£150m? Why wonderkid Haaland isn’t even worth £70m

Move over Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo- Erling Haaland is the new kid in town and soon every kid in the playground will be donning his shirt. Which new club that will be is still anyone’s guess but Haaland has taken the headlines by storm and it seems that over the past two weeks everyone has been talking about the Norwegian player who is still only 20.

The hype seems genuine enough, Haaland scores goals, but he is tall, huge in fact, and is quite a presence and his speed is lightning quick, his current club Borussia Dortmund seem to have found a gem of a player.

Haaland has already scored 124 goals in all competitions in his career and this season alone has 33 goals from 33 games. It is stunning and certainly reminds one of Messi and Ronaldo’s records. In short Dortmund are not going to keep him and he is certainly going to be transferred this summer.

In truth at 20 he could probably do with another season in the Bundesliga, but here’s the catch- he can leave next summer for £68m, that is stipulated in his buyout contract. Now that would still be a tidy profit for Dortmund of almost £50m, but of course they want more.

If Haaland was to leave this summer it is possible that he could go for upwards of £150m, that’s the figure that has been talked about. The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester City and PSG may just be able to convince their purse strings and in some cases their banks to hand over that kind of money for a player who may well light up world football for the next 15 years.

But let’s face it, it is a gamble.

The Bundesliga with all due respect isn’t the highest bar to judge oneself. True the current European champions are Bayern Munich, but they are almost a one off. Like PSG who reached last year’s final too- it doesn’t mean that particular league is strong. That isn’t to say German football isn’t strong, but currently one would have to question.

Take Timo Werner at Chelsea who was scoring goals for fun in the Bundesliga, when Chelsea were able to snap up the German international for around £60m it looked like a bargain. However Werner has had a poor debut season with the Blues, and quite frankly his confidence looks shot. He may improve next season, then again…. The Premier League, La Liga and Serie A are simply at a higher level, and you can get found out.

It doesn’t seem like Haaland will have any troubles adjusting to a different league but when prices of £150m are being quoted doesn’t someone have to say, well, hang on a second?

What has Haaland proved so far, yes he looks good, yes he can score goals, but he hasn’t done anything significant yet. True he’s young but how about make a mark- because all of the other greats have done so.

Imagine for example in the 2nd leg of Dortmund’s quarter final Champions League tie against Manchester City Haaland makes the difference and helps knock City out of the competition. That would be quite a marker to lay down. No one is expecting Haaland to join his new club loaded with trophies in his resume just yet, but perhaps one would like to see some showing in a big match first.

It is why in reality Haaland is only worth his buyout clause he hasn’t really been able to make that difference not to a team yet, not like Kylian Mbappe for example, although of course Mbappe is in a better team.

Dortmund of course will understand that if they sold Haaland for £70m one day he could be sold on for £200m plus and they don’t want to miss out, that is the business of football. Some players simply are not worth what clubs are prepared to offer.

Ideally everyone should be happy with a smaller fee, it’s still profit for his original club but Dortmund will go for the top price, and honestly you can’t blame them for that. As for Haaland the truth of how great he will be is only going to be revealed next season at his new club.

 

La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 29

Week 29 looks like it was a turning point in La Liga was a huge blow to Atletico Madrid’s chances of winning the title. Atletico lost 1-0 away to Sevilla and have seen their huge lead cut down. Real Madrid are only 3 points behind and if Barcelona win their game in hand they will only be 1 point behind. Is the writing on the wall for Atletico? It looks increasingly likely.

Barcelona didn’t play at the weekend but they remain the best in form side in La Liga and have earned an incredible 28 points from a possible 30.

Let’s take a look below at the players who impressed the most as La Liga returned this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Bono- Sevilla 7pts

Bono has been here so many times and is clearly one of the best goalkeeper’s in Spain this season. This was his 13th clean sheet of the season and what it was as Sevilla marched to Champions League qualification as they beat league leaders Atletico Madrid 1-0.

Defender: Ferland Mendy- Real Madrid 5pts

Ferland Mendy has been of Real Madrid’s best defenders this season and he earned another 5 points at the weekend to take his tally to 53. He has helped to keep 11 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Nacho- Real Madrid 5pts

Nacho has 30 points now as Real Madrid beat Eibar 2-0 at home to keep yet another clean sheet and possibly close in on the league title. Nacho made some great judgments on the ball and had a solid game.

