Monday, July 6, 2009

Winker: Spain Is Best!

Well, well, what do we have here. Cristiano Ronaldo opening his trap and spewing nonsense as he is unveiled in Spain?

Who could have seen this coming? The Winker says that La Liga is 'superior' to the Premier League. This would be true if La Liga was a two-team league consisting of Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Ronaldo passed his medical this morning and was unveiled at the mother of all rallys tonight in Madrid. The winker has signed a six year deal with Real after his 80 million pound move from Manchester United.

Big turn out for 'the winker'.

So La Liga is better than the Premier League? Hmmm. Before I look at that claim, what else did Ronnie have to say?

"I think La Liga is going to have more quality because of the players that are arriving. All the players have a lot of quality and the referees protect the players." -Christiano Ronaldo.

Oh, the referees protect the players in Spain! Got it. So Ronaldo can flail around the pitch winning free-kicks, safe in the knowledge that if anyone actually touches him, they are likely to get a yellow card. Super. That sounds like the better league to me.

Real Madrid have collected and built a super team this year and European Champions Barcelona are exceptional, but to claim that La Liga is the better league based on two teams of stars is ridiculous. Surely he doesn't believe this and is just pandering to the Spanish press? Nah, he means it because he is a sandwich short of a picnic. Silly sausage, let's go and have a look shall we?

Almeria, Athletic Balbao, Athletico Madrid, Barcelona, Deportivo La Coruna, Espanyol, Getafe, Malaga, Mallorca, Osasuna, Racing Santander, Real Madrid, Real Zaragoza, Sevilla, Sporting Gijon, Tenerife, Valencia, Valladolid, Villareal, Xerez Club Deportivo S.A.D.

Ok Folks, that's La Liga. Lets pull all of the top stars out of every team except for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Lets examine the international studs and well known players on display in Spain.

Almeria. None here that I can see?
Athletic Bilbao. Jose Etxeberria. 31 year old Exeberria has played 50 times for Spain.
Athletico Madrid. Got 5 here. Potuguese wing terror Simao, his mate Maniche, Diego Forlan, Argentina middy Maxi Rodriguez and the much coveted Sergio Aguero. Aguero could leave Madrid's second team this summer.
Deportivo La Coruna. Sorry, no International gems here.
Espanyol. None here, except for Steve Finnan and Chelsea reject Ben Sahar. yeah You are right...None here.
Getafe. Equador forward Joffre Guerrón. That's yer lot.
Malaga. No recognizable stars here.
Mallorca. Gonzalo Castro, the England U21 European Cup destroyer and young German, but alas no stars.
Osasuna. There's 35 year old JuanFran, 11 appearances for Spain. Walter Pandiani of 'I had a season at Birmingham' fame, oh and rated young middy 'Sunny'. So no one here either.
Racing Santander. Serbia international defender Nikola Žigić.
Real Zaragoza. Just promoted to the Spainish top-flight, with help from Argentina legend, the 36 year old Roberto Ayala. Does he count? At 36? Ah go on then.
Sevilla. Young Argentinian Lautaro Acosta. Not a name yet, but he's one for the future. Bound to break my heart against England at some point. Luis Fabiano, Brazilian forward and star of this summers Confederations Cup. Freddie Kanoute? Go on then, and finally Serbia international defender Ivica Dragutinović.
Sporting Gijon. Yeah, no.
Tenerife. Apart from being a popular holiday resort for English folks to get drunk at, CD Tenerife has no stars to boast. Sorry Ronaldo.
Valencia. The obvious mega star is David Villa. But will he be here next month? I doubt it. Likely he will end up in England. Fernando Morientes? EEEEK. Newcastle reject Hugo Viana? UGGH...
Valladolid. My favorite team in Spain. Yeah, nada, unless a 35 year old Victor counts for much. However, Kike is gonna be a good player.
Villareal. We have a pair of 'past their sell by date' Frenchmen and both of 'em are former Gooners: Pascal Cygan and Robert Pires. One hated New jersey native, Giuseppe Rossi. Fellow American Jozy Altidore and the very good Spain international, Joan Capdevila.
Xerez Club Deportivo S.A.D. Promoted to the top-flight for the first time, no big names here except for....Jose Altidore??? Well nearly. He was loaned from Villareal in January then injured. Maybe they will loan him this season?

Ok, now do I really need to go through the players in England? Do I? Oh alright. Same rules apply here. Not including Manchester United or Liverpool. Players who are seasoned internationals or well known in World football.

