LaLiga: 90 years old with a cloud on the horizon...
La Liga, or LaLiga as it’s now know, is 90 years old although they hasn’t actually been 90 editions because the competition was interrupted by the Spanish Civil War. But yesterday it celebrated its 90th birthday, and its centenary can’t come quick enough for those in charge. Anyway, it was a nice event, which honoured all of those who have been part of the journey. A bond which links grandfathers, fathers and sons - from the monarchy with the republic and back again to the monarchy – linking all of the different regions of the country. I’ve said it many times and I’ll repeat it here: Spain is held together by invisible threads – and perhaps the most noticeable one is LaLiga.
The Beautiful Game in Spain
It all started in 1928-29, although in reality, the first edition was played in its entirety in 1929, after that it has always been played over two years. It imitated the English model (they invented everything at that time), every team playing each other home and away. Games were played in all four seasons whatever the weather or conditions – in sun, rain, on muddy pitches, below zero, with spring fever, and summer just around the corner. Matches played on hard pitches, soft pitches, lenient referees and strict ones... A perfect equation which allows the best team to win – one team standing out after a season full of ups and downs, difficulties and good and back luck. Nine decades of that was celebrated yesterday in Cornellà, and those who toiled to ensure LaLiga’s continued success.
Proposed European Super League - a threat to LaLiga
Ninety years. And 100? We sincerely hope it does reach three figures, but over the next decade the spectre of the mooted new European Super League looms – a project whose aim is to ensure that all of the money which football generates is shared out in a different way – more for the rich, less for everyone else. A Super League in which upper-class clubs will be allowed into regardless of what happened in their respective national leagues and so if it comes to be, I doubt very much that Real Madrid, Barça and even Atleti would play their best players in LaLiga. It will likely be the same in other countries. We’ll see if it comes to fruition (although I have faith in the English dismissing it, or romantics like Luis Rubiales reining it in) and in the meantime, it’s great to celebrate 90 years of something so wonderful and glorious - La Liga.