Defender: Pedro Lopez- Huesca 5pts

Pedro Lopez showed a lot of maturity at the back for Huesca as they pulled off a terrific result to beat Levante away from home by 2-0. He’s hardly played any games this season and that is why he only has 9 points overall. His value is worth 5m.

Defender: Alberto Moreno- Villarreal 5pts

Alberto Moreno was part of a Villarreal defence that kept a clean sheet as they went to Granada and won 3-0. Moreno now has a total of 5 points given that this was indeed his first game for the club this season.

Midfielder: Marco Asensio- Real Madrid 6pts

Marco Asensio had an interesting game for Real Madrid as they beat Eibar 2-0. He scored the opening goal but it was ruled out by VAR but then a couple of minutes later he made amends for that and scored a proper opening goal.

Midfielder: Casemiro- Real Madrid 4pts

Casemiro has had a solid and professional season with Real and he assisted in the clubs first goal as they beat Eibar 2-0. Casemiro now has two assists for the season and has a total of 40 points so far.

Midfielder: Jesus Navas- Sevilla 4pts

Jesus Navas helped out at the back at times as Sevilla beat Atletico Madrid 1-0. Navas also assisted in the only goal of the game, to round up a very good performance from the midfielder. Currently he is the clubs 4th best midfielder so far.

Midfielder: David Ferreiro- Huesca 4pts

David Ferreiro assisted in Huesca’s goal as they beat Levante 2-0 at the weekend to earn a good 4 points. He has 3 assists now and is ranked at number 1 Huesca midfielder with a total of 23 points.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 14pts

It was a special weekend for Gerard Moreno who doesn’t always get the credit that he deserves. Villarreal beat Granada 3-0 and he scored all the goals to get a hat-trick. Moreno now has 19 goals this season and is 2nd in the top goalscorers.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo 8pts

Iago Aspas had a terrific game as he scored and assisted in the other 2 goals as Celta Vigo beat Alaves 3-1. Aspas has had a good solid season and has appeared in the team of the weeks a few times now. He has 10 goals and has also assisted in a further 10.

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La Liga Game Week 28: What to expect from the top teams

The La Liga Santander title race is heating up at just the right moment, with Atletico Madrid dropping points, Barcelona picking up steam, and Real Madrid hanging on. Los Blancos are six points behind leaders Atletico Madrid but head into game week 28 with a boost after the return of Sergio Ramos and the fine form of Karim Benzema. The odds for this week’s games will be stacked. This week is a higjly anticipated week for sports in general, including horse-bettors.com, where some of the world’s finest in horse racing as the Cheltenham Festival, one of the most prestigious in the world, currently races on.

Atletico Madrid are lucky to still have a cushion at the top of the table because Simeone’s men have only two wins in their last five games, and their loss to Chelsea in the Champions League confirms their poor form. The Rojiblancos will look to bounce back this weekend when they face Alaves who sit in eighteenth place and are battling relegation.

Alaves are on a poor run of their own, with four defeats and a draw in their last five matches. Their position in the table means they have a chance to fend off relegation, meaning they might be a problem for Atletico if Simeone’s men do not play at their best. Barcelona have the best form of the top three, and seem reinvigorated after the voting of Joan LaPorta back as president of the club.

Lionel Messi seems to have particularly benefitted from the move as the Argentine has found his scoring touch once again. Now out of the Champions League, the Blaugrana have all their energy to invest in the pursuit of Atleti and the La Liga crown. That pursuit continues in game week 28 when they face Real Sociedad on Sunday. Playing away to Sociedad has always been difficult for Barca, but an in form Messi will no doubt be a welcome sight.

Four wins in the last four games have Koeman’s men four points behind Atleti. One huge factor may be the El Clasico which is set to play next month. The winner of that game may well be the last real threat to Atletico and the Blaugrana will be keen on reestablishing their dominance over Madrid with a win. Real Madrid are six points adrift but just two behind Barcelona, meaning any slip up from the Catalans will see their rivals overtake or draw level with them, with the Derby fast approaching.

Madrid needed late-game heroics from striker Karim Benzema to get all three points but given their solid form and the boost of Ramos’ return, Los Blancos should be able to handle the task of handling a pesky midtable team in Celta Vigo. This is always a tricky game for Zidane’s men, but with the title at stake, there should be a burning desire to get on the front foot from the kick off. Real have looked solid in recent weeks, and have most of their key players back in the lineup again. Still in the chase for Champions League glory, Zizou’s men may have more to do than the other two teams ahead of them but that is part of the usual expectations at Madrid, one the team is very capable of handling.

