Barcelona lost at home. So did Sevilla. Technically, the same thing happened with Atletico Madrid, although the house, in this case, looked like a terrible lot. Bucharest. It was not until Wednesday night – the last chance to avoid an unwanted clean sweep – that a Spanish team managed to win in the final 16 of the Champions League.
Even then, Real Madrid did not include themselves in glory. Deprived of Sergio Ramos and Karim Benzema, the Spanish champions saw every inch of fade force. Atalanta had Remo Freiler, a red card perhaps best described Controversial – Early in the first half, and still topped Real Madrid, until Ferland Mendy scored at home. A bullet from a distance Gone with 82 minutes.
Between 2011 and 2017, Spain claimed two Champions League semifinalists each season. La Liga was, by the most readily available gauge, Europe’s strongest league. The number of semifinalists decreased to one in 2018 and 2019. Last year it was no less. Even allowing Real Madrid’s special affinity for this competition, Zinedine Zidan’s team needed a favorable quarterfinal draw to improve that record.
Of course, that part can be explained by the Travels of different clubs: well documented Barcelona passed awayThe ongoing sentiment, which Madrid, too, has come to the end of an era.
But it can be much deeper than that: Atletico Madrid has looked exquisitely homely, but Callow was made to look By the fifth best team in the Premier League. Spanish teams have won seven of the last 11 editions of the Europa League, but two clubs are likely to remain in the competition this week, beyond Grenada and Villarreal, which is not a match for the English contingent.
Perhaps this should not be a surprise. For a decade, La Liga exported ideas to the rest of Europe. In recent years, Germany and England have emerged as engines of the game’s development, home to its most sophisticated, cutting-edge ideas. Spain, regardless of fact, has lagged behind not only economically, but also strategically.