Already walking in their league campaign and then with PSG also winning their Champions League group, the world has taken notice of big spenders PSG and Monaco and their accomplishments emanating from France. However, can the same be said for the rest of French Ligue 1? If Ligue 1 does not take steps towards becoming one of the elite leagues in Europe, will these two growing giants be able to still bring top tier talent into their club? Or will France become an even more lopsided version of La Liga?
Where’s my proof for Ligue 1 being weak outside of Ibra’s PSG and Falcao’s Monaco? Let’s take a look at their recent Champions League activity. Currently, only PSG remain as the only French team within the Champions League. Marseille got ousted with a -9 goal differential from the group stage…sure, they got dropped into the most talented group in the whole competition, but they were sent packing with barely a whimper and zero points accrued. As for the other Champions League entrant, Lyon were ousted to a 4-0 aggregate scoreline in the playoff round to Real Sociedad. At least Italy sent one team through to the knockout round and two to the Europa league…so can France become a prime destination for players wanting elite football?
For PSG and Monaco, money will probably continue to talk. Also, if PSG can attach successful Champions League campaigns to their championships and Monaco can make an impression in the CL when they gain entrance next year, the players constantly hunting for entry into Europe’s elite will be willing to accept whatever pile of money these teams will throw at them. However, the rest of France might not be able to piggy back off of the top two teams’ successes. In fact, the French League (currently considered weaker than the Portuguese league) might start to weaken further! Although they will probably stay in the realm of leagues that are allotted three Champions League teams, it seems unlikely that a move to the top three and four allotment spots will happen.
All of this adds up to a league that might start to gain a reputation that would hurt it in the long run. While PSG and Monaco might grow, any match that does not include the star-studded line-ups of these two teams will probably have difficulty finding a TV audience outside of France. Plus, if PSG and Monaco are able to win the league with relative ease except for the battle between each other, people might avoid the rest of the league altogether. La Liga now has everyone’s focus with the emergence of Atletico Madrid as a true contender and some definite talent being thrown around in other squads outside of Madrid and Barcelona. Will there be an “Atletico” in France? Will anyone remember which teams got relegated from Ligue 1 next year? Or the year after?
Although the French teams always have awesome jerseys available on FIFA (making me start following Ligue 1 WAY back in the day), the world is being treated to the talent of the EPL, Bundesliga, and La Liga much more frequently with the broadcast of their games becoming readily available across the globe. How can Ligue 1 bring in fresh viewers to teams other than PSG? If French teams do not take home the CL trophy at the end of the year, will even the top dogs start to get labeled as weak? Don’t tell Ibrahimovich I said this, but France’s top league is currently skating on thin ice…will they be able to build something successful or eventually fall through the ice?