In each of the top five leagues of European football, there comes that time of the season when it draws to a close; when the teams in a competition know that there’s that one team that will soon be crowned champions.
And, after a long, hard season, at times plagued by injuries to certain players, marked by periods of not being in form, and times when fixtures seemed very tough and demanding, it’s completely understandable when at the end of the season, to be crowned as champions is something to celebrate and be proud of.
It’s the same theme across all of Europe’s top leagues, as well as other leagues around the globe.
That glorious day when the winning team is awarded the league title definitely surpasses all the many other days in terms of glory and emotional weight.
It definitely surpasses all the many other days in the season when winning the title was but a distant possibility.
The trophies of two of the main leagues in Europe, the English Premier League and the Spanish La Liga, are an example each of what the champions of the respective leagues deserve or do not deserve to be awarded in recognition of their achievement.
Examine these two images closely.
The first image of the English Premier League trophy has been cropped to about half its frame.
In the second image, the La Liga trophy is shown in full.
But, in your honest opinion, which trophy actually looks like it was made for champions?
And which one looks like some relic from a Medieval-era royal banquet?
The English Premier League trophy looks good enough for a trophy, but the Spanish La Liga trophy…not so much.
Not even half as much.
To understand the full import of why the La Liga trophy is long due for a redesign, let’s discuss the Premier League, the La Liga, and their two respective trophies in more detail.
The English Premier League
Liverpool, after a 30-year wait for their first Premier League title since 1990, were to be crowned champions of England after a dominant season, where, 22 points at the top of the table, their aspirations were halted by the coronavirus pandemic.
After initial concerns that the Premier league season might be restarted, the decision was taken to recontinue, allowing the Reds to complete their historic march towards the title.
Eventually, Jurgen Klopp’s side were crowned champions with a record seven games to spare.
And while they deserve to win title after a decades-long, patient wait, the additional uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic adds to the emotional weight of Liverpool’s achievement, which has eluded them for so long.
The English Premier League Trophy
The design of the English Premier League trophy, based on the theme of “the Three Lions of English Football”, just by looking at it, makes all the hard work of the season of Liverpool, as well as all other teams who have won the prestigious title, worthwhile.
The designers of the trophy really made a point with this work of art.
The sleekness of the shiny silver, the elegance of the gold crown and the lions, the firm solidity of the base, and the celebratory nature of the long, flowing flags on both of the handles, with their colors based on the colors of the title winners for the season.
All of these aspects combine harmoniously to create a masterpiece that speaks volumes of the amount of thought and effort put into it, the creativity invested to build it, and the skillfulness channeled into its existence, with the singular goal of making the trophy look as glorious as it is.
All by itself, the trophy looks like a prize among prizes; it looks like an award to be given to a club who worked hard enough to deserve it.
And that’s why it stands out from all the other trophies in the leagues of Europe and beyond.
The Spanish La Liga
Over in Spain, Real Madrid had it much tougher in their season than Liverpool did.
This was due to the fact that their fiercest rivals, Barcelona, were hot on their heels for much of the season in the race for the Spanish crown.
While Liverpool at some point opened up a 22-point gap at the summit of the league standings, it was quite the opposite story for Madrid, who at times were level on points with Barcelona; with Messi and his colleagues at times ahead of them in the race, looking like they would clinch the title.
But Real Madrid eventually overcame, and, after a tumultuous season marked by injuries to key players, most notably Eden Hazard, as well as fixture pile-ups, they were also crowned champions.
They are well and truly the kings of Spain.
The Spanish La Liga Trophy
But their trophy – well, that’s a different case entirely.
While it’s not the worst-looking piece of silverware in Europe and beyond, it doesn’t exactly look like it was made for champions now, does it?
Not especially when it’s placed side-by-side with its English equivalent.
Not even the English FA Cup, for its lower position in English football, is as blandly designed as the La Liga crown.
For what it’s worth, the designers of the La Liga trophy could really have come up with something beautiful enough to actually have 20 teams play 380 matches a season to compete for.
I mean, come on; for a club that will spend hundreds of millions of euros in the summer transfer window to reinforce the squad and bolster their ranks, they deserve better.
For a team that will spend an entire season facing off against 19 other teams twice in the season, they deserve better.
For a team that will beat most of these teams over the course of more than nine months, playing demanding fixtures in at least two other cup competitions, and having to deal with times of uncertainty, match losses, injuries, and lack of form, the designers of the La Liga trophy could have done far better than this.
It’s a wonder that hardly anyone at this point is calling for a redesign of the over-sized goblet.
Trophy design is, as we’ve seen here, one area in which the Premier League has done well.
The look of the final prize for the champions is one of the reasons why the English Premier League is prominent among the top 5 leagues in Europe.
Aside the glitz and glamor of the Premier League; aside from the entertainment that the English top-flight division has consistently provided its hundreds of millions of fans for decades, this is one aspect where the Premier League stands out.
That trophy literally looks like it was made for champions to lift up in triumph, to raise high above their heads in victory.
It resembles the kind of prize that would be awarded in recognition of a club that would have rightfully earned the piece of silverware after month upon month of overcoming tough, ceaseless opposition.
The crown on the Premier League trophy sends a message to the trophy’s wielders as well as everyone who looks upon it.
The message? These players have literally been crowned the kings of English football. They, as the champions, have become kings on the domestic scene– and for good reason, because they deserve to.
But on the other hand, for what it’s worth, just by looking at the Spanish La Liga, it tends to remind one of some ancient relics, like a piece of silverware from the Middle Ages.
It has that sort of look to it, like some oversized Medieval goblet, that belongs to ancient royalty, from 476 AD – the 15th century.
I believe it’s long overdue, a total redesign of the trophy.
If anything, even in the medieval ages, the Spaniards were a force to be reckoned with among the sovereignties of early Europe.
The kings of Spain were not monarchs to be taken lightly.
Not King Philip II of Spain. Not King Ferdinand VII. Not Queen Isabella II. Not Charles V.
So why, hundreds of years later, in one of the top leagues of the world, would the league trophy not at least look grand enough to remind all who see it of a time when each of these monarchs were addressed as "Your Majesty" for a reason?
No, the champions of Spain deserve better, for all the work they put in.
So do all other future winners of the Spanish La Liga.
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