'La Liga doesn't sell itself through one player': Madrid legend Morientes says league unharmed despite big names leaving
Lionel Messi donning a club jersey other than that of Barcelona's was something no football fan would have ever imagined. But 2021 being the great anomaly it is, the unthinkable turned into reality. His move to French club Paris St. Germain (PSG) left the footballing world in shock and many anticipated the Spanish League, La Liga, to take a major hit. However, former Real Madrid player Fernando Morientes believes otherwise.
While speaking to select media during an interaction arranged by La Liga, Morientes claimed that despite the departure of "the greatest player in the world", the league will not lose its shine and it will continue to remain "attractive and exciting."
"La Liga throughout its history has lost players, just like any other league... It is nothing new. Cristiano left, Neymar left, Messi and Ramos have also left. On the other hand, great players have come in. Depay from Holland has come to Barcelona. Hazard joined Real Madrid a couple of years ago," Morientes, who made 183 appearances for Real Madrid between 1997 and 2005, said during the interaction.
Argentine Maestro Messi was not the only big name to have left Spain in the recently-concluded transfer window. Prominent Real Madrid defenders Sergio Ramos (to PSG) and Raphael Varane (to Manchester United) also left. While replying to the Hindustan Times' question on whether La Liga would feel the need to market itself differently to appeal to a larger audience as many people follow a club due to their favourite players, the former Spanish striker explained:
"La Liga doesn't sell itself through one player. La Liga sells a competition. It's a really attractive and exciting competition for fans not just in Spain, but all over the world. La Liga is never going to have a problem to sell itself as a competition. In that respect, I don't think La Liga really has to change its direction or its policy.
"It's the clubs will probably have to change and adapt. They'll continue to sign great players and I am sure that there are great players that would want to come and play here. I don't think there is going to be a great change, to be honest. It's true that the greatest player in the world has gone to France but other great players have come to Spain.
Morientes, who also represented Monaco, Liverpool, and Valencia, concluded by saying that La Liga is "sufficiently strong" for people to continue following the league.
"La Liga is sufficiently strong for it to be attractive to everyone. I'm convinced that in India you will continue to follow the league, and you will continue to follow our teams as fans and not just individual players."
La Liga is telecast on MTV and Voot in India.