We've been to France. We've been to Italy. Now we'll follow our boys into the land of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and analyze how the New York Red Bulls would do if they were placed in La Liga based on their performance in the 2015 regular season.
Once again, we are using 1.76 ppg as the benchmark to compare RBNY's performance to a full season within La Liga. Like the two leagues before it, La Liga plays a 38-game schedule compared to MLS' 34-game one. So we need to use 67 points as our reference and compare that to the average of the last five La Liga seasons (2010-11 through 2014-15). Can the Red Bulls reach Champions League if they played in Spain?
|Season||Red Bulls Finish||Team(s) 1 Spot Above||Team(s) 1 Spot Below|
|2010-2011||4th Place||Valencia (71 pts)||Villareal (62 pts)|
|2011-2012||3rd Place||Barcelona (91 pts)||Valencia (61 pts)|
|2012-2013||4th Place||Atletico Madrid (76 pts)||Real Sociedad (66 pts)|
|2013-2014||5th Place||Athletic Bilbao (70 pts)||Sevilla FC (63 pts)|
|2014-2015||6th Place||Sevilla FC (76 pts)||Villareal (60 pts)|
The quick answer is, YES! Spain gets between four and five Champions League berths in a given year, so the Red Bulls would have made it almost every season. Within the league itself, they'd have little to no chance at surpassing Barcelona (with a staggering 93.6 average points over the last five seasons) or Real Madrid (just as impressive: 91.2 points). The last three seasons, they wouldn't have been able to compete with Atletico Madrid either (81.3 points).
In La Liga, the Red Bulls would be equivalent to Valencia or Sevilla FC.
Valencia averaged 68.5 points per season and Sevilla had 65.7. Neither the Red Bulls nor the MLS All-Stars have ever faced off against a team in La Liga, so it would be hard to make a direct comparison.
Enjoy the weekend. Next stop: Germany's Bundesliga