La Liga is renowned for housing some of the finest midfielders in the world and we take a look at the best performers in 2020.
Spain has consistently produced some of the best technicians in football and in the 21st century, they have been a different gravy altogether.
Teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have been blessed with having so many incredible individuals on their books that sometimes even the best of the best have to grind without a halt to earn a spot in the starting XI.
In the La Liga, the game is played at a more controlled pace than it is in, say, the Premier League. Midfielders are the ones who control the tempo of the game and as most teams in the Spanish top-flight play out from the back, they act as the link between defence and attack.
Without further ado, let's take a look at 10 of the best midfielders in La Liga this year.
Atletico Madrid's central midfielder Koke has been a reliable and consistent performer in the centre of the park for Diego Simeone. He is the quintessential holding midfielder who packs all the necessary traits that make a good midfielder.
The Atletico Madrid captain is excellent at holding on to the ball. He loves using his body as cover and wriggling out of tight situations and finding space in the middle of the pitch. He is a great passer of the ball as well and scored four goals and provided five assists in the 2019-20 season.
The 28-year-old contributes commendably in defence and never shies away from tracking back and helping his defenders. He has had a decent 2020-21 season so far but is yet to score or assist this campaign.
#9 Federico Valverde
Displacing the likes of Luka Modric and Isco from the Real Madrid starting XI is no mean feat but at the age of 22, it is exactly what Federico Valverde did. Unfortunately, he had to be sidelined for a while after fracturing his right leg but it's almost certain that he will earn his place back in Zinedine Zidane's starting lineup.
Valverde is an excellent midfielder and is the reason why Real Madrid were willing to let Dani Ceballos leave on loan. Valverde has an excellent passing range and is pretty good at progressing the ball thanks to his pace and dribbling ability.
He has excellent control and is gifted when it comes to picking a pass as well. He contributes well from midfield. After having scored two goals and provided five assists from central midfield across 32 appearances (only 20 of which were starts), Valverde has scored three goals and provided one assist from 12 appearances this season so far.
#8 Sergio Canales
Real Betis' attacking midfielder Sergio Canales is a Racing Santander youth academy product who found little joy after securing a dream switch to Real Madrid 10 years back. After not being able to come up trumps at Valencia and Real Sociedad, Canales ended up at Real Betis.
However, he has since shifted gears and has grown into one of the most mature attacking midfielders in the La Liga. He provided six assists and also scored six goals for Real Betis last season and has stepped it up this campaign. Canales already has a goal and four assists to his name from nine appearances so far.
He also earned a call up to the international side in 2019. Real Betis have been flying under Manuel Pellegini and if Canales can stay fit and not pick up another bad injury, the world will get to know the potential of a player who everyone nearly gave up on.