Barcelona’s loss to Valencia on the weekend in La Liga is a great thing for Spanish football.
For anyone who thinks this post is just to run Barcelona down for the sake of it, it is not. That can be left to internet trolls, or more specifically, Madridistas.
Barca’s 3-2 defeat at home to Los Che has also given Atletico Madrid the lead outright on the Spanish league table. Los Colchoneros have 57 points now and Barca is on 54.
This Barcelona defeat is important for two reasons: like in the 7-0 aggregate loss to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals last season, it shows that Barca has flaws, and a result like this will help keep the concept of a three-horse race for the title in Spain alive.
For the last 25 years or so, La Liga has been dominated by Barcelona and Real Madrid and only Atletico Madrid in 1995-96, Deportivo La Coruna in 1999-2000 and Valencia in 2003-04 have broken the hegemony.
The Barcelona side of recent years has been a great side and it has been very influential too. Barca players have formed the nucleus of the Spanish national team and now there are many teams around the world trying in vain to copy the tiki-taka.
Barcelona still has some great players and perhaps Lionel Messi’s injury troubles have halted its progress this season. Let’s not forget that Xavi is in the twilight of his career. Despite the arrival coach Gerardo Martino and Brazilian superstar Neymar, this might be another sign of Barca declining.
That call can’t be based on one result but if Atletico maintains its momentum, Diego Simeone’s side would be a worthy winner of La Liga.
Los Colchoneros defeated Real Sociedad 4-0 in the latest round of La Liga action and despite not having the big names like Barca and their city rivals Real Madrid, Simeone has an excellent team at his disposal.
Stars such as Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Radamel Falcao have come and gone but players such as Thibalt Courtois, Arda Turan, Diego Costa and David Villa have arrived and Atletico is now a title contender.
Barcelona lost on the weekend but anyone who wants to see another side win La Liga would jubilant now.