Superstar Martinez could be heading for Barcelona as Inter approach Aguero

Name who has been the best player for Inter this season as they try to win their first scudetto in 11 years and most people would say Romelu Lukaku. But Lautaro Martinez wouldn’t be too far behind after a stunning season.

The 23 year old Argentinian has really impressed this season and even last summer he was starting to attract the mega clubs of European football. The fact that Inter should win Serie A this season is spearheaded by Martinez’s fantastic statistics for Antonio Conte’s side.

Martinez has scored 14 league goals so far from 27 games and has 16 overall from 37. He is projected to be the next star of world football when it comes to strikers. One could suggest that Martinez is the type of player that started slow in his career, if we compare him to Kylian Mbappe but Martinez has all of the qualities to become just as good as Mbappe and perhaps even beyond. In short Inter have quite a star on their hands.

It is thought that the likes of Bayern Munich, PSG, Manchester City and Barcelona are very interested in taking the player and one would have to wonder how much for? The pandemic has brought prices down for now, but one would still presume that Martinez’s price tag could be between £100-150m. Can Inter afford not to sell at that price?

Manchester City are on the look out for a striker as veteran forward Sergio Aguero has announced that he will be leaving the club after 10 years playing at the Etihad. Obviously a straight swap is out of the question but City might be able to offer Aguero plus £120m, and that could be tempting for Inter. True Aguero is pushing on for age now but he is still sharp and alert and would score goals in Serie A.

There have been rumours that Inter have been looking at Aguero for his quality and experience although the one drawback is the amount of times he has been injured over the years. Still Aguero leaves the Premier League having scored the most goals ever for an overseas player and that could seal the deal with Inter.

PSG seem to have bottomless pockets and that would be quite a capture for the French champions who could, in effect, over the most money to Inter.

However one would have to suspect that if Martinez was going to leave the San Siro it would be to go to the Camp Nou and link up with his countryman Lionel Messi. Barcelona still want Neymar to return but surely going for youth would be the correct move for the Catalan club.

As for Martinez he may be tempted to stay at Inter and try and deliver the club the Champions League. Ultimately though the final decision will come down to Inter and if big money is offered this will be a huge test for the club who will probably be forced to sell.

As for this season, Serie A took a break for the past 10 days due to the international games. But Inter resume their title challenge away to Bologna on Saturday. Presently Inter are 6 points ahead of 2nd placed Milan and have a game in hand.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 28

The top 3 clubs all won so nothing has changed in that respect, however it is clear as daylight that Barcelona are getting better by each passing week and they destroyed Real Sociedad 6-1 at the weekend. The gap to 1st place remains at 4 points.

Karim Benzema is in great form and scored another brace as Real Madrid remain 3rd and they won their 18th game of the season as they beat Celta Vigo. Sevilla drew but it doesn’t matter given that Real Sociedad have lost 2 games in a row and Sevilla now has a 10 point safety net and should claim the final Champions League place.

Let’s take a look below at the players in La Liga who made the team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Jan Oblak now has 14 clean sheets for the season as Atletico got past Alaves 1-0. Oblak had to made 3 good saves in the game and it was on a nervous knife edge for most of the 90 minutes.

Defender: Serginho Dest- Barcelona 8pts

Serginho Dest did help to concede 1 goal as Barcelona beat Real Sociedad 6-1. However Dest had a great confident game as he scored 2 goals. This was a rare occasion for the player and those were his first two goals of the season.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Trippier helped to keep a clean sheet as Atletico stayed 4 points clear at the top of La Liga with a 1-0 win over Alaves. Trippier also assited in the winning goal setting up Luis Suarez, to round up a great contribution for the Englishman.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 7pts

Aissa Mandi helped to keep his 8th clean sheet of the season as Real Betis beat Levante 2-0. Mandi who has had one of his best seasons as a player also assisted in the clubs first goal. His value is 6.5m.

Defender: David Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Not for the first time David Garcia of Osasuna has made the team of the week. Garcia was solid in defence as helped to keep a 9th clean sheet for his club as they drew 0-0 with Huesca. The player now has 30 points overall

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 6pts

It has been hot and cold with Nabil Fekir’s career ever since he joined Real Betis but it was certainly hot at the weekend as he scored a goal and helped Real Betis to beat Levante with that game ending 2-0. It was Fekir’s third goal of the season and he now has 32 points overall.

