Our series of top La Liga performers across the 2017/18 campaign sees us shine a light on the runner-up in the highest point-scoring defender tally, Atletico Madrid’s Diego Godin, whose battling performances saw him secure 85 points in what proved to be a productive season.
The fact that only Barcelona’s Jordi Alba has outscored the Uruguayan centre back among defenders in La Liga highlights just how valuable he has been to the Atletico back line.
When you consider that he has done this despite having contributed no attacking points to the team’s performances – with zero goals and zero assists across the whole of 2017/18 – the contribution that he has made to Diego Simeone’s defence is exemplified.
Across the matches that he appeared in across the season, the 32-year-old has contributed an emphatic 19 clean sheets to the cause whilst conceding just 15 goals in the process.
Whilst many players show signs of a deterioration in form as they move deeper into their thirties, Godin has continued to show why he is considered among the top brackets of defenders in the world.
Having never had to rely up immense physical attributes and in a disciplined system that doesn’t exploit his shortcomings, the centre back’s elite ability to read the game and organise a back line have continued to shine.
The relationships that he has built alongside the likes of Lucas Hernandez, Stefan Savic and Sime Vrsaljko – who sit in the third, fourth and five positions in the battle for best La Liga defender, respectively – have been crucial in his side’s ability to deliver such outstanding performances over the campaign.
Modelled in the image of their manager, Atleti’s combative, defensive minded approach to the game saw them concede just 22 goals all season – the lowest across the division – as they battled to a highly respectable second place finish with only big spending Barcelona outperforming their tally of 79 points.
With a Europa League title also in the bag, the campaign has been a resounding success for a team that continues to outperform the expectations that might be associated with the budgetary limitations that they face relative to their arch rivals.
With the opportunity to once again represent his nation in a major tournament as the World Cup in Russia roles around, Godin will be hoping he can build upon the positive experience of the 2017/18 campaign to once again upset the odds and deliver with a team punching above its weight.
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