Spain side built outside LaLiga

Our resident former referee Eduardo Iturralde spoke on Spanish television last night and highlighted the fact that many of the Spanish national team players ply their trade outside of LaLiga. After the Germany rout a friend pointed out to me that the first five goals were scored by three strikers who are not here. It was only the author of the sixth, Oyarzabal, who is playing among us. "And we have the league with the fewest goals scored," he added. Midfielders Rodri and Fabián, who coordinated the team so well in tune with Atlético’s Koke, have also emigrated. There’s also Dani Olmo and Èric García, the latter who came on for Sergio Ramos. And then a few more who didn’t make it on: De Gea, Kepa, Reguilón, Adama and Bellerín.

LaLiga’s Spanish exodus

This ratio could have been even more noticeable had others that are normally included been there, the likes of Thiago, Ceballos and the now Leeds striker, Rodrigo. Is it a sign of LaLiga’s weakness? In exchange, here we have internationals from all over the world, with Messi leading the way. The cause of this is the current volatility at the borders, which facilitates the intense transfer activity driven by agents. For LaLiga the situation is made worse by the rush towards Brexit of the Premier League (something that will bring limitations) and by the favourable financial conditions set in Italy. On the other hand, our national team can benefit from this as players who leave see their character strengthened. Just like any youngster in any activity.

Operation Return

But there are, however, examples that leave a bad taste in the mouth. Watching Ferran's exhibition, for example, Antonio Romero was in disbelief when he remembered that Man City had taken him for just 25 million. Wasn't there someone here in Spain who would pay for him? Is it really so much easier to pay double that for a Brazilian rising star? Valencia sold him in the summer to City, a place he was happy to go to as he was keen to play for Guardiola, but he does have Madrid in mind, so maybe we'll see him back here in three years. Seeing this case and others, perhaps Spain should consider the idea of ’Operation Return', as per that of Athletic Bilbao in the 1970s, when they brought back Basque players who had made a name for themselves abroad.