Is the Premier League Proving to be Europe’s Best?
It’s a debate which has been going on for ages. English football and all its stakeholder’s, fans, media, federation etc., have fought hard to convince the world that their top division is the best in Europe and around the globe.
They have succeeded for a large part, with the division attracting colossal investment and bringing in the best players every transfer window. It is also the most watched league in the world, although some argue that it is just a result of outrageous marketing.
For a long time, however, the narrative of English football superiority has stumbled at one block; perennial underachievement on the European stage. English teams have, especially in the last 20 years, only made stop-overs in the European Champions’ League. Spanish sides Barcelona and Real Madrid and German side Bayern Munich have been a constant threat to them. Teams such as Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund have also had better runs than most English teams.
Enter 2019, and we have all-English finals in both the top European competition and its lower tier. Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur will be facing off in Madrid for the UEFA Champions League. At the same time, Arsenal and Chelsea will be in Baku in the Europa League final.
The road to the finals was well meant to stamp the superiority point. Liverpool overcame a 3-0 deficit to eliminate Barcelona, while Spurs also escaped a last-minute exit to send home a rampant Ajax side, which saw off both Real Madrid and Juventus.
The recent developments are great pieces of armour for the battalion arguing for the superiority of English football. That is the one front in which they have often been punished; now it is won. It is just a question of maintaining that high standard.
In hindsight, England’s semi-final achievement in the World Cup will also be seen as an excellent back-up for the Premier League superiority argument.
Is the debate settled?