A is for Arsenal. Cesc Fabregas, Bacary Sagna, Robin Van Persie, Theo Walcott, William Gallas, Eduardo, Nasri, Rosicky. All first choice internationals. Then again, so are Eboue, Silvestre and Toure.
Aston Villa. John Carew, Carew, he likes a lap dance or two, he may even pay for you, John Carew, Carew. He counts. 69 apps for Norway. Stilian Petrov, Emile Heskey, Wilfred Bouma. Friedel? He is old isn't he. Disregard.
B is for Bongo. No superstars here. Keep moving Bigus.
B is also for Blackburn. Diouf, McCarthy, Givet and Zurab Khizanishvili all internationals. Khizanishvili plays for Georgia. Disregard. Oh nearly forgot Aaron Mokoena, Morten Gamst-Pedersen, Brett Emerton and Tugay Kerimoglu. Hmm, they are ok, but star wise? Tugay stays, disregard the rest?
Bolton. Ebi Smolarek and Johan Elmander are both seasoned internationals, that's yer lot Bolton.
Burnley. Moving on.
Chelsea. Zhirkov, Terry, Lampard, A Cole, Bosingwa, Essien, Ballack, Anelka, Cech, Malouda, J Cole, Alex, Carvalho. OOF.
Everton. Nuno Valente, Lescott, Mikel Arteta, Tim Howard, Steven Pienaar and Yakubu.
Fulham. Brede Hangeland, Clint Dempsey, Simon Davies. All experienced internationals.
Hull. Kevin Kilbane and Geovanni.
Man City. Roque Santa-Cruz, Craig Bellamy, Robinho, Elano, Martin Petrov, Vincent Kompany, Nigel De Jong, Gareth Barry, Tevez??????
Portsmouth. Hreidarsson, Kanu, Crouch, Angelos Basinas and John Utaka.
Stoke. Salif Dao, Abdoulaye Faye and Amdy Faye are all regulars for Senegal.
Sunderland. Kenwyne Jones?
Spurs. Luka Modric, Wilson Palacios, Vedran Corluka, Jermain Defoe and Robbie Keane. Even sick note King has played 19 times for England.
West Ham. Luis Jimenez, Upson, Radoslav Kovac, Jonathon Spector, Luis Boa Morte and England's new mumber one, Robert Green.
Wigan. Erik Edman, Henri Camara and long-throw king Maynor Figueroa. That's about it.
Wolves. Nenad Milijaš, Kevin Doyle and Ronald Zubar!

Now, while I am not saying that the Spainish league is poo, it isn't. And I am not saying these players suck, just because I have not heard of them or because they don't play for their country. However, I am saying that La Liga is nowhere near as being as strong as the Premier league. A league whose players don't need a favor from the referee and are man enough to look after themselves. I am also saying that Ronaldo's claim that better players live in La Liga is bollocks!

While Barcelona and Real Madrid can justify claiming that they are the best two teams in Europe, better than any team in England, the rest of the league leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to top class personnel.

So Ronaldo, enjoy the weather, enjoy winning free-kicks from weak, ball-less referees and enjoy your superstar team mates, because you certainly won't find as many super-stars around the country on your travels as you did while in England.


Ibracadabra said...

haha. i like it.. though kevin kilbane, erik edman and some others are a stretch when it comes to "stars." just because someone is an international doesn't mean they are a "star," but i'll give you the respect bigus because that post took some serious research from top to bottom (on the la liga side). big ups.

phil said...

Some fellow named Carlos Silva also plays for Valencia.

But CR is still a little winking pansy and complete idiot for saying what he said.

The NY Kid said...

Nah, he means it because he is a sandwich short of a picnic. Silly sausage, let's go and have a look shall we?

Dammit, now I'm hungry.

Anonymous said...

Leaving out David Silva and Juan Manuel Mata at Valencia, Marcos Senna and Santi Cazorla at Villareal, and others I'm sure I'm missing as well while including the likes of Kevin Kilbane, Geovanni, and Erik Edman is laughable. Moreover, if you were to go through Spanish rosters and include players who aren't big stars but are still experienced internationals, a la Hreidarsson or Simon Davies, you'd actually find several more. Even though I agree with your argument, your execution only demonstrates that you're impressively familiar with the Premiership and, while understandably don't know as much about La Liga, couldn't be arsed to do some research.

phil said...

"Carlos" Silva.

Smartass comment fail by me. I'll go ahead and ban myself.

Anonymous said...

To wit, and only including highly-capped or highly promising active internationals who are not "past it": Nihat Kavehci, Villareal: 59 caps, 17 int'l goals. Joaquin, Valencia: 51 caps for Spain. Juan Arango, Mallorca: 63 caps for Venezuela. Andres Guardado of Mexico and Deportivo--31 caps at age 21, which surely counts if Theo Walcott or Samir Nasri does. Carlos Marchena, Valencia: 47 caps for Spain. Miguel, Valencia: 34 caps for Portugal. David Albelda, Valencia: somehow, 51 caps for Spain. Even Renato's (Sevilla) 28 caps for Brazil surely tops Geovanni's 4, or equals Elano's 22 (the latter is two years younger). John Heitinga, first choice for Holland, 39 caps, age 24 (Atletico Madrid). Omar Bravo, Deportivo & Mexico, 49 caps. Carlos Kameni of Deportivo, Cameroon's first-choice keeper at age 24 and a perennial target for bigger clubs.

