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UEFA Champions League

Del Bosque points to 20 year 'hegemony' to defend Spanish failures in Europe this season

04:05 BST 22/05/2019
Luis Suarez FC Barcelona Liverpool Champions League 2019
Despite La Liga sides falling short in Europe this season, the former Spain boss has defended the success of clubs from his home nation

Vicente del Bosque defended the standard of Spanish football after La Liga clubs missed out on European success.

Both European finals will be played between English clubs, with Liverpool and Tottenham meeting in the Champions League and Chelsea facing Arsenal in the Europa League decider.

But former Spain and Real Madrid coach Del Bosque defended Spanish clubs, pointing to their recent record in Europe.

Madrid or Barcelona have won the past five Champions League titles, while Atletico Madrid or Sevilla have claimed four of the previous five Europa Leagues.

"Well, if you saw the last 20 years, the Spanish clubs have won 50 per cent of the Champions League titles," Del Bosque said on Tuesday.

"Also, we've had very good performances of Sevilla and Atletico, who win the Europa League.

"Villarreal, Deportivo La Coruna and others contributed to a great hegemony of Spanish football during the past two decades."

The criticism from the outside largely comes from the shocking nature of Spain’s failings in Europe this season.  

Atletico Madrid fell at the hands of Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus despite winning the first leg 2-0. The former Real Madrid man scored a hat-trick in the second leg of their last-16 tie to help the Italian giants to a 3-0 win on the night and a 3-2 victory over the two leg.  

Real Madrid were bounced in the same round, also in shocking fashion. Having won three Champions League crowns in a row and four out of five, Los Blancos entered the second leg of their last-16 tie with Ajax having won the first leg in Amsterdam 2-1. 

A 4-1 beating at the hands of the Dutch club followed, leaving Barcelona as La Liga’s only representatives in the quarter-finals.  

The Catalans made it all the way to the competition’s last four and seemed to have one foot in the final after beating Liverpool 3-0 in the first leg in Barcelona. 

However, Lionel Messi and company could do nothing to slow Jurgen Klopp's side in the second leg, the Reds running to a 4-0 win and setting a date with Tottenham for June’s final.