Soccer

Which league is REALLY the best?

A hypothetical tournament between the all-star teams of each of the top four leagues.

In honor of last month’s series of all-star teams for each of the top four leagues in the world, we here at What The Sports have decided to create a tournament between the teams of each league.

Seeding

Seeding will be decided by the order that the teams were released on the website. Therefore, La Liga’s team is No. 1, Ligue 1’s team is No. 2, the Premier League has the third seed, and Serie A has the fourth seed.

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Matchup #1: La Liga vs. Serie A

The strengths of these two teams are complete opposites. La Liga’s frontline is its strength, possessing the talismanic trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo. On the other hand, however, the Serie A All-Stars’ strongest aspect is the defense quadrant of Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Alex Sandro and Stephan Lichtsteiner.

This matchup ends in favor of La Liga, with a score of 2-0. Ronaldo and Messi split the scoring sheet, with both assists going to Luis Suarez.

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Although Serie A’s defense is incredible, the ability of La Liga’s midfield to maintain ball possession and control the game combined with the blistering pace and mercurial talent of their frontline ended up being too much for Serie A. The Serie A frontline, which involves Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, was unable to breach La Liga’s veteran backline of Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique.

Goal Scorers:

  • ‘33 Lionel Messi (assist by Luis Suarez)
  • ‘68 Cristiano Ronaldo (assist by Luis Suarez)

Man of the Match: Luis Suarez’s, due to his two beautiful assists

Matchup #2: Premier League vs. Ligue 1

The Premier League All-Stars does not possess any glaring strengths or weaknesses. They employ a talented frontline, a fundamentally sound defense and a midfield with incredible passing ability. The Ligue 1 squad is top heavy, just like the league itself. Although they possess multiple talented midfielders and forwards, including the world-class Neymar, they do not have a backline or defensive midfield strong enough to hold down the Premier League All-Stars’ attacking capabilities.

Based on these facts, this game ends with a 3-1 win in favor of the Premier League. Kane clinically finished a gorgeous through ball from David Silva. Eden Hazard added a goal of his own after a tremendous solo run, and Kevin De Bruyne put in a long shot as well. Neymar added a breakaway goal in garbage time.

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Harry Kane’s strength and positional intelligence were too much for the PSG center back duo of Marquinhos and Thiago Silva. He had a goal and created problems for the defense the entire game. The physicality of the Premier League defense was too much for Neymar to handle, and he was unable to create danger for the opposition for the entire game.

Goal Scorers:

  • ‘27 Harry Kane (assist by David Silva)
  • ‘73 Eden Hazard
  • ‘79 Kevin De Bruyne
  • ‘90+2 Neymar

Man of the Match: Kevin De Bruyne, due to multiple key passes and a goal.

Championship: La Liga vs. the Premier League

This is what we’ve all been waiting for. Spain vs. England. Pure skill and athletic prowess against fundamental English football. Unlike the Ligue 1 All-Star matchup, the Premier League Stars cannot coast to victory through physical superiority. Multiple players on the La Liga squad have Premier League experience, including CR7, Luka Modric and Gerard Pique. On the other hand, the positional integrity of the Premier League frontline could prove to be problematic for the La Liga backline.

Although it’s rather anticlimactic, the first seed La Liga All-Stars power through to victory against the Premier League, winning 4-2. Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo each provided a brace to the scoresheet, and Hazard and Alexis took advantage of the high attacking positions of the La Liga defense to score a goal each.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s experience in England made him prepared to play against this Premier League backline. His persistent runs on goal opened up pockets for himself as well as his fellow attackers.

However, the Premier League All-Stars fought the good fight. The remained fundamentally sound and maintained positional integrity. Sergio Ramos and Marcelo’s inescapable desire to join attacks created plenty of openings for Premier League attacking moves. After going down 2-0, the Premier League All-Stars brought the game back even to 2-2. However, the stamina and skill of this talented La Liga squad came to light late in the game, as they added two goals to win the game.

Goal Scorers:

  • ‘37 Cristiano Ronaldo (assist by Luka Modric)
  • ‘43 Lionel Messi (assist by Luis Suarez)
  • ‘53 Eden Hazard (assist by David Silva)
  • ‘62 Alexis Sanchez (assist by N’Golo Kante)
  • ‘71 Lionel Messi
  • ‘80 Cristiano Ronaldo (assist by Toni Kroos)

Man of the Match: Cristiano Ronaldo, due to a multitude of key runs and a clinical brace.

Champion

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