Liga title, and have a chance for success internationally. Those 3 teams are Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Villarreal. By my count, there are 2 great teams in La Liga and 3 good ones, meaning only 5 of the 20 teams in La Liga even have a chance of being competitive. To me a league that contains 2 teams that run over the rest of the competition is not a competitive or quality league. 

Take the Barcelona vs Atletico game this season. This game was hyped as the Messi vs Augero matchup, a game which would show the competitiveness of La Liga. Barcelona destroyed Atletico 6-1 which to me shows how lopsided this league truly is. The current La Liga season is only 20 games in, and Barcelona already has the title locked up further proving the disparity between teams. I will repeat that having 2 great teams in a league of 20 teams does not make it a good league.

In the history of Serie A 17 different teams have won the title, which shows the competitiveness and quality that has been fielded by multiple teams. Serie A currently has 4 teams that legitimately have a chance to win the title every season; Inter, Milan, Juventus, and Roma. All of these teams fight to win the title each season, and all of them have had great success in the Champions League and other international tournaments. Besides these 4 teams, there are at least 4 other teams, Fiorentina, Lazio, Genoa, and Napoli that challenge for the title and have international success. This gives at least 8 legitimate teams in Serie A compared to a generous 5 in La Liga.

To compare Serie A to La Liga you can even look to the Juventus vs Madrid matcup in the Champions League this season. The outcome? Juventus defeated Madrid on two seperate occasions. While this does not exactly prove the superiority of Serie A, it does help to measure the quality of each league's top teams. I personally think a Barcelona vs Inter game would be great, and I felt Juventus vs Madrid was good, but I feel that if Milan played Valencia or Roma played Villarreal, Serie A would win.

In conclusion, while La Liga has 5 good teams once you look past them the level of competition drops immensely when compared to Serie A.

What do you think? Is Serie A better than La Liga or is it the other way around?

Post a comment and let me know.

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