The 86th La Liga season is about to start this weekend. The competition has evolved a lot since 1929. Back then, 10 teams were competing, many teams no longer exist or have been relegated but one thing remains constant: Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance. The two clubs have won 11 of the past 12 league titles, with Atletico Madrid making an exception and winning it in 2013-2014. After a summer of transfers, preparation, Olympic games and Euro 2016 both clubs are back to business and preparing themselves for the new campaign.
Both teams started their season by winning a trophy after defeating Sevilla. Real Madrid waited till extra-time to win the European Super Cup while Barcelona eased 5-0 past Sevilla over two legs. The success of both clubs is a major boost in confidence for the two teams. Zinedine Zidane seems to have the backing of all his players and the same can be said regarding Luis Enrique who managed to win back-to-back La Liga titles. The two have a lot in common, they both were legends at their clubs and both won the Champions League in their first season as managers at their respective clubs.
Zidane took Real Madrid out of crisis to help them win their 11th Champions League title. Today he had the chance to build his squad prior to the start of the season and surprisingly his only signing was to bring Alvaro Morata back. Zidane has had a full summer to prepare his team. He refused to sign players for the sake of signing players, something his predecessors were very good at. Instead, he’s hoping to get the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, and the return of Alvaro Morata gives Madrid an extra fire-power up front.
On the other hand, Madrid missed out on signing Paul Pogba and it is still hard for them to win the league title, something they haven’t done since 2012. Their rivals Barcelona have strengthened their team with defensive signings like Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne but also midfielders such as Andre Gomes and Denis Suarez. The Catalans had the best attack in any of the top leagues last season and it seems that Arda Turan is finally fitting in with his team-mates, this would help them rely less on MSN as an attacking force.
There is no doubt that Barcelona and Real Madrid are the top two candidates to win the title. However, Atletico Madrid are still in the race, Diego Simeone is still there and they haven’t lost any of their stars. Atletico may not have a strong attacking force like BBC or MSN but their defensive line is surely one of the world’s best and something that can help them get extra points during the season. An exciting new season awaits us. It is hard to imagine who will win it but we can foreshadow that it will be a long race and a tough one especially with all three teams looking in shape ahead of the start.