Midfielder: Marco Asensio- Real Madrid 4pts

Marco Asensio only played for 20 minutes as he came on as a 2nd half substitution but the midfielder did score Real’s 3rd goal of the game right at the end as they eased to a 3-1 victory over Celta Vigo. That was the player’s third goal of the season.

Midfielder: Alex- Cadiz 4pts

Alex makes the team of the week again and he earned another 4 points as Cadiz lost 2-1 away to Villarreal. It was a disappointing result for his club but Alex did manage to score a goal and he has 4 so far, he also has a total of 31 points.

Midfielder: Pere Milla- Elche 3pts

Pere Milla scored the opening goal for Elche although in the end they could only draw 1-1 with Granada. However it was Milla’s 2nd goal of the season and perhaps will give the 28 year old more confidence going forward as the campaign goes on.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 10pts

There were hardly any midfielders that stood out this week in Spain, but there were strikers- and it was the old brilliant guard. Karim Benzema scored another brace, he has been in brilliant form lately as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 3-1 away from home. Benzema now has 17 goals so far and is having another solid season with Real.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 10pts

Lionel Messi has been back to his brilliant best in the league especially in the past month. Messi scored another 2 goals at the weekend as Barca destroyed Real Sociedad 6-1 away from home to put the pressure on league leaders Atletico Madrid and they are now only 4 points behind them. Messi is the leading scorer in La Liga this season and has 23 goals so far.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 27

Atletico Madrid keep dropping points at the top of the league and it’s just 2 wins from their last five. With the type of consistency afforded to both Barcelona and Real Madrid Atletico could be in trouble and will have to start picking up points.

With 11 games left to play Atletico lead Barcelona by just four points and Real are 6 points behind. Barcelona won their 4th game in a row beating Huesca and the 2019 champions have not lost for the last 15 league games.

Sevilla are still looking good for the final Champions League place and have  six point advantage over Real Sociedad. There were only 17 goals in this week’s edition of La Liga, so let’s see who made the best team of the week.

Goalkeeper: Aitor Fernandez- Levante 7pts

Levante surprised Valencia at the weekend with a 1-0 victory and it was only Aitor Fernandez’s 2nd clean sheet of the season but at least he did it against a quality side. He is still on minus points but that stands at -6.

Defender: Kieran Tripper- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier has been out of the headlines lately but the English defender put in a good shift at the back for Atletico. Though they could only draw 0-0 at the weekend. This was Trippier’s 11th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: David Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

David Garcia is Osasuna’s best defender this season and he has 25 points so far. Garcia was excellent as his club drew 0-0 with Valladolid in a very tough and tight game.

Defender: Yeray- Athleic Bilbao 5pts

Yeray has helped to keep 4 clean sheets now and Bilbao drew against Celta Vigo with that game ending 0-0. The fact they were away made the result more impressive. Yeray isn’t a household name but he made his presence felt in this encounter.

Defender: Aaron Martin- Celta Vigo 5pts

Aaron Martin made some great interceptions and read the game well as Celta Vigo drew 0-0 with Athletic Bilbao at the weekend. Martin now has 4 points and that was only his 2nd clean sheet of the season. Because of injury this was only his 8th game so far.

Midfielder: Alex- Cadiz 4pts

Alex has starred in a few team of the weeks and in general the player for Cadiz has really impressed. His team were losing against Alaves but Alex made all the difference when Cadiz were awarded a penalty in the second half and he made no mistakes, that was his 3rd goal of the season.

Midfielder: Jesus Navas- Sevilla 4pts

Jesus Navas faced an important game against Real Betis and he assisted in what would be the only goal of the game and the winning one as Sevilla won 1-0. Navas  now has 24 points and is only valued at 4.5m which looks to be a bargain as Sevilla try to secure 4th place.

Midfielder: Moises Gomez- Villarreal 4pts

Moises Gomez with 21 points is the currently the best midfielder for Villarreal and he underlined that at the weekend as the club beat Eibar 3-1 away from home. Gomez opened the scoring after just a few seconds in what would have been a very memorable weekend for the player.

