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What has been achieved by English soccer in this UEFA season is not surprising, but requires that it be sustained in time
I have been saying it for some time: the best league in Europe is the Premier League of England, even beyond the fact that in the last decade the dominance of the League of Spain in the Champions League and Europa League has been remarkable. Why do I think that? Because there are aspects beyond sports, such as marketing, logistics, and profitability, which are what lay the foundations of a championship and that makes that project sooner or later have results.
Leer en español: Premier League: una superioridad esperada, pero que debe mantenerse
And it is precisely the last thing I said what I think is reflected in this 2019 Premier League, which has swept Europe, by placing Arsenal and Chelsea in the Europa League final and Liverpool and Tottenham in the decisive match of the Champions League. It was an unprecedented achievement in the history of European competitions since there are only these two tournaments and not even Spain with the domain of Sevilla in the UEL and Real Madrid in the UCL had been able to establish it.
Many respected people in the soccer environment, mainly international journalists, assure that, in England, the culture is something different from the rest of the main leagues of the old continent like Spain, Italy, and France, perhaps being Germany the closest. In what sense? The English clubs are more interested in winning the domestic league than the European competition and, in fact, much was repeated that this year 18-19 the Premier was the main goal of Liverpool, which at the end did not happen.
I say or, rather, I ask: who are we to criticize this culture, behavior or way of thinking? Each league and each club is free to prioritize the objectives as they like. Now, we are not saying that, because of that way of looking at soccer, before England did not dominate Europe like this year and now it does. No, it's deeper, because it's about processes. Today clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Tottenham have long periods with top coaches and a game identity that no other team in the old continent has.
The key to success
To the usual marketing, mainly to the Asian continent (more than to the Latin American one), the Premier League is reinforced with top-level referees (it is not as common to see polemics as in Spain, for example) and taking into account that VAR has not yet arrived. Its demanding calendar, the only one that never stops in December, is a springboard for TV rights gains and high ratings, especially when the rest of the leagues are resting.
The arrival of foreign managers, with foundations and trajectories of respect, have inserted new influences and styles of play, which has minimized a little the aerial and physical game to give more space to the game at floor level and the possession of the ball. Jürgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola, and Mauricio Pochettino have achieved it and that is why today their teams dominate the best league in the world and often stand out in Europe. To a lesser extent, successful coaches, but perhaps not with the prestige of those previously mentioned, such as Unai Emery and Maurizio Sarri, at least, have both reached the final of the Europa League with their current teams in their first year.
There is investment, there is marketing, more and more the best players, except for Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, want to play in the Premier League: Eden Hazard, Mohamed Salah, Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang, Gonzalo Higuain and Paul Pogba are some examples of this. There are also the already appointed managers and we must clarify that they have not lost their essence of physical and mental strength, now more balanced, which gives them the necessary strength for being nowadays today superior than the two great monsters: Real Madrid and Barcelona. Of course, there can not be conformism and the objective now will be to extend that domain over time.
Spain did it, but, beyond systematic processes, I think it was based on the fact that 'Merengues' and Andalusians set up teams over time with an infallible winning gene and that are usually unrepeatable. Sevilla won in 2014, 15, and 16, and Real Madrid in 2016, 17 and 18. We can not say that England will repeat something like that, let alone putting four finalists back in the next few years, but they should definitely aim for that, because they have all the tools. Liverpool and City, above all, have the potential to mark a new era.
After this great feat, the soccer world will not forgive them for not placing their teams in the final stages of the Champions or, worse yet, waiting for seven more years to retain the maximum European glory. That's the way we see it.
LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano
Translated from "Premier League: una superioridad esperada, pero que debe mantenerse"