Shaun Botterill - Getty Images
Chelsea's Juan Mata recently commented to the media about Barcelona and Real Madrid ruining the Spanish league.
France Foot caught up with Juan Mata in a recent interview, and they spoke with the Spaniard about the competitive state of the game in Spain. Mata is worried by the number of Spanish players leaving La Liga to play in more competitive leagues, and he believes it's down to Real Madrid and Barcelona being too dominant for the rest of the league to compete. According to Mata:
"I'm a little worried to see so many players leave the Spanish Liga, for the competitiveness of the league. We have two teams fighting for the title, and the third, for four years, ends 30 points behind the champion. If you don't play for Real or Barca, you can't win a trophy. Today, it's impossible for my former club Valencia to win the championship. This can not be good for Spanish football. Supporters of other clubs also suffer."
It's hard to argue with the points that Mata is making, as it's been quite a few years since anyone other than Real Madrid or Barcelona has had a semi-realistic chance to win La Liga. Atletico Madrid have started the season in wonderful form, but I'd be extremely surprised if the end up within 25 points of the eventual champions when all is said and done.
While the financial structure in Spain is doing great harm to the ability of Spanish clubs to retain their talent, it can only be seen as a good thing for the state of the English game. Guys like Mata, Santi Cazorla, and David Silva have been absolutely fantastic additions to the league, and our viewing experience is certainly better for it.
I think all of us would love to see La Liga become a little more watchable by seeing the gap from the elite to the also-rans narrow a bit, but in the interim I'll just settle for being happy that so much Spanish talent is making it's way to England. It's certainly added to the quality of the EPL, and that's never a bad thing.