Man­agers star in Premier League, play­ers shine in Spain

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

The English Premier League boasts some of the top man­agers in the game but to see the best play­ers in the world you have to watch Span­ish soc­cer, Barcelona pres­i­dent Josep Bar­tomeu said.

While much of the fo­cus in Eng­land is placed on man­agers such as Pep Guardi­ola, Jose Mour­inho, Arsene Wenger, Juer­gen Klopp and An­to­nio Conte, Bar­tomeu said La Liga re­volves around play­ers like Lionel Messi. “That’s why La Liga is mak­ing a lot of ef­fort as a league. But when we talk about La Liga I am very happy be­cause the best play­ers in the world play here-Messi, num­ber one,” Bar­tomeu said in an in­ter­view with The Daily Tele­graph. “For me, Ney­mar, num­ber two. Cris­tiano Ronaldo, num­ber three ... So the best play­ers in the world are play­ing in La Liga. “The stars who are play­ers are here, and maybe, right now, in the Premier League the stars are the coaches. Not the play­ers. So there are dif­fer­ent ways of go­ing to the world and show­ing our sport.”

With the Premier League’s 5.14 bil­lion pounds ($6.28 bil­lion) do­mes­tic tele­vi­sion rights deal kick­ing in this sea­son, Bar­tomeu said English clubs have more fi­nan­cial mus­cle than their Span­ish ri­vals.

“Right now the Premier League is do­ing things cor­rectly- the last few years ev­ery club is hav­ing more and bet­ter pos­si­bil­i­ties with their eco­nomic ca­pac­ity,” the 53-yearold said. “Not only bring­ing peo­ple to the sta­dium, on find­ing sponsorship, rights. The Premier League is now our ri­val be­cause when we are go­ing abroad, when we go for a spon­sor or TV rights, we find the Premier League there all the time. “When we try and find new play­ers you find teams like Arse­nal, Tot­ten­ham, Man City, United, Chelsea... But if I look at it foot­ball-wise then La Liga is still the best.” With Messi’s con­tract ex­pir­ing af­ter the 2018 World Cup, Bar­tomeu said Barcelona were set to be­gin talks over the Ar­gen­tine’s fu­ture at the Nou Camp.

“Not yet. But we will have the ne­go­ti­a­tion with Messi in the next cou­ple of months,” he added. — Reuters

LON­DON: Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s English striker Harry Kane (C) at­tends a train­ing ses­sion at Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur’s En­field Train­ing Cen­tre, north­east of Lon­don yes­ter­day. Tot­ten­ham will play Bayer Lev­erkusen in a UEFA Cham­pi­ons League group stage match to­day. — AFP

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