It is clear that goals are the key part of football and that football itself is a show for the fans to enjoy, but: is there a show without goal? LaLiga is experiencing a big crisis, as in just a matter of 3/4 seasons has gone from being considered as “the best league in the world” to being named as boring sometimes. Now the Premier League seems to have comeback in popularity. The difference is well-known: The Premier League or the Serie A show high dynamism and the Spanish football has lost scoring capacity and the approach in most of the games is very level.
However, this switch could also have to do with the teams´improvement defensively or a bigger competitiveness in the league, but the prove is the outcome in the European tournaments (the Champions League and the Europa League) in the last two seasons. There are several circumstances that have brought LaLiga and, overall, the biggest clubs, to suffer a decline with the goal: important exits, low performances, statistics…
Cristiano Ronaldo post-era:
The Portuguese´s exit already warned what LaLiga and Real Madrid would face. He averaged 33.5 goals per season in the league in the last 4 seasons (48, 35, 25 and 26). Moreover, Real Madrid always passed the 100 goals during all those years, except for the 17/18 season, which ended with 94. Now, the White team´s numbers are way lower: they only scored 63 goals in the 2018/2019, a season where they hired up to 3 different coaches, with an average of 1.66 goals/game. Last season, despite being the Champions, Zidane´s team only scored 7 more goals, which makes an average of 1.84. Finally, Real Madrid´s performance level this season is being very poor so far: they have scored 17 goals in 11 games, an average of 1.5. Now it seems to far away the 2.47 average in Cristiano´s last year in LaLiga.
Due to the fact that they have not signed any other scoring reference player, Benzema has become the main option, added to some sporadic help from Ramos, Valverde, or other actors. Real Madrid struggles to overcome their opponent´s defensive approaches, do not have a surprising weapon and they are unable to finish offensive plays.
They are not the only team in slope, as Ronald Koeman´s Barça also have scoring issues, and their outcomes are even worse: last year, Barça scored less than 90 goals after twelve years. This season they only have 20 in 10 games, their worse LaLiga start in the last five seasons. This low numbers are mostly a consequence of just the four goals by Messi and the three by Griezmann, apart from Luis Suárez´s move to Atlético. The Frenchman´s performance keeps being too irregular and Martín Braithwaite´s numbers are too far away from the Uruguayan. On the other hand, the Argentinian star is not going through his best moment both on the field an mentally as well, and this is a huge problem for Barça.
Less goals than other big European leagues:
There are other cases where scoring forwards have left LaLiga due to the financial potential from other main European leagues´clubs. Rodrigo Moreno is the most recent one: How can a team that just went up to the Premier League pay 30M € in order to buy the Spanish National Team forward? Sadly, LaLiga does not have this economic muscle to compete with the rest of European tournaments. Non foreign sign comer has reached the 10 goals in the last two years except Lucas Ocampos and Toko Ekambi. The scoring ability is just limited to the usuals: Messi, Benzema, Luis Suárez, Gerard Moreno or Iago Aspas, though now are raising other talents like João Félix and Oyarzabal. Imagine when the day that Messi announces that he leaves LaLiga comes. As if this was not enough, LaLiga have lost the privilege of having the Golden Boot for the last 11 consecutive seasons.
Regarding to statistics, the known as “the best league in the world” is below the Premier League, Serie A, Bundesliga and Ligue 1. It had never taken longer to reach the 100 goals in Spain in the last 31 years.
LaLiga Santander → 12 fixtures (pending games), 268 goals in 113 games, an average of 2.37/game. The most common final score is the 1-1, which has taken place 19 times.
Premier League → 11 fixtures, the English football has scored 320 goals in 107 games, an average of 2.99 goals/game. The most common final score is the 0-1 (12 times). However, the 0-3 has happened eight times.
Serie A → ‘The Calcio’ has an extensive list of top level strikers: Immobile, Ibrahimović, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lukaku, Belotti… For this reason, the Italian league numbers are excellent: with only 10 fixtures played, they have already scored 315 goals in 99 games, which makes an average of 3.18 goals per game.
Bundesliga → They do not want to fall behind in Germany and they have already scored 299 goals in 90 games after ten fixtures. This is an average of 3.32 goals/game.
Ligue 1 → The French competition is the one where the most fixtures have taken place so far, despite of this, they have a large distance with LaLiga. In 13 fixtures, 356 goals have been scored in 128 games, 2.78 goals per game.
However, LaLiga it’s on top of a controversial area: the PK goals percentage. 37 goals have been scored from the penalty spot, a 13.8% regards to the total goals scored. First of all it is placed The Ligue 1 with 50 goals from the penalty spot, a 14.04%. The Serie A is the league where the less goals have been scored from the penalty spot, with a total of 28 (8.89%).
This statistics show LaLiga´s huge struggle to score goals. There is still a long way to go this season, but it seems that times have changed and the Spanish Football attractiveness is going down.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.