Top 5 La Liga stars who excelled in the Premier League
There has always been an exodus from big stars from the Premier League to the La Liga. All of them have excelled during their stay in the Iberian nation. Be it David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo or the latest one to migrate to Spain, Gareth Bale.But the same can be said of those players who made their move to the opposite end- to the Queen’s land. There have been many players who have adapted to the Premier League like chameleons. Players like Fabregas and Angel Di Maria, who have immediately made their mark in the league, are a testament to this feat.So here are the five superstars who have maintained or even bettered their standards after moving to England.
#1 Sergio Aguero
Sergio ‘Kun’ Aguero has to be the best export from La Liga to the Premier League till date. Manchester City have won two league titles in three years and the Argentine has been instrumental in both the triumphs, most notably in 2012, where he scored that last gasp winner in a five goal thriller at the Etihad against QPR.
Kun was similarly influential during his stay at the Vincente Calderon. He scored 74 goals in 174 appearances for Atletico Madrid during his five year stint at the club. The numbers may not be staggering compared to his Manchester City days. But they are very good considering he was just 19 when he had his breakthrough season for the Rojiblancos. For a 23-year-old, these stats are staggering.
He was a prospect at Atletico, but he became a superstar at City. He averages almost one goal a game for the Citizens. He is just 26 right now and he will soon be entering his golden years. This mere thought wwill send chills down the spine of any football fan. He is arguably one of the top three forwards in the world right now and has potential to be the best in the world if he manages to stay fit and reaches his true potential.
#2 Fernando Torres
Fernando Torres of Liverpool was one of the best no.9 in the world, let alone in Premier League. He is a player who needs no introduction.
Torres was an instinctive forward. He was known for his timely runs and excellent finishing. These traits made him the captain of Atletico Madrid at the tender age of 19. After numerous attempts from Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich were fended off by the Atleti board, they finally sold their captain to Rafael Benitez’s Liverpool in 2007.
‘The Kid’ matured and he was simply unstoppable during his four years at Liverpool. He scored 65 goals in 102 league apps for the Merseyside club. Now, that’s some stat! He didn’t better his stats from Atletico, he smashed them at Liverpool.
It’s a shame indeed that he became one of the biggest flops in world football post his dramatic £50m move to Chelsea, but he still was a successful name in England solely because of his days in Red. Despite he won two FA Cups and one UEFA Champions League and Europa League each. He was their star player in the Europa League triumph in 2013.
#3 David Silva
David Silva was regarded as the next big thing in Spanish football when he was enthralling crowds in Valencia for their B team at the age of 16. His creativity and his vision were unparallel in his age group. He is a versatile attacker who can fit into any system seamlessly.
He was mainstay of Valencia’s midfield and their chief playmaker. He formed a fearsome partnership with David Villa between the years 2005-2010. A product of Los Che academy he provided around 10-15 goals in all competitions along with truckloads of assists a season from midfield. This potency and versatility to play anywhere behind the striker earned him a mega money move to Manchester City.
At Etihad, he continued from where he left at Valencia. He was one of the key players in City’s first title in 44 years. Such was his impact at City that Carlos Tevez labelled him the ‘best signing’ Manchester City ever made. Now, that’s quite a compliment considering Carlitos’ huge ego.
#4 David De Gea
He is the best young Spanish goalkeeper in Spain and truly the best since Iker Casillas. Now that is quite some feat considering the wealth of goalkeepers Spain has had all these years.
Victor Valdes and Pepe Reina are icons in their own right but this 23 year old Spaniard overtook them in all the departments. During his Atletico Madrid days he was regarded as the best young keeper in the world and was touted as the next big thing in goalkeeping arena.
A superb shot stopper, he was Atletico’s backbone when he led them to UEFA Super Cup triumph where he saved Diego Milito’s penalty en route to victory. After impressing at Atletico, Sir Alex Ferguson made the move for the flying Spaniard as they bought him for £17.8 million, a British record fee paid for a goalkeeper.
He eventually replaced the man from whom he derived his nickname, Edwin van der Sar. He made a wobbly start to life in England, but slowly and steadily he went on to establish himself as the one of the top keepers in the league. He was Manchester United’s Player of the Year last season.
#5 Juan Mata
Only a club like Real Madrid can afford to release an academy product like Juan Mata Garcia. The Spanish magician is a quintessential modern day no.10. He was the part of the Spanish golden generation, where they were minting world class footballers in bulk.
He is a player who is always a fan favourite wherever he has been. He switched to Valencia from Real Madrid in search of regular first team football. And how did he shine at Mestalla Stadium. He was a prolific scorer from midfield. He had his best years at Valencia forming a part of lethal strike force comprising David Silva and David Villa.
He made a switch to Premier League as Chelsea beat a host of rivals to land the prized asset for a paltry €28 million in 2011. He had his best years at Chelsea, where he was their Player of the Year for two seasons running. He was pushed to sidelines by Jose Mourinho, when he returned to the Bridge in 2013. Till then, he was widely regarded as the best player at Chelsea by a country mile.
David Moyes’ Manchester United came to the Spaniard’s rescue and he joined Red Devils for then, club record fee of £37.1 million. He has been very good at United despite the presence of Wayne Rooney.