We take a look at the big Spanish top flight, and make a call on which side you should be backing.
There are many LaLiga teams, and not all of them are the best. We’ve picked the three most important ones to root for this year.
This soccer season promises to be a very good one, and by the time it ends, the LaLiga title race will be neck-and-neck between the top two teams. That’s why it’s up to you to decide which of the big two you want to see win. You could go with one of Real Madrid and Barcelona, Madrid’s record-setting side of last season or their more defensive-minded, more efficient football in the second half of this one. Or you could pick the other team, with their lightning-quick play, their great players, and their very different styles.. Read more about la liga and let us know what you think.
The Spanish LaLiga season will begin on August 13 (and will be shown live on ESPN+ in the United States). LaLiga is one of the most popular club leagues in the world, and if you don’t have a favorite team, ESPN offers information about all 20 teams—some obviously soccer-related, some less so—to help you decide. This season, whose team should you support?
On ESPN+, you can watch LaLiga’s most memorable moments, top players, and top managers right now.
What kind of soccer do you prefer? Do you want to see players (like Real Madrid’s Luka Modric) moving the ball back and forth to wear out the opponent before exploiting the gaps? Should they sit deep and, when the opportunity arises (for players like Barcelona’s Sergio Aguero), launch a counterattack? Perhaps putting a bus in front of your own goal (like Atletico Madrid does) and hoping for a 1-0 victory is the way to go if it works?
CONTROL AND POSSESSION
You can’t be harmed if your opponent doesn’t have the ball. These teams will maintain possession throughout the game and exploit any holes. Barcelona invented the tiki-taka short-passing style, and Real Betis had more possession than Real Madrid previous season (59.4%). (57.8 percent )
You want your side to absorb the opposition’s assaults and then catch them off guard with quick passing and precise passing. Inaki Williams of Bilbao is one of Europe’s quickest players, having a peak speed of 35.7 kilometers per hour in 2020.
Allowing the opponent to score allows you to focus on attacking later. However, you must avoid defeat: Valladolid drew 16 games last season and was relegated after winning just five games.
Atletico Madrid won the championship by being tenacious, tough, and unafraid to take a foul. Indeed, they allowed the fewest goals (25) and had the fewest yellow cards (100) previous season (third behind Celta’s 104 and Getafe’s 114), while also scoring the second-most goals (67) and having the second-most attempts on target (186) behind Barcelona. Barcelona’s possession-based approach is more appealing on the surface, but something is amiss when you allow more goals than the club in seventh place (Sevilla).
Atletico Madrid, the 2020-21 LaLiga winners, with a percentage of possession that ranked seventh in the league. With 62.4 percent, Barcelona came out on top.
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Local rivalries, such as Real Madrid vs. Barcelona, are vital to many soccer fans who need a local team to despise. (Imagine the Red Sox and Yankees, but closer and more venomous.) For the last year, the COVID-19 epidemic has deprived us of loud stadiums, but there is optimism that some excitement will return this season. It may be due to location or a championship rivalry, but Spanish teams put up a good fight.
YES, I ADORE RIVALRY.
The toughest city derby in Spain is between Real Betis and Sevilla on the south coast, and it is known for dividing families into two camps. It may sometimes go too far, like when Sevilla manager Juande Ramos was struck unconscious in 2007 by a bottle hurled from the bleachers. The city derbies in Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia pale in contrast.
NO, NO PRIMARY RIVALS ARE REQUIRED.
These clubs are either not successful enough to justify a rivalry with another team or are geographically isolated from the rest of LaLiga.
NOT EXTREMELY LOCAL, TO BE SURE.
El Clasico between Barcelona and Real Madrid isn’t a derby since they’re too far away geographically, but it’s the biggest match in club soccer. The hatred between Barca and Real spilled over when a pig’s head was thrown onto the field in 2002, and the rivalry has often determined LaLiga’s championship (though the controversial transfer of Figo from Barca to Madrid had something to do with it.)
Nothing like a Spanish derby to get the adrenaline flowing. Outside of LaLiga, there are a few regional derbies, such as the “Asturian Derby” between Real Oviedo and Sporting Gijon, and the “Galician Derby” between Celta Vigo and Deportivo La Coruna, which was once magnificent until Deportivo (LaLiga’s 2000 winners) started their slide into the third tier.
Since LaLiga’s inception in 1929, the number of championships won has increased. Real Madrid has 34 points, Barcelona has 26 points, and Atletico Madrid, last season’s winners, has 11 points. Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao are the only three teams to have participated in LaLiga for all 90 seasons.
In contrast to the rest of LaLiga, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid operate on a separate planet. According to Transfermarkt, Barcelona has spent approximately €1.05 billion on new players in the last five years, while Real Madrid has spent €672 million and Atletico Madrid has spent €674 million. According to the October 2020 financial reports, Barcelona owes €1.2 billion, Real Madrid €901 million, and Atletico approximately €870 million.
SUPERSTARS FROM FRONT TO BACK
Barca are in financial trouble this season after years of lavish spending, and they had to let Lionel Messi leave for free, yet they still managed to get Sergio Aguero, Eric Garcia, and Memphis Depay. Real Madrid’s Galacticos strategy, which saw them sign Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo (the Brazilian star), and David Beckham in the early 2000s, is the epitome of a team going all-in to win.
