Create

6 contenders for La Liga Player of the year ranked

Who will be awarded the La Liga's best player this season
Who will be awarded the La Liga's best player this season
Soumalya Moitra

The La Liga is heading towards its conclusion, with Real Madrid and Barcelona quite expectedly the two teams who are in with a shout for the top prize in Spain. Less expectedly though, the best individual performers in the Spanish first division hasn’t been the duo of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, with players from their respective clubs taking on the mantle (of sorts) from the superstar duo.

However, not so fascinating is the dominance of the top three clubs and the individuals in their respective teams. A not so subtle spoiler is, that this list contains players only from these clubs.

#6 Saul Niguez

Saul Niguez
Saul Niguez in action for Atletico Madrid

Definitely, the revelation of the season, at least from a pure Spanish perspective. Also, the only Spaniard in the list (more Spoilers). The left footed Spanish midfielder has played in almost every position for his manager Diego Simeone, starting from defensive midfield to the wings to the number 10 position, and he has excelled.

Despite all the positions he has played, he has 9 goals and 3 assists this campaign, a very good return for a central midfielder. He can dribble, he is very accurate with his passing, and is strong on the tackle. The archetypical Diego Simeone player.

#5 Toni Kroos

Toni Kroos
Toni Kroos celebrates

So here is the raw data; Toni Kroos in his 27 appearances in the La Liga with Real Madrid this season, has assisted 12 goals (from central midfield mind you), has scored two himself, completes close to 93% of his passes and has been dispossessed only thirteen times this whole League campaign.

That in itself makes for a very pretty reading; add to that his ability to control the tempo of the game and his understanding with Luka Modric and there you have the perfect recipe for a successful team. No wonder Zinedine Zidane has a soft spot for the German.

#4 Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann has had another stellar season

If there was ever a crown jewel in a counter-attacking team, Griezmann would be the perfect definition. The Frenchman picks up the ball in his own half, runs at speed and gobbles up every opportunity he gets in and around the opposition box.

Add to that his brilliant positioning sense and his willingness to work hard for the team, and you can imagine Jose Mourinho watching Atletico Madrid games with a box of tissues. His goal tally of 35 and 12 assists in all competitions this season, and you have a stone cold finisher who starts from inside his own box.

#3 Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi

There were many who wrote off Lionel Messi in the beginning of the campaign. To his critics, he has answered with 53 goals and 11 assists in all competitions.

But, what is often overlooked is the change he has brought about in his game. He doesn’t try to go past 7 players at every third opportunity anymore, he starts from deep, plays clever passes and uses his long range passing to open defences.

Another part of his game which has developed has been his positioning, in terms of arriving late into the box. Now, 29, he will be there at the top of the food chain for many-many years to come.

Just when the defenders thought he couldn’t get any better.

#2 Marcelo

Marcelo
Marcelo

There might be quite a few names thrown into the hat in terms of who has been the best player for Real Madrid this season. Cristiano Ronaldo, with his assists and important goals, is probably first in the League, but it is worth noting that his best performances have come in the Champions League as opposed to La Liga.

Sergio Ramos is obviously is another, with his leadership and his important goals, and his wonderful defensive work with an ever-changing defence beside hm. But, in my opinion, their best player has been left-back, Marcelo.

Brilliant on the ball, good with his crossing and his ability to go past his man at will makes him undoubtedly the best left back in the world. His biggest attribute, however, is his quality into the box late in the game, you can clearly see players in the team looking for him when in trouble and need a goal late.

A joy to watch, and just when you thought Roberto Carlos is the best left back to ever play for Real Madrid.

Honourable Mentions: Felipe Luiz, Guillermo Ochoa, Luis Suarez and the ever so popular Cristiano Ronaldo.

#1 Neymar

Neymar
Neymar

There are a lot of players who are effective, they are a lot of players who are prodigiously gifted, and there are those who give you joy, someone you would pay money to watch. Neymar is undoubtedly one of those, he might have scored just 19 goals this season (19 assists as well), but he has taken over the mantle from Lionel Messi on occasions.

His turn of pace, that drop of the shoulder to put a defender off his balance, and the hint of arrogance, he has combined all that with an end product this season. When on the pitch, even Lionel Messi gives the ball for the Brazilian to do something special, and that is a compliment.

He rightfully deserves his trophy for the best player in the La Liga this campaign.

Note: Cristiano Ronaldo despite his goals doesn’t make this list mainly due to his reduced game time in the La Liga. If he had played the number of games as the rest of the contenders did, there is a high chance he would have made the list.

Don’t like the names on the list? Don’t like the order in which the players are placed? Tweet me at @soumalyamoitra7 and if you can convince me, I would gladly make some changes to the list.

Edited by Staff Editor

Comments

Quick Links:

More from Sportskeeda
Fetching more content...