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La Liga 2019/2020: Team of the season 

Real Madrid celebrate their record-extending 34th La Liga title.
Real Madrid celebrate their record-extending 34th La Liga title.
imkaulik
ANALYST
Modified 28 Jul 2020, 02:32 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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The 2019-20 La Liga recently ended with Real Madrid lifting their 34th crown. Zidane's men were two points behind defending champions Barcelona after the resumption of the season but showed remarkable consistency as they won ten and drew one of their 11 subsequent La Liga matches.

Lionel Messi topped both the goalscoring and assist charts with another record-breaking season while Thibaut Courtois had the most clean sheets. 

Atletico Madrid recovered from a poor start to finally finish third while Sevilla took the last Champions League spot. Villarreal and Real Sociedad came 4th and 5th while newly-promoted Granada rounded up the Europa League places. 

Mallorca, Espanyol and Leganes were the teams who endured relegation from the 2019-20 La Liga. 

On that note, let's now look at the La Liga team of the season, considering not more than one player from a club. Predictably under usual circumstances, it would have been dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona players.

For our La Liga XI comprising of not more than one player per team, we have considered a 4-3-3 formation.

2019-20 La Liga XI:

Goalkeeper - Aitor Fernandez (Levante)

Levante keeper Aitor Fernandez
Levante keeper Aitor Fernandez
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Levante had a good season in the 2019-20 La Liga, beating both Real Madrid and Barcelona, while finishing 12th.

The undoubted star of their season was keeper Aitor Fernandez. He led the La Liga in number of saves. Without him between the sticks, Levante might have struggled to stay up. Fernandes also saved three of the six penalties he faced, which is unreal.

 

Right-Back - Emerson (Real Betis)

Real Betis
Real Betis' right back Emerson

It was a fairly underwhelming La Liga season for Real Betis but Brazilian right-back Emerson was one of their very few bright spots.

The 21-year-old Brazilian is co-owned by Barcelona and is scheduled to join the La Liga giants at the end of next season. During the recently concluded campaign, he contributed with three goals and six assists for Betis, in the process also earning a cap from his national team. 

Centre-Back - Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

La Liga-winning captain Sergio Ramos
La Liga-winning captain Sergio Ramos

Sergio Ramos is a name that needs absolutely no introduction.

The Real Madrid captain lifted his fifth La Liga title this season. He spearheaded a Madrid defence that conceded the least goals (25) across Europe's top five leagues.

But that was not even the best part of his season. Ramos also scored an insane 11 goals, all while playing as a centre-back; he was also perfect with all six of his spotkicks.

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Centre-Back - Diego Carlos (Sevilla)

FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga
FC Barcelona v Sevilla FC - La Liga

The Brazilian centre-back Diego Carlos impressed massively during the 2019-20 La Liga season. His partnership with Jules Kounde at the heart of Sevilla's defence was instrumental to the club's return to the Champions League.

Tall, strong and fast, Carlos has everything in his locker to become an elite centre-back. Sevilla conceded just 34 La Liga goals this season, and Carlos arguably played a crucial in that.

Left-Back - Pervis Estupinan (Osasuna)

Osasuna Left-back Pervis Estupinan
Osasuna Left-back Pervis Estupinan

Probably the least known name here, Osasuna's Pervis Estupinan, will be at the centre of a lot of transfer buzz this summer.

Currently on loan from Premier League club Watford, Estupinian has been a player of considerable interest from many clubs. And given his performances this season, it seems justified.

While he has decent attacking qualities, his best comes out on the defensive front. One of his most memorable performances came when he shackled the great Lionel Messi at Camp Nou where Osasuna shocked the defending La Liga champions Barcelona 2-1.

Central Defensive Midfielder - Thomas Partey (Atletico Madrid)

Atletico Madrid central defensive midfielder Thomas Partey
Atletico Madrid central defensive midfielder Thomas Partey

Thomas Partey, without doubt, is one of the best holding midfielders in the La Liga. The 2019-20 edition of the La Liga was probably his best so far.

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He did everything right and dominated the midfield with his strength and intelligence. Based on his performances this season, it is likely that it was Partey's last season with the Rojiblancos; Arsenal are linked quite heavily with him.

However, it remains to be seen whether he agrees to move from a club that will be playing in the Champions League next season to a club that will not even play in the Europa League.

Central Midfielder - Santi Cazorla (Villareal)

Villarreal central midfielder Santi Cazorla
Villarreal central midfielder Santi Cazorla

A few years ago, doctors told Santi Cazorla that he'd be lucky to walk. Oh boy was that wrong!

Not only did he walk in the La Liga this season, but he absolutely ran the show. In his two seasons at Villarreal, he has managed 34 goal contributions, with 11 goals and 9 assists coming this season.

Cazorla successfully managed to steer Villareal to the Europa League. Now aged 35, Cazorla is ready for his next adventure as he is set to join former Spanish teammate Xavi Hernandez at Al Sadd in Qatar.

Central Attacking Midfielder - Raul Garcia (Athletic Bilbao)

Athletic Club central attacking midfielder Raul Garcia
Athletic Club central attacking midfielder Raul Garcia

Athletic Bilbao had a very stop-start La Liga season in 2019-20.

After the retirement of club legend Aritz Aduriz midway through the season, the Basque club needed someone to chip in with the goals. Raul Garcia took over that responsibility with relative ease.

The 34-year-old got 15 goals, taking him to fifth in the Golden Boot standings. Impressively, six of these goals came in just ten games after the resumption of La Liga following the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Left Winger - Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)

Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal
Real Sociedad winger Mikel Oyarzabal

Club captain at just 23, Mikel Oyarzabal is among the most underrated players in the La Liga.

Oyarzabal led Real Sociedad into sixth place in the Spanish top-flight this season and a place in next season's Europa League.

He was the only player in the La Liga, apart from Lionel Messi, to reach double figures in both goals and assists this season. Come the transfer window, a lot of big clubs might be looking at him.

 

Striker - Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo)

Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas.
Celta Vigo striker Iago Aspas.

Iago Aspas truly is evergreen. Season after season, he seems to be keeping Celta up almost single handedly in the La Liga. This season too was no different in that regard.

Celta looked to be in serious trouble when Aspas was injured in the early part of the season. But things improved after he came back.

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Aspas scored 14 goals, including a fabulous brace, late in the season to secure a 2-2 draw with Barcelona as Celta stayed up in the La Liga by the skin of their teeth.

Right Winger - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi

What can one say about Lionel Messi that hasn't already been said before?

In a season which people have claimed to be poor by his staggering standards, Messi still managed 25 goals and 21 assists. In the process, he won his seventh Pichichi trophy and also broke the La Liga assist record in a season.

Messi still has the most goal contributions across the top five football leagues in Europe this season. However, what he couldn't do was inspire Barcelona to a third straight La Liga title.

Rumours of a rift with the Barcelona board have led to whispers of Lionel Messi leaving the Camp Nou. However, with the very real possibility of Messi's former teammate and friend Xavi Hernandez coming in as the Barcelona coach, it remains to be seen what the future holds for arguably the greatest player of all time.

Published 25 Jul 2020, 04:33 IST
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