La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 34

Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona all won and the league title looks like it will go down to the wire! The difference is just 2 points between the three teams with 4 games to play.

One team who look to have bowed out of a surprise title is Sevilla who lost at home to Athletic Bilbao. However they have the consolation prize of 4th place which means they will be playing in the Champions League.

There were just 19 goals scored in match day 34 but the Spanish league remains as thrilling as ever, let’s take a look at the best performing players over this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Unai Simon- Athletic Bilbao 7pts

Unai Simon had a terrific game as he was under pressure constantly as Bilbao surprised Sevilla away from home to win the game 1-0. He now has 40 points and has had a solid season.

Defender: Stefan Savic- Atletico Madrid 5pts

This was Savic’s 16th clean sheet so far for Atletico Madrid as they nervously beat Elche 1-0 away form home to remain top of the league. Savic maintained his lines well and made some important blockages.

Defender: Rafa- Eibar 7pts

Eibar beat Alaves 3-0 at home and whilst Kike stole the headlines for his hat-trick Rafa did well to firstly back track and keep a clean sheet for the club. Secondly he wasn’t afraid to come forward and that paid off as he assisted for the 3rd goal. That was Rafa’s first assist of the season.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 5pts

It hasn’t been an easy few months for Trippier but he defended well and probably played his best game for Atletico this year. The club are still top of the standings as they beat Elche 1-0.

Defender: Mario Gaspar- Villarreal 5pts

With another 5 points earned Mario Gaspar is now 2nd in the rankings for Villarreal defenders. Villarreal beat Getafe 1-0 and Gaspar has now helped to keep six clean sheets

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Marcos Llorente continues to be so important for Atletico and he scored the only goal which was enough for Diego Simeone’s team to edge past Elche 1-0 and stay top of La Liga. Llorente has scored 12 goals and assisted in 10 in what is turning out to be a vintage season for the midfielder.

Midfielder: Casemiro- Real Madrid 6pts

Real Madrid made heavy weather of Osasuna at home but won the game 2-0. Casemiro scored the winning goal to earn him 6 points. Casemiro has scored 6 goals and is valued at 7.5m and he has been a consistent performer this season.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 6pts

Valencia lost 3-2 against Barcelona but they gave it everything. Carlos Soler at 1-3 down pulled a goal back and for the next ten minutes Valencia could have had a battling draw but it wasn’t to be. Soler has scored 9 goals this season.

Midfielder: Yannick Carrasco- Atletico Madrid 3pts

Carrasco makes the team of the week again but with only 3 points which was good enough. Still he had a solid game and helped to make the difference as he assisted for the 8th time this season in providing Llorente with the only goal of the game as Atletico beat Elche 1-0.

Striker: Kike- Eibar 14pts

What a fantastic weekend for Kike and all of his 3 goals were taken so well as Eibar overpowered Alaves 3-0. Kike scored a fantastic hat-trick to stun the visitors and bottom placed Eibar still have a chance to survive relegation. Can they repeat the trick next weekend and can Kike save them again? Kike has been magnificent for a club that have struggled and he has 12 goals and is valued at 6.5m.s

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 10pts

Messi again! He saved Barcelona at Valencia as he scored 2 more goals as Barca won 3-2 in a tension packed game. The win means that Barcelona could still win the title and are just 2 points behind Atletico Madrid. Messi has now scored 28 goals in La Liga and with 122 points he has the most points in the fantasy football

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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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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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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 23

Real Madrid have closed the gap on Atletico Madrid to just 5 points and Zinedine Zidane’s team are in excellent form having won their last 3 games in a row. However Atletico has 2 games extra to play and are still in the driving seat.

However it is Barcelona and Sevilla who are in the best form and the clubs have won their last 5 games in a row. Luis Suarez for Atletico still has the most goals with 16 so far but that man Lionel Messi has caught up and he scored a brace at the weekend as Barcelona beat Alaves 5-1 and he now has 15.

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

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

There were not many clean sheets over the past week and it came down to two goal keepers and Courtois gets the nod. He had to stay alert against a very good side although it is true that Valencia had very few clear cut chances.

Defender: Unai Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Unai Garcia is not a house hold name but he earned his 5 points as he helped to keep a clean sheet for Osasuna as they beat Levante 1-0. Levante had plenty of chances on goal and Garcia kept his nerve. The defender has not had a great season so far and actually has spent the majority of it with minus points, however he now is in the positive with this latest haul.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Raphael Varane has made the best 11 team again and he has been in a rich vein of form lately. He was solid and consistent as Real Madrid beat a great rival in Valencia and helped his team to keep another clean sheet as they try and challenge for the league title.