SPENDING MINUTES MINUTES MINUTES MINUTES MIN
These teams are sometimes prepared to spend out on a great name—Real Betis previously set a world record transfer price when they paid €31.5 million to acquire Denilson from Sao Paulo in 1998—but they generally had to raise money by selling players first.
LOANS AND TRANSFERS FOR FREE
Money is tight at the bottom of the table, but if you know where to look, you may find some inexpensive alternatives. Levante, for example, paid approximately €500,000 for former Spain, Real Madrid, Valencia, and Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado this summer.
NO ONE FROM OUTSIDE THE COUNTRY OF BASQUE
Amazingly, Athletic Bilbao has only allowed players from the Basque Country, Navarre, and the Northern Basque Country in France to play for them since 1912. They may also sign you if you come via the youth system of a club like Real Sociedad, Alaves, Osasuna, or Eibar. Otherwise, they are unlikely to do so. They are still one of Spain’s most successful teams.
LaLiga teams have been involved in nine of the top 11 most expensive transfer transactions of all time, and they may be engaged again if PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, 22, one of the most intriguing young players in the world, leaves this summer.
The world-record release clause paid by PSG to Barcelona in 2017 to sign Brazilian striker Neymar. The highest a Spanish team has paid for a player is €160 million, which Barcelona paid Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho in 2018.
If you’re an American, we understand your desire to support one of the American stars in LaLiga. The issue is that there haven’t been many of them. Kasey Keller, an ESPN goalkeeper, was the first with a two-year stint with Rayo Vallecano in 1999, followed by striker Jozy Altidore’s transfer to Villarreal (2008-11). Shaquell Moore played for Levante in 2017-18 (he’s currently at second-tier Tenerife) while Oguchi Onyewu was on loan at Malaga in 2012-13. Yunus Musah (Valencia) and Sergino Dest (Barcelona) are representing this season.
YES, US PLAYERS ARE ESSENTIAL.
Although your choices are restricted, the players are very competent. Sergino Dest, a Barcelona right defender, joined the club from Ajax in 2020, whereas Yunus Musah, a Valencia midfielder, came to Spain in 2019 following a youth career at Arsenal.
NO, I’M NOT INTERESTED.
These teams just haven’t turned to the United States for transfers.
I’D LIKE TO SEE A PREMIER BASKETBALL TEAM AS WELL.
If Spanish football isn’t your thing, how about basketball? Real Madrid leads the EuroLeague standings with ten championships. Barca? They’ve gotten two. The second alternative is Real Betis.
The United States’ track record in LaLiga isn’t great. In Europe, there are presently 50 Americans in clubs, although Spain is underrepresented. Still, Dest and Musah are the best in LaLiga, and if you need a break from soccer, Liga ACB teams (not affiliated with soccer clubs) can be found in Betis, San Sebastian, Zaragoza, Seville, Bilbao, Malaga, and Valencia.
The amount of games played by Kasey Keller of the United States at Rayo Vallecano. Keller told Soccer America in 2001, “The media loves to claim I’m the most renowned American residing in Spain.” “I’m probably famous—I live [in Spain]… I’m not that well-known.”
Some individuals thrive on living on the edge of their seats, never knowing what will come next. Others want a life that is predictable and free of shocks. Club presidents of LaLiga, like as Florentino Perez of Real Madrid and Joan Laporta of Barcelona, have a penchant for turning their clubs into political dramas, complete with infighting, leaks, and public spats. If you need an example, go no further than the latest European Super League debacle.
TWISTS IN THE PLOT AND POWER STRUGGLES
As these superclubs fight both on and off the field, it may seem like a scene from the TV show “Succession.” You won’t want to miss a thing, however.
A REASONABLE AMOUNT
There will be the occasional “X-Files”-style scenario to deal with, but you can rest certain that the major protagonists will be OK.
PLEASE KEEP IT DRAMA-FREE.
Week in and week out, you know what to anticipate.
When dealing with the world’s most powerful players, drama is unavoidable. LaLiga’s top teams have enough of it, whether it’s a headline about a contract negotiation, a trade, or a response to being replaced. The actual drama, however, takes place in the boardroom. With court battles, tax problems, and conspiracy theories abounding, Barcelona and Real Madrid have battled to keep their dirty laundry out of the public eye, while Valencia is owned by a businessman who runs the club like a business, which soccer fans despise.
According to Forbes’ April 2021 research, Barcelona is the most expensive club in the world. Real Madrid came in second place with $4.75 billion, which is much richer than the next best Spanish team, Atletico Madrid, who came in 13th place with $1 billion.
Jonathan Molyneux-Carter and Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal contributed reporting. James Martin did the editing. Rob Booth, Jarret Gabel, Lori Higginbotham, Jason Potterton, Rami Moghadam, Munehito Sawada, Rob Booth, Jarret Gabel, Lori Higginbotham, Jason Potterton, Rami Moghadam, Munehito Sawada, Rob Booth, Jarret Gabel, Lori Higginbotham, Jason Potterton, Ram Freak City created the illustrations.
La Liga is all about the goal-scoring. However, the past few seasons have been more about the goal-saving action, since the La Liga teams are known for their defense and high-pressure tactics. But, La Liga is also all about the competition. There is no easy way to choose who to root for in each team, it requires a lot of work to know the players and the tactics the teams use.. Read more about real madrid and let us know what you think.
This article broadly covered the following related topics:
- which la liga team should i support quiz
- real madrid
- premier league
- la liga table
- la liga standings