And so Villareal won the Europa League against all odds. As I type this, I’m still wondering how it all happened because it wasn’t supposed to.
The Spanish side was no match for their English counterparts. Even though United’s captain, Harry Maguire was not on the pitch, it was Ole’s strongest starting XI. Gerard Moreno may have scored 29 goals and had 7 assists before the game but Unai Emery’s squad, on paper, were no simply no match.
But that’s football. Spectacularly unpredictable!
Villarreal’s Win Doesn’t Follow Football Logic
Still, the truth remains that Wednesday’s Europa League shock win by the Yellow Submarines was an anomaly.
In today’s football world, it has always been, the more money you have, the greater your chances of winning.
It is the reason the two teams in Saturday’s UEFA Champions League final are some of the biggest spenders in recent years.
It is the reason for all of Real Madrid’s domination of the competition just a few years ago, the team was outclassed this season by Chelsea.
Zidane’s team may have won three titles in a row but years of inability to replenish the squad with superstar players and facing a team who’s just spent over 200 million pounds to buy some of the best stars like Pulisic, Kai, Werner to an already good squad, it is no shock the club in the final isn’t the competition’s greatest team.
Madrid’s eternal rivals, Barcelona are not faring better. The team who have dominated the competition in the last 15 years have been badly disgraced in the last two seasons.
Barca looks a shadow of themselves such that they’ve been forced to consider free agents such as Aguero, Wijnaldum, and Depay in their rebuilding process.
Money Makes Football Clubs Competitive
Is it a coincidence that their fortunes are waning just when Messi is aging?
But Lille just won the French League against a hugely funded PSG, someone reading this may be asking.
But doesn’t the celebrations of most neutral fans for that feat a testament to the fact that it was an anomaly?
For context, since Lille last won the title in 2010/2011 season, PSG has won the league six out of the other nine times.
Again, money talks.
One of the reasons Juventus have dominated Serie A over the last decade is because they’ve spent more and have the better squad over their rivals.
Lazio came close last season, Roma has tried in recent years. But when it gets to crunch time, the team with a better squad and players rises above all.
Surely, Inter would not have won this season without the additions of Lukaku, Hakimi, Erickson to the squad right?
Bayern is doing the same in Bundesliga for almost the same reason.
How Man Utd Dominated English Football
Manchester United under Sir Alex dominated the Premier League also because they had more money to get better players over the chasing pack.
When you can break the bank to secure the Eric Cantona’s and Roy Keane’s of this world or poach Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole from very good Villa and Newcastle sides; or better still spend 30 million pounds at the turn of the century (a big deal at the time) to sign a 17-year-old superstar in Rooney or the best defender of your eternal rival in Ferdinand, it makes the job of winning a lot easier right?
That’s exactly what City are doing over the last decade. It was only a matter of time before the additions of star talents like Aguero, Sylva, Toure and the likes would ensure the Premier League crown almost always resides in the blue half of Manchester.
Make no mistake, this is not in any way trying to diminish Conte or Allegri’s coaching at Juve; Pep’s coaching at Bayern and City, or the greatness that is Sir Alex at United.
But when you have a very good squad and can poach the best players from your rivals or from abroad, then your job is half done.
It is why neutrals will continue to celebrate Leicester winning the FA Cup; Porto winning the 2004 Champions League; Lille outsmarting PSG this year; Inter ending Juve’s nine-year domination or Villareal winning the Europa League.
It rarely happens!
Because nine out of ten times, money gets you the titles.