As the era of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi draws to a close, the heirs to their thrones have been searched for. The two legends took the game to another level, making the two Spanish clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona the toast of the football world.
They were special talents who single-handedly carried their teams on their backs. They made El Clasico a must, a game that became more than just a football match. It was seen far and wide by even those who don’t actively follow the sport.
Barcelona vs Real Madrid was always special. Especially, not only because the club are big brands in the round leather game, but because it was about Lionel Messi versus Cristiano Ronaldo.
Those times are now finally behind us.
How the time flies….
Who would have thought that Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe would play in the same team and Mbappe would deserve more praise than the Maestro? The Argentine magician is now a supporting actor at Paris Saint-Germain.
Coincidentally, the two legends went to different cities, and when they went there to anoint, they are successors. Messi in Paris and Ronaldo in Manchester.
Kylian Mbappe is the newly crowned king at PSG while Erling Haaland is the new poster boy at Manchester. The stage is set for a new football world order. It appears that over the next decade there will be a power shift from Spain to France and England.
It is therefore not surprising that La Liga president Javier Tebas is at the forefront of the fight to prevent this from happening. He has identified these two teams as ruining the game by spending big bucks on top talent.
Their rise threatens the hegemony of the old order. The bigger these new powerhouses get, the less influential La Liga and Spanish football as a whole will be.
In his view, changing the order of things would mean destroying the game. And so he fights tooth and nail to keep these new moneybags from taking over.
Unfortunately, despite his best efforts, he was unable to stop the apparent power shift. If these two players continue their exploits as in recent years or even improve their game, Man City and PSG will become dominant forces in the European game for years to come.
Tebas may have to watch as the two clubs battle for the Champions League trophy in the season.
It could go so far that, just as Barcelona and Real Madrid have captured the world’s attention and held it for decades, suddenly new powerhouses will dominate world football.
From Tebas’ perspective, the two clubs would have managed to destroy the game for good, despite simply following in the footsteps of the Spanish giants he oversaw.