Spanish teams are losing competitiveness in Europe, that is just a fact. only Real Madrid will represent LaLiga in the Champions League quarter finals. Last season, Barça and Atlético were knocked out in that round. The one before was the ‘Blaugrana’´s ridiculous at Anfield. None of our teams has performed decently in the biggest continental tournament since ‘The Whites’ won the title in Kiev back in 2018. The Champions League measures the football level on each league and the Spanish one keeps getting lower as time goes by. In December we warned you about LaLiga´s offensive decline. In March, as the European rounds have returned, Spanish football has stood out negatively once again, and the trend does not seem to fade away in the short term.
It is not necessary to watch all the Premier League games to realize about the huge difference on the fitness aspect. Actually, this is not new at all, but it just keeps increasing. Superiority in this area has been reflected in all the three rounds were Spanish teams have fallen: PSG put the round away in the first leg thanks to Mbappé´s runs, despite Koema´s team improvement in the second one; Haaland´s Borussia Dortmund beat Sevilla mostly thanks to the Norwegian´s exhibition; Chelsea swept Atlético in the entire series.
However, fitness is not the only aspect all these three rounds have. There is another one that is even more important to me and people tend to forget: talent, or the lack of talent, specifically, which is always linked to the financial muscle. These two lacks are influencing on the Spanish teams outcomes every time they travel around Europe.
The three clubs that just came up to the Premier League last season (Leeds, Fulham and West Bromwich) were able to spend 160 millions all together in the last summer transfer market. In LaLiga, Cádiz, Huesca and Elche spent 20 between all of them. Rodrigo left a team that was playing the Champions League a year ago like Valencia for another one that had not been in the Premier League since the 03/04 campaign like Leeds. They paid 30M for the striker. Arsenal paid Thomas´release clause (50M) the last day of the market and Atlético had to take Torreira, who was not even a starter for the Gunners, to replace the Ghanaian midfielder. Real Madrid did not sign any player last summer. Messi wanted to leave Barça (and LaLiga). James joined Everton.
We are way behind if we talk about fitness, of course, but that has always been that way. What we are really struggling with is being able to retain first level talent and the ability to buy it. LaLiga never dominated in Europe through a physical point of view, but instead through their talent. Now it is being overcome in both aspects and the outcomes in the Champions League, which is the barometer to look at, just keep reflecting this issue each season. Something is being done bad and we should all make a deeper thought apart from just blaming fitness.