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January 23, 2019

EPL may have all the publicity but Spanish La Liga has remained the most competitive

Atletico Madrid lift the La Liga title and challenge Real in the Champions League final. Despite not getting to the final in Europe last year, Barcelona have been consistent in finishing amongst the top four teams in Europe for a while; not to mention Real was the only team to reach 10 Champions League wins last year.

Next season we’ll see Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Europa League winners Sevilla go straight through to the group stages of the Champions League while Valencia’ as 4th place finishers in La Liga, will go through the qualifiers. I just need to add that I hope they meet and beat Manchester United but that’s a wishful side-bar.

Five teams in the top club competition in the world is unprecedented. England will have four with Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal going straight to the group stages with Manchester United in the qualifiers, for once! Anyway I think we need to give renewed respect to La Liga and the quality of football that is coming out of it.

Back to the English Premier League and the fact that the final day of the 2014/15 season was a bit of an anti-climax, I confess I kept switching from the Arsenal game to the Indian Premier League final between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians. The MI are my team so I had to watch them win the title after a poor start to the season.

But that’s how uninspiring the final day of the EPL was. The top four was known and there was no way Manchester United were going to score seven goals, or Arsenal was going to lose heavily to West Brom; while Hull City were always going to go down.

The half interesting part was who was going to qualify for Europa, if anybody really cared. Oh a couple of Liverpool supporters pretended that they didn’t care but they did. And just to clarify who will qualify for Europa from England; Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool are through to Europa; while Southampton or Aston Villa will also go through.

Villa go through if they win the FA Cup but if the Gunners win; and we will, then Southampton go through. West Ham have also qualified for Europa by winning the Fair Play award though they will need to go through four rounds of qualifiers to get to the group stage of the competition. So it seems while Spain is dominating the Champions League, England have taken charge of the lower tier Europa! Enough said!

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