As we start to get close to the tail-end of all the major European leagues, we here at the Center Circle feel that it is time to prep you and give you a rundown on what the final months will hold. Considering that we are all insanely busy people, knowing which leagues are already over or which teams are still battling for European competition would help us decide which matches merit our time and which matches/leagues are worth only checking an occasional table update. For us at The Center Circle, we tend to focus on the four major European leagues (Bundesliga, EPL, La Liga, and Serie A) with an occasional look towards the growing power of France…so, let’s go around Europe and see what is happening at the top of their leagues!
In the Bundesliga, the title charge is over. Bayern Munich will be bringing home another championship and it seems unlikely that their dominance will ever end. Even as they walk off the champion’s podium and the summer transfer window begins, the squad will immediately become stronger by bringing in more fantastic talent. In Germany, there are still about ten fixtures left for every team, so the Champions League battle is still very open. Plus, if you ever want to see a bucket-full of goals, you can tune in to a Bayern Munich fixture. Sadly, it is very difficult to find quick access to the Bundesliga in the United States, but it has always been a favorite league to cover and watch here at TCC HQ.
However, Germany will have to be wary of the other teams becoming so watered down that they falter on the biggest European stages. The quickest way to lose viewers and to prevent players from heading to your teams would be gaudy scorelines against Europe’s elite. Despite strength being apparent most of the time, Bundesliga fans will want the other Champions League entrants to have more success in order to maintain their status as one of the best leagues in the world. As we will mention when we talk about Serie A, it only takes a few negative aspects within the top sides of your league before you only have three CL allocation spots and all of your biggest players finding a paycheck elsewhere.
For Spain’s La Liga, it has become a three horse race for the title…but Real Madrid seem to be flexing their muscle. When the squad truly started to come together and some of the big names were starting to join Los Blancos, the potential seemed to be off the charts. Now that a few years have passed and the team has gelled (and added Gareth Bale), Real Madrid seem to have become the dominant force in Spain. It will be interesting to see how Real juggles the desire for another CL title and La Liga, but they truly feel like the team to beat. Barcelona are starting to falter and last year’s champions look like they will need a serious rebuild in order to return to their old heights…but they feel unlikely to return to the top. Atletico Madrid are this year’s surprise story, and they now feel like the only team capable of upsetting their rivals. However, Atletico are quickly becoming the Borussia Dortmund of Spain as their greatest talents seem to be gleaned from the squad during every transfer window…how much longer can they keep replacing the Falcaos/Costas of the footballing world?
As the MLS gets started in the USA, it (sadly) only serves to remind me of how fantastic the talent level and football is across the pond. Now that we are starting to get into the last few weeks of all of the biggest leagues, the intensity usually seems to reach a boiling point. However, with so many title races already seeming to be over, will there still be that intensity? If not, the relegation battles will ALWAYS provide some fantastic drama over the last few match days.
Read Part 2 on Serie A and the Premier League.