Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Shift in Power?

Are the recent summer transfer movements a sign of a shift in footballing power from England to Spain?

With Ronaldo and Benzema both preferring Real Madrid to Manchester United, as well as the likes of Villa and Ribery turning their noses up at English clubs. It looks like Spain is the place to play your football this season.

Obviously part of this is down to Real Madrid's insane summer spending and buying the two most expensive players in footballing history in Ronaldo and Kaka. However in January 2009 Man City were close to signing Kaka for a rumored £100m but he turned them down, so it is not all about money.

This summer has also seen Barcelona (reportedly) flirting with some of the Premier Leagues top players such as Xabi Alonso, Fabregas, Robinho, Arshavin and Mascherano.

On top of this you have Barcelona winning the Champions League, beating both Chelsea and Man U in the process, and Spain winning Euro 2008. With both teams playing fluid, stylish football that gets results.

However there are still signs that the Premier League still holds the power as despite Barcelona winning the Champions League last season there were three English clubs in the semi-finals. Also in the last five finals there have been six English clubs and they have won it twice. As well as club success England is sitting top of its 2010 World cup qualifying group with a 100% win record.

If La Liga and Spain continue to become more powerful I think it may benefit England in the long run. If Spanish clubs keep buying the best players from England and abroad then English clubs may have to put a greater influence on their youth set up and bringing through academy players. This in turn could aid the National team if clubs focus on bringing through British players.

Clubs may also change their footballing philosophies to attract players as many foreign footballers often snub the Premier League as they see it as too 'long ball' and they prefer the passing technical side to the Spanish game.

I for one do not mind the rise in the footballing power of Spain as increasing competition can only be a good thing for football.