Defender: Diego Carlos- Sevilla 5pts

Diego Carlos is another player who has been in consistent form and Sevilla can’t do without him as helped the club and he has now kept 9 clean sheets this season and has a total of 38 points and his value is just 6m.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad

Nacho Monreal has a total of 30 points now and he has had an impressive season so far. Real Sociedad beat Getafe 1-0 and Monreal was at the heart of everything in defence. Sociedad seem to have found their form again and the club are on a good run and are back in 5th place.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 8pts

Toni Kroos enjoyed a great game for Real Madrid as he assisted in the clubs first goal against Valencia and then scored the 2nd to earn himself 8 points. Kroos now has 27 points in total.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Another familiar face making the best of teams is Marcos Llorent and the talented midfielder had another great week as he opened the scoring as Atletico beat Granada 2-1 and the he assisted in his sides 2nd goal which ended up being the winner. He has assisted in seven goals so far this season.

Midfielder: Lucas- Real Madrid 4pts

Lucas can get criticised sometimes but the player was strong and bold against tough opposition in Valencia and made some wonderful passes. Lucas now has 26 points and his value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 4pts

Nabil Fekir scored the opening goal for his side Real Betis as they beat Villarreal 2-1 away from home in an important goal for the side. Fekir has 24 points and has 2 goals so far.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 10pts

Lionel Messi earned a fantastic 10 points over the weekend as he scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season as Barcelona easily beat Alaves 5-1. Messi was on electrifying form and now has 61 points and is just 3 behind Luis Suarez for the top striker in Spain.

Striker: Santi Mina- Celta Vigo 8pts

Santi Mina earned 8 points as he scored the opening goal and last one as his team Celta Vigo beat Elche 3-1. Mina now has 5 goals for the season and his value is 7m.

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Are Footballers Paid Too Much?

Football has found itself once again at the center of a media storm this week as critics have been quick to lambast players for their perceived failure to adhere to social distancing on the pitch.

The same criticism it must be said, which was not levelled at professional rugby players as they crouched, touched and engaged in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The criticism which is so often levelled at football feels increasingly as though it comes from a place of classism, particularly in the United Kingdom. These young working-class footballers who have devoted their entire young life to their profession and are seemingly begrudged the financial rewards that their endeavors entitle them to.

In the following sections we will debunk the many myths surrounding a footballer’s wages and attempt to conclusively answer whether they are paid too much or not.

The Top 1%

When someone wants to bemoan the amount of money that footballers make, they invariably pluck an example from the top 1%. No-one will start that argument by highlighting Fleetwood Town winger Wes Burns who earns £72,000 a year before tax.

No, it’s far easier to point to someone like Lionel Messi, who earned £26 million from his basic salary last year. On the face of it, the wages earned by the top 1% in football by stars such as Messi look preposterous.

However, when you factor in the money that Lionel Messi has generated for Barcelona over the years, his salary doesn’t look anywhere near as preposterous. Between 2018 and 2019 Barcelona generated almost $1 billion in revenues.

The majority of that (84%) came from broadcasting rights and commercial deals which were undoubtedly as lucrative as they were because of Lionel Messi. Had the famous number 10 shirt been worn by Wes Burns, Barcelona’s revenues would have been nowhere as high.

It could be argued in fact, that the top 1% of footballers do not earn enough considering the value that they bring to their clubs. Players and players alone fuel the influx of cash into the sport that comes from football betting, broadcast rights and commercial deals.

There are People Struggling

In the Spring of 2020 Health Minister Matt Hancock stuck the boot into footballers when he said, “I think the first thing that Premier League footballers can do is make a contribution, take a pay cut and play their part.”

At the heart of Hancock’s argument was the belief that people in this country were struggling financially, and as such footballers should recognize that and donate a portion of their salaries to the NHS. What Hancock was effectively outlining was a fair taxation system, something which is already in place.

Every person in the UK who earns over £50,001 a year must pay a minimum of 40% tax on earnings over that threshold, which includes the majority of Premier League footballers. As a result of this tax limit, Premier League footballers paid over £1.3 billion in tax last year.

And that is considerably more than Somerset Capital Management – a fund management company partly owned by Jacob Rees-Mogg – paid last year despite holding over $7 billion in assets. It is also a lot more than billionaire Tory Peer Lord Ashcroft has ever paid in tax.

Double standards and self-interest aside, it is clear to see that the argument that footballers should be doing more people who are struggling is facile. That is the job of the government, not individuals.

