Kylian Mbappé won’t guarantee Real Madrid title – LaLiga boss

Real Madrid‘s signing of Kylian Mbappé won’t guarantee the LaLiga champions repeat last season’s title success, league president Javier Tebas has told ESPN.

Madrid finished 10 points clear at the top of the LaLiga table in 2023-24 — wrapping up the title with four games to spare — and have since strengthened by signing forward Mbappé on a free transfer from Paris Saint-Germain, on a five-year contract.

That’s led some to question how competitive LaLiga will be next season, but in an interview with ESPN Mexico, Tebas denied that he has any concerns.

“A star arriving doesn’t always mean a team is better,” Tebas said. “There are other factors. [Toni] Kroos won’t carry on, Nacho [Fernández] won’t carry on either. Without Mbappé, they won the league with four games left and with Mbappé now, it doesn’t mean they’ll win the league with eight games left. That won’t happen.”

Madrid midfielder Kroos will retire this summer after concluding his participation with Germany at Euro 2024 — they face Spain in the quarterfinals on Friday — and former club captain Nacho has joined Saudi Arabia’s Al Qadsiah.

“After Mbappé, it’s hard [for others] to strengthen at that same level,” Tebas admitted. “You’ve still got [Antoine] Griezmann, [Robert] Lewandowski, Pedri or even [Lamine] Yamal, who are just below Mbappé.”

Barcelona, Madrid’s biggest rivals, have been limited in their ability to sign players in recent seasons by their finances, with a LaLiga-imposed salary cap over €500 million ($541.3m) below Madrid’s.

However, Tebas told ESPN that Barca are now closer to being in a position to spend on signings, including a possible deal for Spain and Athletic Club star winger Nico Williams.

“This is the year where they’re closest,” Tebas said. “They need to do a couple of deals and they can do it. The difference is there, their overall spend on wages is much lower … If they make up that difference, they could sign Nico Williams.”

The Spanish football federation confirmed its regulations for 2024-25 this week. They include the introduction of semi-automated offside technology, but LaLiga will continue to operate without goal-line technology, relying on VAR to identify whether the ball has crossed the line.

LaLiga is the only one of Europe’s “big five” leagues not to use goal line technology — unlike the Premier League, the Bundesliga, Serie A and Ligue 1 — a position Tebas has consistently defended.

“Goal-line technology isn’t perfect,” Tebas told ESPN. “No technology company has corrected me. You only have to search on Google to see the errors that [goal-line technology] has made.

“You can have doubts about a goal in three games out of 480. VAR solves two of those three, and the technology isn’t perfect either, if it was perfect, we’d have it. We’re looking at adding an additional camera, but I didn’t miss it, and we won’t have it next year.

“Of three situations like that, two are resolved by VAR… There’s no chip that covers the entire ball, that doesn’t exist. The rules say it’s a goal when the whole ball crosses the line. And where is the chip? It can’t be perfect, because it doesn’t cover the whole ball, just one part.”