With Cristiano Ronaldo having left and the imminent departure of Lionel Messi on the cards, LaLiga officials are crossing fingers that the Spanish league will continue along its path of exponential growth.
For more than a decade, the Spanish league was dominated by the Portuguese and the Argentinean talismen.
Ronaldo left multiple Spanish champions Real Madrid for Juventus in the Italy’s Serie A in 2018 and Messi’s days with Barcelona are numbered.
LaLiga are currently celebrating their 90th season anniversary. Speaking at an engagement with local media on Thursday, former Barcelona and Atletico Madrid winger Luis García felt that the league would continue to grow without two of world football’s most marketable players.
“Of course, Messi and Ronaldo, when he was here, contributed to growing LaLiga. We can’t deny or put to the side the good job they did for the league,” said García, who is an ambassador for the league.
“Ronaldo left Madrid and LaLiga continues to grow. If Messi retires or leaves, it will still grow. I have been to places all over the world and it is not just Barcelona and Madrid shirts that are selling. I have seen people in parts of the world I wouldn’t expect to be wearing shirts of Valladolid, Real Betis and other clubs.”
Although the league is celebrating its 90th season, they have been in existence for 92 years.
The league is one of the most followed in the world, alongside the English Premiership and the French Ligue 1.
Spanish teams have dominated European football and they have claimed five of the last seven Champions League titles.
LaLiga SA managing director Marcos Pelegrin said the league has also strengthened its appeal in Africa.
“The growth in Africa has been exceptional. The continent has shown some of the highest growth numbers in terms of viewership and following,” Pelegrin said.
“The league has really come a long way. Since the first LaLiga match in 1929, the league has seen great growth and multiple evolutions from kits, teams and stadiums, to the league technology and, significantly, the players – which ultimately makes football.
“LaLiga is the league of the stars and every legend has played for the Spanish league, and the number of stars who have played in LaLiga is incomparable. Some players have also gone on to coach LaLiga teams, and this speaks to how good the league is at producing and exporting the best football brains in the world.”