Go find another league, Ramos tells La Liga critics
MADRID (Reuters) - Sevilla should go and find another league to play in if they are unhappy with La Liga, Real Madrid's Sergio Ramos said in response to criticism from his former club of Real and Barcelona's dominance in Spain.
Sevilla president Jose Maria del Nido slammed the structure of the Spanish football league and said that only two teams could win the title after Real and Barca won their opening matches of the season 6-0 and 5-0 respectively last weekend.
"If he doesn't like this one, why doesn't he look for another," Ramos told reporters as he joined up for international duty with the Spain squad on Wednesday.
Del Nido described the league as "third-world" and "rubbish" because of the way Barca and Real took half of the total revenue earned from television rights, stirring up a debate on the state of Spanish football.
Villarreal president Fernando Roig, whose side were thrashed 5-0 at the Nou Camp on Monday, said Real and Barca were "killing Spanish football" and that changes had to be made.
Another Spain international, Sevilla striker Alvaro Negredo, sided with his president.
"He is one of the people fighting to change the competition and we support him," Negredo told reporters.
"It shouldn't just be about two teams. It's all about the income the clubs earn to be able to strengthen their squads and other teams can't do this. It's the main thing I would change."
Villarreal captain Marcos Senna, who helped Spain win Euro 2008, also sided with his boss.
"The superiority of Real and Barca is brutal," he said. " "I agree with the president that this has to change, to level things out."
Valencia, who have finished third the last two seasons 25 points behind second-placed Real in 2010 and 21 adrift in 2011, joined the debate.
"They need to find a solution for the league," Valencia's Argentine midfielder Pablo Piatti told reporters. "There is an enormous economic difference, and Real and Barca are a long way ahead of the rest."
European and Spanish champions Barca and Real, the world's two richest clubs by revenue, operated on budgets four times the size of their nearest rivals last season.
Barca sports director Andoni Zubizaretta brushed aside the criticisms and suggestions the league was a two-horse race.
"We have an extraordinary league with great players," he told a news conference on Wednesday.
"We have a national team who are world and European champions, the Under-21s are European champions, as are the Under-19s. This is, along with our great league, Spanish football."
(Writing by Mark Elkington, editing by Ed Osmond. To query or comment on this story email email@example.com)Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, exclusive trading recommendations, independent equity analysis, actionable investment ideas, nuanced takes on macro, corporate and policy actions, practical insights from market gurus and much more.