Midfielder: Luka Modric- Real Madrid 2pts

Midfielders have made the team of the week for earning only 2 points which tells us it wasn’t a great week for this position. Luka Modric held rank well for Real Madrid as they managed to beat Elche 2-1 at home to keep their title dreams alive. Modric assisted for the first goal too.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 10pts

Week after week there he is, Lionel Messi is back making the team of the week’s and he had a vintage performance as Barcelona heaped pressure on league leaders Atletico Madrid. Barca beat Huesca easy by 4-1 and Messi scored 2 goals, his first was rather special. With this game Messi also equalled the record number of appearances for Barcelona alongside Xavi.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 7pts

Karim Benzema just keeps on getting better the longer he is at Real Madrid and the Frenchman was the hero once again. Benzema scored both goals as Real Madrid beat Elche 2-1. Benzema now has 15 goals for the season and is easily Madrid’s best striker in the fantasy rankings.

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UEFA need to say no to the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool for a super league

In this past week a story has emerged yet again of the proposal of a super league which would replace the Champions League and would not be a part of a UEFA competition.

Super Leagues have been touted seriously since the early 1990s and UEFA already had to react to the threat and created the Champions League in the 1992/93 season. Before that the European Cup was of course only open to the winners of each European league. The Champions League used an expansion that went from 2 clubs with some of the top leagues in Europe having four clubs that can qualify for each season.

Now the elite teams are flexing their muscles again and UEFA’s Champions League is under threat once more. There is more money to be made and more exposure to be had with an independent super league and the richest and most successful clubs want as much as they can get. Instead of rejecting any ideas UEFA have tried to react again, and if these new proposals go through then if you support a mid table club this has far reaching implications and you will want to read on.

The controversial move would be backing the bigger clubs even if they are having, by their standards, a poor season. Take Arsenal who are in 10th place currently in the English Premier League. UEFA are proposing that if the league was to end today that Arsenal would qualify for the Champions League not based on their league position of course but based on their co-efficient points. In other words the last 5 seasons would count. It would mean that if, say Manchester City had a poor couple of seasons coming up, it wouldn’t matter their qualification for the Champions League would be secured anyway.

This is a slap in the face of course to the integrity of the sport and gamesmanship. What about the ‘surprise’ teams of the season, do they not count? Do we not reward the hard effort of for example West Ham and Everton who have punched above their weight this season? Do they just get disregarded? What do real fans think about this?

Once we make a mockery of a sport there seems no going back and UEFA have bent over once to create the Champions League for the elite teams, why would they feel they have to bend over again, why be put to ransom? Well the answer of course is not losing your product which brings in tens of millions of euros per year. But at the same time you are the governing body, does that not count for something?

It is easy to blame UEFA for changes in the rules, but in truth they are being held to ransom and panicking about losing their competition. Clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Liverpool need to stop throwing their tantrums and demands about. They are involved in competition that is what sport is all about, if you have a bad season you can get punished, accept it and move on and work harder.

The irony of course is the fear that the elite teams have of not qualifying for a competition where only one team can win it. But the owners do not care as much as the fans for trophies, it’s the money involved that reigns supreme in their minds and the added sponsorship on top- related of course to money.

The big clubs are at fault here. New ideas should always be welcomed in football, but not to the point that it destroys the very fabric of the sport and the people within it.

 

 

La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 26

The heat is on Atletico Madrid who could only draw 1-1 in the Madrid derby. Atletico are just 3 points in front of Barcelona but do have a game extra to play over them.

Barcelona are in great form and have won 3 games in a row and they are chasing down Atletico and Real Madrid are still in the title hunt but are 5 points behind Atletico. Will Sevilla qualify for the Champions League? The club were in a safe position in 4th it seemed but 2 losses in a row and have let in Real Sociedad who are now just 3 points behind them and Real Betis are in good form having won their last 4 games in a row.

Let’s take a look below at who made the team of the week in Spain over the past week, in a formation of 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona 7pts

Only Marc ter Stegen kept a clean sheet away from home during the past weekend in La Liga as Barcelona beat Osasuna 2-0. Osasuna remained a threat and had some good chances on goal too. The Barca keeper has kept 9 clean sheets so far and his value is 10m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 9pts

Jordi Alba had the perfect game for Barcelona as he helped to keep his 11th clean sheet of the season as Barcelona beat Osasuna away from home 2-0. But the icing on the cake for the defender was that he earned extra points by scoring only his 3rd goal of the season as he opened the scoring.

