Nuno Espirito Santo managed Valencia CF have surprised everybody with their consistently brilliant displays this season as they find themselves in a good position to qualify for UEFA Champions League next year. Valencia also enjoy the backing of Singapore based billionaire Peter Lim now and they look on a right path to make it a big foura in La Liga from next season onwards.
Until a couple of seasons ago, La Liga was termed as a competition of big two as only Real Madrid and FC Barcelona were fighting for the top honours, both, in Spain and in Europe. But Diego Pablo Simeone took the reins of Atletico Madrid in 2011 and he changed that perception last year by winning La Liga.
Such is the development of Atletico Madrid that Rojiblancos is now one of the most feared team of Europe and they have some world class players like Antoine Griezmann, Koke, Mario Mandzukic and Diego Godin in their squad.
Atletico Madrid look certain to grow in years to come as they have received a huge investment from China. Healthy financial condition is going to help Rojiblancos to keep hold of their biggest stars at the club in future and with a coach like Diego Simeone, they look capable enough to give Real Madrid and FC Barcelona a run for their money in upcoming season.
Meanwhile, there is a revolution taking place at Estadio Mestalla also as Nuno Espirito Santoa s Valencia has shown remarkable improvement this season.
Valencia, under the guidance of Rafa Benitez, was a European superpower in the first half of last decade as they won a La Liga title and made it to the two UEFA Champions League finals.
However, thanks to the monopolistic policies of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona in sharing the televisions rightsa revenue, Los Che suffered a lot as they were struggling to match the spending power of biggest European clubs.
Debts were rising for Valencia as they lost some of their biggest stars, David Villa, David Silva, Juan Mata, Roberto Soldado and Jordi Alba, one by one.
These constant departures of their biggest stars had a disastrous impact on the performance levels of Valencia as they failed to qualify for the Champions League for couple of seasons.
The then management of Valencia passed a resolution to build a New Mestalla to increase the gate receipts. But, thanks to the ongoing recession, they had to shelve their plans as they had no money to spend on a new stadium.
Times were so bad for Valencia that they looked destined to announce the bankruptcy, sooner rather than later.
But, to the surprise of many, times have changed quite fast for Valencia.
At the start of a new season in September of 2014, not many things were expected from Nuno Espirito Santoa s men as the new looking Valencia side failed to convince anybody with its talent pool.
However, Valencia have surpassed all expectations with their consistent displays this season. The Los Che are sitting at the fourth spot in La Liga at the moment and look certain to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Like Diego Simeone at Atletico Madrid, Nuno Espirito Santo has developed a great team spirit at Valencia and his (majority) young and in-experienced players have responded well by showing a remarkable mental strength.
The central defence of Valencia, comprising of Shkordan Mustafi and Nicolas Otamendi, has emerged as arguably the most reliable defensive partnership in La Liga this season.
Jose Luis Gaya is the most sought after left-back in Europe at the moment but Valencia management has shown a great resolve by extending his contract at the right time.
Meanwhile, the young attackers of Valencia, including Paco Alcacer, Rodrigo and Sophian Phegouli has shown a great promise this season and the club look confident of keeping the hold of their attackers for the next season.
Los Che were struggling in La Liga until the last season because they had no money to compete with the Clasico rivals. But, after the taking of Valencia by Peter Lim, the club in not going to face the financial crunch this summer.
The ambition of the new owner of Valencia was on display in the winter transfer window as he splashed 26 million euros on a world class midfielder Enzo Perez.
The club is certain to spend big in the summer transfer window as well because Peter Lim has the ambition to make Valencia a superpower in years to come.
Another factor which is going to help Valencia in the longer run is the new television revenue distribution model of La Liga. Unlike all other major leaguea s of Europe, La Liga clubs negotiate their own television deals which helps Real Madrid and FC Barcelona as they are more popular than any other club in the world.
But the equal distribution of television money is going to help the clubs like Valencia in future which is going to help them compete with the Clasico rivals.
The combination of all aforementioned factors is going to help Valencia in the longer run and, if they continue to walk on the same path, they look certain to make La Liga more competitive than ever.