Barcelona may be considered the best club in the world, but the Barclays Premier League is the best league in the world.
That’s according to Barcelona club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who said the Spanish giants must “fight against the Premier League” to get the top players to come to La Liga.
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Despite Barca winning the treble last year in one of the most successful campaigns in European club history, Bartomeu acknowledged that the Premier League is still the most competitive league in the world, both on and off the pitch.
Speaking to BBC Sport:
We are going to fight against the Premier League. We want to have the best players in our league.
It’s true that the Premier League right now is the best league competition in the world, not only in a sporting way but in terms of income too.
The new Premier League television rights contract is something that the rest of the leagues have to follow.
The Premier League is a reference point. La Liga are learning a lot of things from them. We have a new law that obliges the clubs to sell all the TV rights jointly because we have to follow the Premier League.
We want people to watch our competition, not only the Premier League. On an individual club basis, we know the competition is getting closer, not just with the Premier League but also Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich.”
Earlier this year, the Premier League signed a massive television deal in the UK worth nearly $8 billion, leading to even more growth and power for the league that was already the most financially successful in the world.
While clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid have the ability to compete with the Premier League for top players (See: Luis Suarez, Gareth Bale), the rest of La Liga is far behind.
The weather is nicer in Sevilla compared to Stoke City, but playing in the Premier League is still at the top of most players’ wish-list.