Defender: Robin Le Nomand- Real Sociedad 5pts

Robin Le Nomand has a total of 32 points and has helped to keep nine clean sheets. The defender put in a good shift as Sociedad beat Levante 1-0 at the weekend and he commanded the back four well. His value is 6.5m.

Defender: Cala- Cadiz 5pts

Cala was instrumental again for Cadiz and the player has been one of the reasons that the club have impressed this season. Cala earned another 5 points at the weekend with his seventh clean sheet of the season. He now has a total of 14 points and his value is just 2.5m.

Defender: Serginho Dest- Barcelona 5pts

Serginho Dest has been a success story this season for Barcelona and he now has a total of 36 points after keeping his 8th clean sheet of the season. Dest played very well and was confident throughout distributing the ball well out of defence as he oversaw a Barcelona victory against Osasuna to keep up their title challenge.

Midfielder: Joaquin Sanchez- Real Betis 4pts

When Joaquin Sanchez came on in the 2nd half Real Betis were 2-0 down at home to Alaves and looked out for the count. But Sanchez made an impact and scored the clubs equaliser as they came back and won the game 3-2. It was Sanchez’s 2nd goal of the campaign so far.

Midfielder: Fran Beltran- Celta Vigo 4pts

Celta Vigo were involved in an incredible seven goal thriller at the weekend away to Huesca with Celta Vigo finally coming through as 4-3 winners. It was midfielder Fran Beltran who struck for the 4th goal and the winner to earn himself 4 points.

Midfielder: David Ferreiro-Huesca 4pts

David Ferreiro ended up being on the losing side as Huesca scored 3 goals at home but it wasn’t enough as they lost the game 4-3 to Celta Vigo in a classic goal fest match. The midfielder scored the third goal to make it 3-3 and thought he had at least earned his club a point but it wasn’t to be, his goal did get him into the team of the week though.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 3pts

Soler scored the equaliser for Valencia as they eventually went on to come back from 1-0 down to beat Villarreal 2-1. Soler scored from the penalty spot and that was his seventh goal of the season so far.

Striker: Manuel Nolito- Celta Vigo 6pts

Manuel Nolito had a very busy game as he assisted in Celta Vigo’s opening goal against Huesca and then at 1-2 scored the equaliser. He earned six points because of this and he has a total of 23 points so far his value is 6.5m.

Striker: Borja Iglesias- Real Betis 8pts

In a week where strikers really didn’t turn up in La Liga Borja Iglesias showed them how to earn points. The forward earned 8 of them as Real Betis stunned Alaves and came back from 2 goals down to win the game 3-2. Iglesias scored Betis’ first goal and then scored the third and last one to cap a memorable performance in a memorable game.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 25

Atletico Madrid put the title back in their hands again as they went 5 points clear at the weekend and have a game extra to play over Real Madrid. Real could only draw 1-1 at home to Real Sociedad in a disappointing result for them.

Barcelona are on a great run and are also 5 points behind Atletico and they beat Sevilla 2-0 away from home. This was an impressive result from Barca given that Sevilla had been in great form.

Let’s take a look below at the La Liga team of the week, in a 4-4-2 formation.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Atletico beat Villarreal 2-0 in the end but dare we say it, Villarreal were the better side who created so many chances but didn’t have that killer touch. Jan Oblak was superb in goal as the home side rained down chance after chance and he really won the game for his side. That’s 12 clean sheets now for the talented keeper.

Defender: Victor Ruiz- Real Betis 5pts

Victor Ruiz has kept 5 clean sheets for Betis and he did so once again as his club beat Cadiz 1-0. That was an impressive result as Cadiz have been good at home. Ruiz only has 10 points this season as he can lose points through too many bookings (4) so far.

Defender: Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 5pts

One of the best defenders in Spain was solid again and Hermoso was a key factor in the backline for Atletico who won and kept a clean sheet to beat Villarreal. Hermoso is valued at just 5m and has earned 56 points so far.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

It’s not always been plain sailing this season for Jordi Alba, but he held firm at the back and grew in confidence as the game with Sevilla went on. That is Alba’s 10th clean sheet of the season in a fantastic 2-0 win over Sevilla.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi was brilliant again for Real Betis and he made our team of the week last week also. Mandi helped to keep another clean sheet and has 25 points so far.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 4pts

Portu’s form continues and the midfielder scored against Real Madrid in a game that finished 1-1. Portu now has 7 goals this season and has 53 points in total.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia-Athletic Bilabo 4pts

Raul Garcia scored a penalty which secured a much needed point for Bilbao at the weekend as they drew 1-1 with Levante. Garcia now has 19 points so far this season.

