Expect Another Three Horse Race at Top of La Liga Next Year

Published on May 17th, 2014 3:16 pm EST

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Earlier today, Atletico Madrid fought to a 1-1 draw against Barcelona. Due to that result, Atletico Madrid won their first La Liga title since the 1995-96 season, thus breaking the headlock on the league that was held by Real Madrid and Barcelona.

This was the 10th La Liga title in the history of Atletico Madrid.

It wasn't easy for Atletico Madrid - they had to hold Barcelona to a draw at Camp Nou on Saturday afternoon. Barcelona put everything that they had into the match and by the time that the final whistle had blown, Atletico Madrid's team slumped to the ground in a mixture of exhaustion and elation.

It was an unusual season at the top of La Liga - Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid all enjoyed time at the top of the league. As soon as it looked like a team was set to pull ahead, a strange result would occur and they would be pulled straight back into the pack. I'm certain that if the season were a few weeks longer, Atletico Madrid would have stumbled and lost the lead again - that's just how it went in La Liga this year.

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Atletico Madrid will be hard-pressed to repeat as winners next year, as Barcelona and Real Madrid will be looking for blood. It's a slightly different situation when you are the defending league champions, as every team in the league is suddenly gunning for you.

The odds to win La Liga next year haven't been released as of yet, but you can safely assume that Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid will all have largely similar odds of winning. It'll be these three teams and then everybody else - Athletic Bilbao, which finished fourth in the league this season, finished a full 19 points behind both Barcelona and Atletico Madrid.

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Many of the members of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid will now head to Brazil to play in the World Cup. As soon as that tournament ends, they'll have just a few weeks to prepare for the next La Liga season, which starts in mid August.

Congratulations to Atletico Madrid, but be warned - it's not easy being at the top.

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