When Real Madrid lifted La Decima European Cup trophy it was the first time in the Champions League era that a team won back to back titles as champions of Europe. It just reiterated that in the land of soccer it’s haves and have not’s, and the haves are dominating.
Last year there seemed to be one team that looked to have made a breakthrough for all the other teams that hoped to raise a trophy this year. Leicester City‘s 5000-1 Premier League triumph gave fans all over the world that glimmer of hope that for once their teams may hoist a league trophy.
Italians rooting for Napoli and Roma were hoping to break through against Juventus. Atletico Madrid fans were hoping to lift their second trophy in the last three years and break up Barcelona‘s and Madrid’s grip on La Liga. Maybe Nice and Lyon fans thought they could bring down Paris Saint-Germain, or perhaps Tottenham could follow Leicester’s example.
Well none of that happened, like clock work Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Juventus, and Chelsea took the top spot in the world’s most popular leagues in club soccer. Someone reading this will remind me that PSG didn’t lift their fifth consecutive Ligue 1 trophy, no they didn’t but AS Monaco did. What do all these teams have in common, except for Monaco they all sit in the Forbes top 20 of most valuable soccer clubs in the world.
Even though Monaco isn’t on the list, their ability to beat PSG was as much due to backing from the Royal Family of Monaco and a cash infusion from Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev in 2011. Thanks to that money Monaco went from struggling to Ligue 2 to the top of french football in 6 years.
Even the top tournament trophies like the England’s FA Cup and Spain’s Copa del Rey were lifted by the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona both in the top 10 of Forbes list. We already noted that Real Madrid won their second consecutive Champions League trophy. Europe’s other big cup went to Manchester United hardly one of the poor of clubs soccer, in fact they were Forbes most valuable soccer squad in the world.
What’s the commonality here, it’s all about the money. It’s remarkable what Leicester City was able to do in 2016, especially in the Premier League, the world’s richest league. It just won’t happen again for a long time. Not when teams will spend whatever they want turning clubs into All-Star teams.
Moral of the story is if you root for someone other than these teams you might want to adopt a Chelsea or Barcelona in another league or else you’ll have a tough time seeing if your team will ever lift a trophy. If you’re looking for another Cinderella story, well that shoe doesn’t fit.