May 19, 2012, 8:30 AM EDT
The dream final for so many today was Barcelona and Real Madrid, swinging away once again in the latest meeting of the two neighborhood bullies, this time for the most substantial prize yet.
But we won’t be talking about the Jose Mourinho’s club, nor of the Catalan giants from Camp Nou; both came within inches of appearing in today’s Munich final – but inches do matter, as we know.
Still, there is a little something to say about Real and Barca this morning:
Have the two Spanish giants reached their zenith, with only one way go from here? One Guardian writer believes so.
It’s all about European economic woe, the same worries that have the stock market in a tizzy.
More specifically, it’s connected to austerity measures and to a recently announced plan to settle tax debt for Spain’s major soccer clubs. The Guardian wonders not just about the way Real Madrid and Barcelona may be impacted, but also about what it may further marginalize (or even trivialize) their field of competition?
The problem is that they already dominate their domestic competition by such a large margin (Barça finished nine points behind Real, but 30 points ahead of the team in third place), that if the rest of the teams fielded teams that reflected their economic resources there would be almost no point in playing. If they want to compete in Europe for silverware and globally for fans, they need some realistic competition at home. To do this they will need to share some of their wealth with the other teams in La Liga, but this will end up making them look more like the big clubs in Germany and England.
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