Spanish football will be just fine without Kylian Mbappe
(Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Real Madrid’s Champions League victory is yet another reminder that they are still the kings of Europe.

Spanish football may not have been able to attract Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland this summer but Real Madrid’s triumph over Liverpool in the Champions League final suggested the dominance will continue.

La Liga sides have played in 17 Champions League and Europa League finals in the last 21 years against non-Spanish sides and have won all 17.

But that doesn’t mean to say that there are no issues within La Liga and Spanish football. It would appear the league more than anyone understands it is fighting to compete with the other European leagues.

This was a league that had the two best players of all time battling it out for over a decade. La Liga had Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi but now the two upcoming best players in the world have opted against playing in Spain. Mbappe decided to stay in France with Paris Saint-Germain and Haaland recently completed his move to Premier League giants, Manchester City. 

And even before Mbappe’s contract extension at PSG was made official, La Liga issued an official statement where they called Mbappe’s decision to stay in France “scandalous”. 

La Liga’s statement also noted that they would file a complaint to UEFA, which is ironic considering PSG’s Chairman and CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, is on the UEFA Executive Committee acting as the European Club Association (ECA) representative. 

The statement also said that PSG’s agreement with Mbappe ‘attacks the economic stability of European football, putting at risk hundreds of thousands of jobs and the integrity of the sport’. The irony of that claim in the statement is that Real were the leaders of the European Super League just 12 months ago. 

To see a private sports association of a national country get involved with an individual football club’s transfer business is far from normal, and will probably never be seen again. 

But this was yet another unique day in the modern-footballing world and has been seen by many as a desperate attempt to stay relevant across Europe’s elite leagues. 

Relevant in terms of on the pitch, football quality and competition. They are most certainly still relevant in terms of riches as Real Madrid announced this week that they are Europe’s most valuable club for the fourth year running. 

They lost out to PSG for the signing of Mbappe last Saturday and seven days on they lifted the Champions League in his home city. Something that PSG are still yet to do themselves.

Real Madrid since the turn of the century have become accustomed to signing the best players in the world whenever and whoever they wanted.

In 2000, they set a world record transfer fee by stealing Luis Figo from rivals, Barcelona. The following year they went and smashed it again by bringing in Zinedine Zidane from Juventus. They then swooped Ronaldo from Inter Milan before going on to sign David Beckham, Arjen Robben, Xabi Alonso, Karim Benzema, Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo before the end of the decade. 

Credit must be given to Carlo Ancelotti as he guided Madrid to their 14th European Cup trophy in dramatic fashion. It was a far from convincing run as they required comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City

Madrid may be able to help Spanish football fix its slant this summer by signing a European superstar. They have already done their job on the pitch by lifting their 14th title against an English side that some have called the best team in the world.

Whether that be signing a young upcoming talent in Darwin Nunez from Benfica or an ageing great in Robert Lewandowski from Bayern Munich. 

But for now, the dream of having Mbappe they will be struggling to sign in Mbappé at least until 2025.

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