Also, I retract Mata since his first caps came in the Confederations cup, and I realize that there are many up-and-comers like he and Cazorla, or Mati Fernandez, in England as well. But you see my point. I think you're right about the Premiership and La Liga, but at least do your argument justice.

Bigus Dickus said...

Hi First90.

First of, this was never meant to be EVERY international in Spain and England. Maybe I didn't make my intentions clear. But regrettably, I missed Silva, Albelda and Senna during my research. Not extensive research, but a good gander at every team. I deliberately left out many in Spain, like I did in England. For every Renato, I have 10 David Healy's with over 70 caps for their country. Also Renato last played for Brazil over 3 years ago and was never more than a second choice. I reckon there are at least 60 internationals in the EPL that I left out. I left out the likes of Deco, Quaresma, Belleti, Mikel, Woodgate, Clichy, Arshavin! The list is endless.

I was trying to prove my point without making it a boring list of 300 players.

And while you may not share my opinions on Davies and Hreidarsson, the later has over 10 years in the EPL in the bag and 85 appearances for his country. Davies has moved around the EPL in his 10 year stint for over 9 million quid. Not a lot in comparison to the last couple of years transfer craziness, but it's a lot more than Juan Arango.

I appreciate you pointing out that I missed the up and comers. I did in England too. See Agbonlahor listed? Ashley Young? Aaron Ramsey? Kieran Gibbs? Di Santo? What about Jack Rodwell, Ched Evans and Aaron Lennon? How many Bentley's did I chose to leave out? Ebanks-Blake's?

Thanks for the constructive criticism, I wish I had made myself clearer.

Mike Georger said...

Mark Gonzalez plays in Spain, Bolo Zenden no longer plays in England, thus; Spain is worse.

Lissette said...

Wat is this?
Mallorca. Gonzalo Castro, the England U21 European Cup destroyer and young German, but alas no stars.

U mean
Gonzalo "Chori" Castro Irizabal plays for RCD Mallorca, as a midfielder.

Not this
Gonzalo Castro Randon is a German footballer of Spanish descent.
I was confused.

Anonymous said...

Yeah when I first read Ronaldo’s little quote I thought he was being a bit nutty too - putting a few big names into one team doesn’t equal an overall improved league, especially one that can overtake the Premier League. But I’m gonna disagree a bit with how you’re comparing the quality of players (and like first90 pointed out you missed some key Spanish names :O). Villa and Silva who play for 6th placed Valencia could walk into any of the top 2 teams in the PL, but it’s hard to say the same thing about players outside the top 4 in England. I can’t really name a player in the PL right now that can easily walk into Real Madrid or Barca (well except Robinho but he doesn’t count aha he had his chance). Outside the top 4 in England, the teams are pretty average which is why they haven't been overly successful in the UEFA Cup. In the last 10 years, 3 Spanish teams have won the competition and even Espanyol made it to a final. England during that time have only won it once, which says something about the league as a whole

Spectator said...

No no no, you are all missing the point... La Liga is now the greatest league in the world because Mr. Teletubby Winker Esq. is playing there!!

Bigus Dickus said...

@Corrine. I missed many English based players too! I was always stepping on coals with this one and the alternative would have been a page of 300 players.

/Hot feet.

@Lissette. You are right and wrong. The Castro at Mallorca is actually Uraguyan. There are 9 apparently!

Bigus Dickus said...

@Corrine. I'm not giving you the UEFA cup. A lot of sides in it, put no stock into winning it. Last season both Villa and Spurs fielded reserve teams as they chased safety and the CL respectively.

Tungi said...

Great Blog. Its very true. nuff respect for that. I do think that a lot of people will be shocked at the impact..or rather lack of impact that all these stars at madrid will actually make. dont forget that having loads of great players and having a winning team may not necessarilly be the same thing. and bigus i dont think you should put madrid above the english top 4 yet because they havent proved it. The Arsenals and Liverpools have wiped the floor with them lately. Its gonna be hard for CR9 to live up to £80.000.000. and i hope he doesn't coz i dont like him for saying that crap he came out with. premier league is still the best.

Bigus Dickus said...


I personally don't rate Madrid higher, but they do have legitimacy in claiming so. I too will be hoping they fail in a spectacular fashion.

Matt said...

@Corrine- I can think of a few. Brede Hangeland, for one. Phil Jagielka, for another, and Glen Johnson (not sure if he counts since he just moved to Chelski). Ashley Young wouldn't start for Barca, of course, but he'd be a valued squad player.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking my criticism in the spirit in which it was meant: constructively. Because I agree with your argument, and find myself making it to others, I want to see it made as strongly as possible elsewhere, which I felt ought to include making it more fairly by including a few of the big names you missed in Spain. Now, with my comment and your response, I think the opposing argument has been acknowledged and yours has won.

Bigus Dickus said...

Constructive criticism is always welcome. Other wise I'd just type any old bollocks :)