A new era begins

LaLiga faces the post-Messi era with candidates to replace him on the throne. Pedri, Gerard Moreno, Suárez, João Félix, Hazard, Benzema, Griezmann and Memphis want to win the crown.


Finally LaLiga returns. The ball returns rolling on the grass, the players dribbling, the coaches ordering, the referees with their VAR and their hands and, most importantly, the fans return to the stadiums. After a season and a half away from the stands, the fans, the soul of this sport, will return to the front line. They will do it in a very special season. From the same moment that Gil Manzano whistles the start of Valencia-Getafe (21:00), a new era will begin. The year I after Messi.

Spanish football faces a great change. And it is that not only the Argentine star has left, but also another of the banners of LaLiga such as Sergio Ramos. The captains of Barcelona and Real Madrid have said goodbye through tears, theirs and those of the fans. A hard blow for their teams and for LaLiga. But it's time to turn the page.

Messi leaves his crown and Spanish football seeks a new king. And it is that the Argentine star has been the top scorer in the competition eight times, achieving the top scorer continuously for the last five seasons. Something unprecedented. Now, there is an empty throne. And there are plenty of candidates. The gunman Luis Suárez, who commanded Atlético de Simeone's attack to win the league title last season, was already top scorer in 2015-16. And he already showed that he has a goal for a while. Benzema, after several seasons assuming the white leadership, will press for such recognition. There are also Spanish candidates. Without a doubt, Gerard Moreno. The Villarreal striker shone last season and threatens to outperform the one he begins. The Spanish and French scored 23 goals each last year, two more than Suárez. There are also those who were signed in summers past with the purpose of being the new stars of LaLiga, of whom more is expected: Hazard, Griezmann and João Félix.

Thebes has been warning for years that the departure of any player would harm the LaLiga brand. And it is that for lack of stars it will not be. Spain has the best goalkeepers (Oblak, Courtois and Ter Stegen). In addition to Pedri, the great national promise. "Have you seen the European Championship that Pedri has done? I have not seen any of 18 years of age, nor Iniesta at his age," said Luis Enrique, amazed at the European Championship. But he will not be the only one who wants to shine in a disillusioned Camp Nou after the Argentine's departure. Eric Garcia has left Guardiola's City to reinforce the Barça defense and make a match with Piqué; while Agüero and Memphis Depay will add spice to Koeman's attack.

Madrid has also replaced Ramos and Varane's goodbye with the arrival of another great center-back at zero cost. Alaba left the Bayern jacket to wear white at a Santiago Bernabéu that will reopen after a year and a half. Of course, still under construction. And it is that Madrid wants in this new era to present a new stadium and a new superstar. The name of Mbappé is there and everything indicates that if it is not this year (Florentino is a revolutionary of market closures), it will be the next. A galactic of the old days.

But, in this new era that is presented, there is a team that wants to hit the table to announce that the dictatorship of Barça and Madrid in the league title is over. That his windup last year was not due to the demerit of azulgrana and whites, but due to the work of the rojiblancos. Simeone seeks to consolidate Atlético at the top and achieve the second consecutive League, something they have not achieved since 1951. For this reason, they have made the most expensive signing of the entire First: 35 million euros for Rodrigo de Paul. Only Villarreal, current champion of the Europa League, comes close to the expense of the rojiblancos. The groguets have disbursed € 31M to acquire the services of Foyth, Boulaye Dia, Morlanes and Mandi.

The crisis has fully affected the clubs, which have lived this market with the belt too tight. Only 127 million have been spent on transfers, a third of what was invested last summer. What's more, seven teams (Real Madrid, Valencia, Alavés, Granada, Athletic, Betis and Sevilla) have not spent a single euro. Sales have also plummeted. Only the goodbye of Bryan Gil to Tottenham has left a good pinch to the coffers of Seville (€ 25M). Also a candidate to surprise.

But, after an atypical summer, in which more than talking about large signings, there has been talk of the salary limit and investment funds, now it is time for the leading players to regain the leading role in LaLiga.

Photos from as.com
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