With no Cristiano Ronaldo for three years and now with the Messi departure, the Spanish League also sees names that once were real possibilities such as Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland from afar.
With players like Luis Suárez or Karim Benzema in the role of veterans and without Lionel Messi now as a rival, La Liga will start a season with the star line undernourished, after years of bringing together the best duo in the world.
We’ve asked the help of Kate Richardson, who’s a football writer and expert, to guide us in order to understand the real situation for La Liga after the departure of Messi from Barca. You can view Richardson’s profile here. So, let’s get a quick overview on the current situation of La Liga:
La Liga’s Conundrum
Despite losing perhaps the best player of the ages, the Spanish league still has players that can be worth around 80 million euros.
However, none of them will ever attract the spotlights and glory both Messi and Ronaldo used to. Even though there are some stars left, it seems like Spain has dropped from second to fifth place in the average fan’s priority list in Europe. The so-called list would be the following:
- Premier League
- Ligue 1
- Serie A
- La Liga
With none of these two gigantic names, La Liga is just a good league with good players. But nothing more than that. Barcelona could not retain Messi in their squad due to the financial fair play of La Liga regulations despite the fact that there was an agreement, which even included the reduction of the Argentine’s salary by 50 percent.
Possible Names to Make Up for Messi’s Absence
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atlético de Madrid will continue with the heavyweight names within the likes of Joao Felix, Memphis Depay and Vinicius Jr., only that they will now have the weight of the spotlights in their talent for the greatness of their clubs.
The new stars of the Blaugrana club will be strikers Sergio Agüero and Depay. Both, along with the criticized Antoine Griezmann will be among the most important elements of the Catalan team.
Now, the team that seems better prepared and that could end up signing more stars is Atletico Madrid. The reigning champion led by Diego Simeone has among his stars the 22-year-old Joao Félix and the midfielder Marcos Llorente.
Other Names to Follow in La Liga
We’ve got some names in our watchlist from clubs outside of the big-club. At Celta de Vigo, striker Santi Mina will be alongside the tireless Iago Aspas. Playing for Real Betis, a great season is expected for the French-Algerian Nabil Fekir, as well as the Mexican Diego Lainez, who will arrive as an Olympic medalist.
At Real Sociedad they have their best hopes at Mikel Oyarzabal who will continue to exploit his ability as a right winger at 24 years old. Sevilla, who have also sought to build a squad to fight in the League, relies on the goals of Moroccan Youssef En-Nesyri.
Messi’s Exit Damages La Liga’s Finances
In a matter of three years, La Liga has lost two of the best players it has ever had, and the two who marked an era in this century.
The announcement that Lionel Messi will no longer continue with Barcelona is not only a blow for the Catalan team and its fans around the world, but also for the Spanish competition, as they are set to miss out on practically all the interest it had generated with the Messi-Ronaldo rivalry throughout the years.
The League has run out of what made it so attractive to emerging markets such as China, and that must be a serious concern for its managers and for the clubs themselves, because if it is not for this next season, their earnings will surely fall in a not too distant future given the disinterest of brands and rights buyers.
Not having a product as attractive as they used to in that decade in which the Ronaldo-Messi rivalry made them earn millions of dollars, the future is set to be tough for La Liga.
At the same time it has been some great years of remarkable El Clasicos, La Liga made a big mistake, which was to rely all their hopes in only two names. Football careers don’t last forever, and now, they find themselves in a hard situation.
Who’s Likely to Become the Next La Liga Champions?
Although the Messi departure is terrible for the League’s finances, it can be good for clubs in the long run, as they’ll have more chances to shine now that the big star’s gone.
I’d bet that Atletico will bag some more titles here and there, with Real Madrid following closely. Barcelona is in a dark place, as despite not counting on Messi anymore, they’ve got over a billion euro debt, which is something unthinkable for other leagues.
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The conclusion we get to is that it’s possible for La Liga to bounce back from this situation.
It will take time, though. Perhaps, it will be time for those who have been overlooked at all these years to step up and finally show what they got!
What do you think of this whole situation? Was Barcelona cornered by the financial situation they’ve put themselves at? Will La Liga bounce back from this semi-irrelevancy status?
Let us hear your opinion!