Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughThe hottest title race in Europe is back on and here's why - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough The hottest title race in Europe is back on and here's why - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

The hottest title race in Europe is back on and here’s why


The big guns in Barcelona, as well as Los Blancos Real Madrid, have waged a war of attrition on rivals Atlético Madrid this season. Both of Spain’s superpowers looked to have fallen by the wayside already by autumn but have since picked up form with emphatic fashion. 

, and with their Champions League spots all but secure, the race for the La Liga title is well and truly back on.

Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone would have been terse in his response, almost derisory if you’d have asked him at Christmas whether or not his team were on course to take their first domestic title. The Argentine knows all too well how quickly fortunes can turn in football.

For fans and onlookers alike, It was looking like a sure bet back at the turn of the New Year. With Atlético barely putting a foot wrong in La Liga since its kick off in late September.

In fact,  advertised their lowest odds on Atlético Madrid to win the league since their last successful campaign. Since then Atlético’s form has been shaky, gradually losing ground week upon week.

Juxtapose that form with their nearest rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona and you’ll soon understand why a points lead in double figures has since been chipped away to just three. 

Atlético have dropped points in . Losses to title contenders Sevilla as well as Getafe have not been the main issue, rather registering five highly avoidable draws is where the damage has been done. 

Failing to get the better of Celta Vigo, Levante, Real Madrid, and most recently Real Betis have left Atlético at a loose end and having to make do with sharing the points. 

Simeone’s attritional, guarded style has often come under criticism for his team’s often negative outlook despite having firepower from the likes of wonderkid Joao Felix and time tested Luis Suarez on his books. 

In contrast, Barcelona and Real Madrid look to be going from strength to strength as La Liga hurtles to its conclusion in just over a month from now. 

Ronald Koeman’s Barcelona had the most clear cut question marks hanging over their heads before a ball was even kicked. Question marks over the Dutchman’s technical and tactical ability, starman Messi being blocked by the board from a highly-sought after exit, as well as billions of debt piling up all played their part in the negative feeling around the Camp Nou. 

If 2020 saw Barcelona in the mire, 2021 could definitely be their year with Koeman and his men defeated in just one league match in the Clásico this weekend. Although Real Madrid may have won the battle, as current form stands, it will be Dutch delight for Barcelona come the end of the season. 

Likewise, victory in world football’s most highly anticipated fixture marks a similar turn of fortunes for Real Madrid and their manager, Zinedine Zidane, in La Liga this season, picking up their form significantly over recent weeks.

Spanish football’s most successful club have a team of experienced and emphatic winners across the spine of their squad and are looking set to usurp Atlético’s top spot. The question remains whether an ongoing European campaign will derail their progress domestically. 

Sevilla, who recently defeated top placed Atlético Madrid have consistently proven over recent years that they are a side to be reckoned with when it comes to a quickfire cup competition.

The Andalusians have been reborn under Julen Lopetegui’s reign, a manager himself looking to claw back his reputation after a nightmare six months in the high-profile Spain and Real Madrid jobs ending in ignominy.

With no European distractions, Champions League football secure with a 14 gap between fifth-place Real Sociedad, and the intense gaze of expectation shining elsewhere, it wouldn’t be impossible for Sevilla to get their hands on La Liga this season.

One thing’s for sure, you’d be remiss if you don’t keep your eyes firmly fixed on Spain over the coming weeks.