Jose Antonio Cachaza, managing director, LaLiga India, feels the failed Neymar transfer to Barcelona will not be a blow to the league.
“Neymar not coming to LaLiga this season is not a blow to us. When he left for Paris Saint-Germain in August 2017, it was not a blow. This time also, it won’t affect the league,” Cachaza told The Telegraph from New Delhi.
The LaLiga from this season will be shown exclusively on Facebook and not on any television channel.
Cachaza, when asked whether there were no takers for the Indian rights, jokingly said: “We had only one taker for the Indian rights and it’s Facebook.
“Fans can catch all the action for free on Facebook Watch,” he said.
LaLiga joined hands with Facebook last year, but one broadcaster did show some of the matches live on television. This year onwards, it’s only Facebook Watch where a fan can catch Lionel Messi or Eden Hazard in action.
Cristiano Ronaldo left for Serie A last season, but this time a player of Hazard’s calibre will be seen in action. Then there is the Portuguese sensation Joao Felix, who is billed as the next big thing to happen after Cristiano.
“We have plenty of superstars… We are not worried about that. The nature of football is players come and go.
“So far, we are proud that all the best players in the history of the game have played in LaLiga. Alfredo Di Stefano, Diego Maradona, Johan Cruyff and then Messi and Ronaldo... And we hope this will keep happening. We have new stars coming up, like Felix,” Cachaza said.
Cachaza refuses to believe that LaLiga is missing a character like Jose Mourinho, whose media conferences generated a lot of interest worldwide.
“Well, we have great characters in the dugout. A lot of managers are doing some interesting media conferences… Like Diego Simeone (Atletico Madrid) or (Zinedine) Zidane (Real Madrid).
“But one thing we should not forget. The fun is on the pitch and there, the Spanish League has a lot to offer.”
There is a view that the Spanish league is not as competitive as the English Premier League (EPL). Cachaza just brushed it aside.
“The official Fifa classification says LaLiga is the best league for the last eight years... If you take the Champions League into account, Spanish clubs have won seven out of 10 titles.
“The same goes with the Europa League… We have the best clubs and best players. So, whoever thinks LaLiga is not on a par with EPL is wrong.
“Also, you are forgetting that Atletico won three years ago... You are forgetting that from the start of the new century, EPL and LaLiga have the same number of clubs that won the title.”
Talking about racism in football stadiums, Cachaza said: “It’s not just a problem in football, it’s a problem with the society. We are working hard to weed out racism or any other discrimination.”
Cachaza added that the Spanish League would continue to have one El Clásico, keeping in mind the Asian market.
“We will continue to have one Clásico for the Asian market, another for US time, which also happens to be the prime time in Spain.
“Same applies for the Madrid Derby.”