La Liga 2021-22: All that you need to know
The 2021-22 season of La Liga is set to start this weekend with a lot of excitement missing since the exit of Barcelona legend Lionel Messi. La Liga is braced for a post-Messi era. The Argentine was La Liga's best player ever. Atletico Madrid will aim to defend the crown as Barca and Real Madrid have serious work ahead. Here's more.
Can Barca cope without Messi?
Barca dominated the scenes in La Liga for more than anyone else since Messi came into the scene and moving on will be massively difficult. Barca are reeling under a lot of pressure because of huge debt as well. Barca also saw Sergio Aguero get ruled out with an injury. The club needs its youngsters to step up and keep their heads high.
Real Madrid are in a mess
Real Madrid are planning to sue La Liga chief Javier Tebas and CVC Capital Partners' Javier de Jaime Guijarro over their proposed £2.3bn deal. The rising tension and a failed Super League plan as well have impacted Los Blancos. Real have sold Raphael Varane and allowed Sergio Ramos to leave. They have former manager Carlo Ancelotti back and the key players need to fire.
Advantage for Atletico at Barca and Real's expense
Atletico Madrid go into the season as the favorites because of worries at both Barca and Real camps. Atletico have solid depth and the purchase of Rodrigo de Paul bolsters the mid-field. With Luis Suarez leading the line and plenty of experience in the ranks across departments, Diego Simeone will want his side to focus on the task ahead and get the job done.
Youngsters could have a breakthrough season
With La Liga clubs abstaining from spending due to the financial hiccup caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the 2021-22 season could see youngsters make an impact. The Euros and Olympics indicated a depth of talent in Spanish football and youngsters could see opportunities coming their way. Several clubs including Barcelona and Real are focusing on free transfers.
La Liga is in need of funds
La Liga is searching for funds, besides laying a tough salary cap. Clubs will vote for the sale of 10% of commercial rights for 50 years to private equity firm CVC in exchange for £2.3bn. Notably, clubs will receive about 90% of the funds from CVC's investment, including money for women's football. However, Real and Barca have issues with the same.
Other key factors to look out for
Several clubs will aim to wrestle for European berths and the focus will be on the likes of Villarreal, Real Sociedad, Sevilla, and Valencia. In terms of players, Barca's Ansu Fati promises aplenty. Karim Benzema, Suarez, and Antoine Griezmann are the key star players who need to deliver. Ancelotti will need to get Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard to be at their best.