The 2020/21 UEFA Champions League has reached its quarterfinal stage and the going can only get tough for the sides that have made it thus far in the competition.
However, one country, whose clubs have been mainstays in this stage of the competition saw the majority of their clubs fall short this season and it may just be a one-off, hopefully so.
La Liga clubs have been dominant in the UCL in the past decade but the ongoing season has seen them flatter to deceive, with just one club making it past the round of 16 stage.
Real Madrid will be the only club representing Spain any further in the competition and if the La Liga is to have any hopes of boasting of their clubs’ triumph in the competition, then all hope lies on Los Blancos.
Barcelona were eliminated by French champions Paris Saint-Germain in embarrassing fashion having lost 1:4 at Camp Nou. The Ligue 1 giants held them to a 1 all draw at Parc des Princes amid threats of a comeback by the Catalans. The tie eventually ended 5:2 on aggregate.
Meanwhile, the present La Liga leaders, Atletico Madrid whom many thought would impress in this season’s competition after impressing domestically at the early stages of the season failed to live up to expectations.
Even on the domestic stage, their dominance in the La Liga has started to wane as the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid continue to mount pressure on them. Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea asked questions that Diego Simeone’s men couldn’t answer over two legs.
Chelsea beat them 1 nil at a neutral venue in the first leg after dominating play and beat them 2 nil in the return leg at Stamford Bridge in an impressive fashion.
The Rojiblancos couldn’t find the back of the net against the Blues and lost 3:0 on aggregate. They were disappointing in this encounter because we expected more from La Liga’s current table toppers.
Real Madrid were just too superior to Serie A surprise boys Atalanta over two legs, winning 1 nil away at Bergamo and thrashing the Italians 3:1 in the return leg at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. It was a 4:1 aggregate win for Los Blancos.
Therefore, Zinedine Zidane’s men are the only Spanish side left in the UCL and I daresay that no one saw this coming.
Who could have predicted that just one La Liga team would be left at this stage of the competition? Can they breeze past the rest of the sides from other leagues and go on to win the title? Can they restore honor to La Liga by going all the way?
Regardless, they’re one of the favorites for the title and we look forward to seeing who they’ll be drawn against on Friday. Hopefully, the disappointing performance of La Liga teams in the UCL this season is just a one-off and does not reoccur next season.
Meanwhile, the top sides in Spain will have to go and restrategize and come back stronger next season before the phrase ‘football has left Spain’ begins to trend.