Official La Liga Team of the Season vs EPL Team of the Season
The Premier League and La Liga have long competed for the title of the best league in the world. They have their own set of fans who would defend “their league” come rain or shine.
While the former saw Chelsea win the League with three games to go, Barcelona sealed their title early as well having improved massively over their performances from the first half of the season that saw Real Madrid at the top
Many contend that one would beat the other at quality while the other would win at entertainment. A conclusive end to such a debate would seem impossible, however, La Liga has just released its Team of the Season for 2014/15. We also have the results of the PFA’s EPL team of the season that was picked nearly 2 months ago.
Here we lay out the two teams side by side and leave it to you to make the decision on which side has been the better on this season.
La Liga Team of the Season
Barcelona, as they dominated most teams this season have also dominated the list with six players from the Blaugrana make the Team of the Season while Real Madrid, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Sevilla all feature.
Claudio Bravo was Barcelona’s primary custodian in the league as he made 37 appearances while only conceding 19 games. While many would put this down to a more robust Barcelona defence in this campaign, Bravo has been alert and up to the task whenever called upon to act.
Barcelona are not usually hailed for their defence. Having said that, few would fault the inclusion of three of Barcelona's regular back four in the La Liga Team of the Season. Both fullbacks Dani Alves and Jordi Alba have been splendid for Barcelona going forward as usual but have also summoned an extra bit of energy when they came back to defend.
Their partner in defence Gerard Pique has been criticised in the past for his defensive frailty but he’s undergone a rejuvenation of sorts this season as he appeared to be able to stem every opposition attack and block every shot aimed at his goal.
He is partnered in defence by Nicolas Otamendi who also seemed to have stepped up his game this season. Going from a promising name to one of the top defenders in Europe this season. The positive performances have also seen him find a regular place in Argentina’s backline as well.
All three midfielders from this season’s La Liga team are Young and dynamic. Barcelona’s Ivan Rakitic is at the base of the midfield. His presence provided Barcelona with some much-needed physicality in the middle without compromising on the flair.
Grzegorz Krychowiak has been a regular for Sevilla this season contributing both in attack as well as defence. There are few who have matched his energy and quality in the league.
James Rodriguez joins the other two being the most attack minded of all three midfielders. His 13 goals and 13 assists for Real Madrid explain why he checks all the right boxes to make it to the team.
One from Barcelona, the other from Real Madrid and a third from Atletico Madrid. This year, Antoine Griezmann finds himself in distinguished company as he joins Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the front of a three-pronged attack.
While Cristiano Ronaldo was top scorer in this edition of La Liga with 48 goals, he was closely followed by Leo Messi who scored 43. Antoine Griezmann finished the season as Atletico Madrid’s top scorer with a relatively modest 22 goals.
Among the honourable mentions were more players from the aforementioned teams: Diego Alves (Valencia), Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Jose Gaya (Valencia), Daniel Parejo (Valencia), Toni Kroos (Real Madrid), Neymar (Barcelona) and Carlos Bacca (Sevilla).
Premier League Team of the Season
The closest equivalent of the La Liga official team is the PFA chosen Premier League team of the season. Not unlike the La Liga team of the season, the EPL team is dominated by players from the title-winning team. Six Chelsea players are joined by single players from Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham, Southampton and Manchester United.
The Spanish custodian David De Gea who if reports are to be believed is Real Madrid bound is Manchester United’s Player of the Season once again. His performances this season have once again saved Manchester United the blushes on several occasions.
While Barcelona’s dominance in defence was unexpected, Chelsea’s defensive unit has long been among the best in the league and even across Europe. Three current Chelsea stars John Terry, Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic are joined at the back by former Chelsea man Ryan Bertrand who now plays at left-back for Southampton.
While John Terry was touted as close to retirement by many, he has answered his critics by producing one of his best seasons ever playing in the Blues’ defence alongside Gary Cahill.
While Branislav Ivanovic’s contribution at the back has been questioned a few times, he epitomises the Chelsea defence's penchant for attack as well, regularly appaearing among the goals.
Ryan Bertrand’s solidity at the back contributed to the Saints' defensive superiority this season coming second only to Chelsea in the tally of least goals conceded in the league. Add to that the Englishman’s brilliant crossing and marauding runs and there can be no qualms about his inclusion in this team.
A couple more Chelsea names appear in the shape of the huge Serbian Nemanja Matic whose return to Chelsea has seen nothing but success for both him and the team. He is joined by club teammate and PFA player of the season Eden Hazard. The diminutive Belgian has jettisoned himself up to a new level this season as he proved to be among the best creative sparks for the Blues on the way to their Premier League triumph.
Philippe Coutinho was perhaps the only shining ray of light in an otherwise bleak season for Liverpool. His goals and performances for the Reds were the reason they managed somewhat of a revival mid-season albeit a temporary one.
Alexis Sanchez also unsurprisingly makes the team with sensational performances that lit up the league. His direct approach added a refreshing touch to Arsenal’s superb passing display.
A new import from the La Liga, Diego Costa was expected to be the bad boy that he has proven he is with his antics on the pitch, however, his exploits in front of goal gave Chelsea an edge they were missing all of last season. Many would argue that having him in the team is not worth the trouble but the returns are there for all to see.
A revelation for the Premier League and England came in the form of Harry Kane who made the PFA Young player of the year as well. His brilliance in front of goal as well as his ability to hold off defenders were only a pinch of all he could do. His natural ability to find the goal is second to no one.
The PFA Team of the season did not have any honourable mentions, however, there were a few who could have made it based on the superb seasons they had, so here they are: Fraser Forster (Southampton), Aaron Cresswell (West Ham), Jose Fonte (Southampton), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal), Cesc Fabregas (Chelsea), Ashley Young (Manchester United), Sergio Aguero (Manchester City)
Published 15 Jun 2015, 17:41 IST