Midfielder: Carlos Alena- Getafe 6pts

Carlos Alena had a terrific game as the midfielder also dropped back to help in defence as Getafe beat Valencia 3-0 and that was seen as a surprise result. Alena then topped off a great weekend’s work by scoring the third goal.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 5pts

It’s that man Lionel Messi again who makes the team of the week. Barcelona faced a very difficult side away from home in Sevilla and they won 2-0. Messi scored one of the goals and he now has 19 so far that is good enough to be the top goalscorer this season and is 3 goals in front of Luis Suarez.

Striker: Joao Felix- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Joao Felix scored his 7th goal of the season as Atletico remained top of the league and have a good 5 point gap after they beat Villarreal 2-0. Felix’s value is just 7m and he looks like a bargain for his return this season.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 24

The Pressure is mounting on Atletico Madrid  as they have seen their once 10 point gap at the top cut down to 3 points although Diego Simeone’s side does have a game in hand. Atletico lost for the first time at home this season and have won just once in their last four games. Real Madrid can smell blood and we are certain to have an exciting finish to the season.

Barcelona were stunned at home as they could only draw 1-1 against Cadiz. Lionel Messi had opened the scoring but it wasn’t enough and Barca are 8 points behind Atletico with the same games played.

Sevilla are the best in form side in 4th place but Real Sociedad has regained their form and they have won 3 in a row and are chasing Sevilla down for 4th place.

It was another exciting week in Spain and we will take a look and see if any of your chosen players made the final cut.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Real Madrid are on the hunt for the league title and Thibaut Courtois was on hand as Real Madrid beat Valladolid only 1-0 in a very tough game for the club. Courtois has now kept 11 clean sheets this season.

Defender: Antonio Barragan- Elche 7pts

Antonio Barragan is hardly a house hold name and he now has a total of 5 points as he was minus points before. But the player had a great week as he kept a clean sheet as Elche beat Eibar 1-0 and he also assisted in the only goal of the game.

Defender: Jorge Andujar Moreno- Levante 5pts

Jorge Andujar Moreno had a memorable game as Levante became the first club to beat Atletico Madrid at their home as they won 2-0. Moreno was solid in defence as Atletico had no less than 11 shots on target and he played his toughest game of the season, this is for sure.

Defender: Tono-Levante 5pts

Tono linked up well in defence to help to beat the number 1 team in Spain, Atletico Madrid. Tono has only started 5 games, but he had one of his best of his career so far and earned 5 points with his first clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi has been with Real Betis for a few seasons now and is becoming a veteran in defence. Mandi kept his sixth clean sheet of the season as Betis beat Getafe 1-0. Mandi’s value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

Portu started the season very strong, but he went a little quiet by Christmas but the player looks back to his best now and Real Sociedad beat Alaves 4-0 at the weekend to recover from their 4-0 loss against Manchester United in midweek. Portu scored the last goal.

Midfielder: Casemiro- Real Madrid 6pts

Casemiro scored yet again for Real Madrid and has proven to be one of the most important players for Zinedine Zidane’s team. Casemiro scored the only goal as Real beat Valladolid 1-0.

Midfielder: David Silva- Real Sociedad 6pts

David Silva still has that magic touch and the midfielder was involved in not one but two assists as Real Sociedad beat Alaves 4-0. Silva has 4 assists so far and 24 points for the season.

Midfielder: Alex- Cadiz 4pts

Alex scored a last minute penalty to give Cadiz a memorable point at Barcelona as the teams drew 1-1. He now has 21 points for the season and has been one of Cadiz’s best players so far.

Striker: Kevin Gameiro- Valencia 4pts

Kevin Gameiro scored only his 2nd goal of the season but it was an important one as Valencia beat Celta Vigo 2-0 and it was Gameiro who scored the winner goal.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 4pts

There would be disappointment for Messi and Barcelona as they could only draw at home 1-1 against Cadiz. However Messi scored the opening goal which was a penalty and that was his 16th goal of the season. He is now joint top alongside Luis Suarez.

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