The Premier League may lose one of its stars this summer as reports suggest that Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas may leave for his boyhood club Barcelona, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso leaving for Real Madrid last season is the Premier League losing its appeal?
I don’t believe so. It was not too long ago that Premier League clubs like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool were dominating in UEFA’s Champions League consistently making the final four. Saturday’s final in the competition between Bayern Munich and Jose Mourinho’s Inter Milan is the first final since 2005 that an English side has not competed in.
This season has been an exception in recent times as the Premier League teams went out earlier that they would like, but they were rightly lauded for their form in Europe previously, so why would stars want to leave the Premier League?
The short answer is for personal reasons. During Ronaldo’s time at Manchester United he had won everything Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and the Carling Cup. He had expressed his wish to join Real Madrid (the team he supported as a child) back in June 2008, so it was no surprise that the end of this long saga finished with a world record £80 million transfer to Real Madrid. He didn’t leave Old Trafford for a better club, just the club that was in his heart.
The case for Alonso is a very different one as he would probably still be a Liverpool player but for Rafael Benitez’s mistakes. The player felt upset over the Anfield outfits pursuit of former Aston Villa midfielder (now at Manchester City) Gareth Barry, twelve months later the midfielder joined Ronaldo in Madrid (and Liverpool have missed him in my opinion).
“The pursuit of Gareth Barry took some time for me to accept and, in all honesty, it changed the course of my future,” Alonso told The People.
“I did get over it but it did take time for me to accept what had happened to me. After what happened I knew I had to tell Rafa that I wanted to go to Madrid when they came knocking.”
This summer has seen both the English and Spanish press spread rumours like wildfire about another Premier League star leaving for a La Liga club. But it has not been a case of if Fabregas would go to Barcelona, but when.
I do not doubt that the Spanish midfield star loves his current club Arsenal, the team who have moulded him into the man he is today, but he’s Catalan first and a move back to Barcelona was always on the cards.
Perhaps the lack of silverware at the Emirates is helping to make his mind up to leave, but at 23-years-old he should not be in any rush to seek pastures new as he has plenty of time to win major honours in his career. It is not out of the question he could win major honours at Arsenal and may be swayed should the club invest in the team.
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Xavi disagrees and feels that Fabregas must leave Arsenal. Xavi said: “It is criminal for a player of Cesc’s quality no to be winning the biggest prizes in football.
“He really has no choice to leave. He is making the right decision and I hope Arsenal fans wish him well.”
Despite a few of the Premier League’s players leaving for La Liga the former has not lost its appeal. Fans of England’s top flight have just enjoyed a fantastic season with many twists and turns. We have seen the title decided by a single point, Tottenham breaking the top four, Liverpool’s unprecedented decline, Fulham’s Europa League run and a closely contested relegation dogfight. In comparison La Liga appears to be rather uncompetitive and as the top two (Real and Barca) are so far ahead the table sort of resembles the Scottish Premier League. Valencia were the third placed team in Spain last season and finished an embarrassing 25 points behind 2nd placed Real Madrid, 28 points behind champions Barcelona.
The Barclays Premier League still boasts many of Europe’s most talented footballers Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Carlos Tevez to name a few.
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