The Premier League is often billed as the Greatest League In The World Ever ™. Compared to its European counterparts, it is often held up as a shining light for all things great and good about the beautiful game – on a weekly basis it boasts excitement, action, quality and a smattering of drama along the way to boot. So it may come as a shock to some that upon closer inspection that this exalted league of ours lacks a truly global superstar (both financially and out on the pitch) to pin it’s sizeable marketing drive behind.
Ever since Cristiano Ronaldo packed up those ever so tight shorts of his for pastures new with a world record move to Real Madrid in the summer of 2009, the league has lacked a truly definable top talent.
That is not to say of course that the league lacks world class players. Of course it doesn’t. Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez and Cesc Fabregas are the envy of club sides the world over just for starters. However, there isn’t that one big name that takes games at the highest level by the scruff of the neck and delivers in the same way that Ronaldo did. That would walk into any other club side in the world.
The Premier League may be the best league in the world to the paying public at least, but when it comes to the minds’ of the players, it will always remain a poor second to La Liga.
England is a breeding ground for world class talent. It’s here that emerging talent above any other league is given the platform to perform, with it’s hustling and bustling style making or breaking even the best. But when it comes to the best players in the world, they only ever see the pinnacle of their career playing for the hegemonic duo of Real Madrid or Barcelona over in Spain.
Last season’s Premier League, while fascinatingly and rather unusually competitive for the most part, lacked a true standout performer. Tevez threatened for spells, Van Persie probably would have been had his team-mates not capitulated when the going got tough and the likes of Gareth Bale, Dimitar Berbatov and Charlie Adam all enjoyed their respective moments in the sun.
To put it another way, in no other year in recent memory would Scott Parker or Raul Meireles have finished the season with an award in tow. Despite both of them enjoying consistent yet unspectacular campaigns, they were rewarded for their performances as there was simply no bigger, brighter name able to step up and perform consistently as is customary at end of season award ceremonies.
What is concerning though, is that some of the league’s world class talent looks set to depart, with the likes of the aforementioned duo Tevez and Fabregas angling for moves away from our fair shores.
Some will say that this marks the dawning of a new, exciting and increasingly competitive era. But ask yourself – has the status quo really changed that much? Man Utd won the title, Chelsea, Arsenal and Man City all sealed Champions League qualification as expected and Liverpool and Spurs sealed the other two European spots. A league works best when there is something to aim at, a standard to work towards. With concerns to it’s quality, the league may be lacking behind La Liga now – or to put it better, solely behind it’s big two.
The Premier League has and always will be a league that fosters and creates the next big global superstar as opposed to buying it. At no point in time has one of the top three players in the world moved to the Premier League to ply their trade by choice. This is obviously down to several factors outside of our control such as culture, weather etc, but it‘s a point worth noting.
But with several of the league’s big name players looking at moves away and the likes of Chelsea and Man City struggling to compete in the transfer market despite their relative riches, now more than ever before, the Premier League lacks quality, and with it, a true global superstar.
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