The fact that Premier League players bandied together under the #PlayersInitiative last year to donate £200 million to the NHS should be seen as a shocking indictment of the government. If the health service was funded properly in the first place, it would not have to rely on the generosity of sportsmen.

Football isn’t a Job for Life

When we think of footballers and their wages, we usually cast our minds to the top players in the Premier League, La Liga, Serie A or the Bundesliga. In reality, life for the average footballer is usually spent in the lower divisions.

Down there the wages do not even come close to those earned by Messi or Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo. As alluded to earlier in the article, the average League One footballer like Wes Burns earns between £50,000 and £100,000 a year.

Those earnings are limited too, with most footballers earning salaries like that in the middle of their careers. When they are starting out in the game their wages are markedly lower, and likewise when they are nearing the end of their careers, their wages drop off too.

This means that the average footballer has roughly 5-7 years of top earning potential, for a career that has required far more work and dedication than similarly paid career paths.

For example, to become a doctor you have to dedicate 7 years of study and hard work to be earning as much as a League One footballer. From this point on, earning potential remains pretty stable for 30 or 40 years.

Whereas footballers, who have dedicated their lives to the game from as early an age as 6 or 7, only have half a dozen years of high earning potential. After this, when they retire, they are left with no transferrable skills and as a result, very limited career paths.

To say that the wages of average footballers are inflated is to do a disservice to the footballers who have put in the effort to get to where they are.

In Summary

Footballers are in general paid well for the work they do, but their salary is often commensurate to their skill and market value. At the top of the scale, huge commercial entities like Messi and Cristiano- just think of the CR7 brand- bring in more in terms of revenues than they take out in salaries.

Lower down the scale, footballers are rewarded for their life commitment to the game with good salaries that correlate to their relatively short careers.

Finally, the most striking point about footballers’ wages is that the game is awash with money. This is because people all over the world adore football and will pay to watch their favorite team or players in action. Football is the main sport in most of the countries around the world with a few exceptions such as the United States…

If footballers – who are the main reason for spectators – were to take lower salaries, which ‘deserving’ person or persons would reap the financial rewards of the game? Would it be the owners or the CEO? The chairman perhaps, or the top director?

Best La Liga Players so far 2020/21

La Liga took a break this past week and they will play instead in midweek, so this gives us a chance to reflect on the players that have been lightning up the league season.

Two players will be picked from each position and we will look at how they have contributed so far be it with clean sheets, assists or goals. Based on their fantasy points they will make this elite list and you can check to see if any of your players make the best La Liga players of this season so far.

Goalkeeper

1. Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 75pts

Jan Oblak has been far and away the best goal keeper in Spain and is probably the best in Europe right now. Oblak is 29 points ahead of Remiro and his team are 1st in La Liga. Oblak has kept 11 clean sheets from 16 starts and his value is 11m.

2. Remiro- Real Sociedad 45pts

Real Sociedad started the season in fantastic form and Remiro was key to this. He has earned 45 points so far and has kept 8 clean sheets the same as Thibaut Courtois for Real Madrid.

Defender

1. Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 59pts

An Englishman is currently the best defender in Spain and Kieran Trippier deserves more good press than perhaps he is getting in his home country. Trippier has been able to adapt and fit right into this Atletico Madrid team. He hasn’t scored yet this season in the league but that isn’t his job, he has assisted in 5 goals though and has helped to keep 10 clean sheets.

2. Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 52pts

Mario Hermoso along with Trippier has been outstanding in defence for Atletico. It is incredible to think that after 16 games the club has only conceded 6 goals especially when some teams can concede that in one game. Hermoso has scored 1 goal, assisted in 1 and like Trippier he has helped to keep 10 clean sheets.

Midfielder

1. Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 50pts

Yet another Atletico Madrid player makes it to the best players of the season so far, that is 4 out of the 8 players chosen playing for one club. Llorente has been incredible in midfield and contributed in 9 goals this season, 6 goals and 3 assists. He isn’t afraid to back track too and has been as solid as a rock.

2. Portu- Real Sociedad 42pts

At least for the first 3 months of the season you would be hard pressed to find a better and more inform midfielder than Portu. Every week his name seemed to pop up with a goal or an assist and it was no wonder that Sociedad were early pacesetters. Portu has scored 5 goals so far and assisted in another three and his current value is 8.5m.

Striker

1. Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo 45pts

The strikers are dominated by two 33 year olds. One is expected to be here the other less so. Iago Aspas has scored 9 goals for Celta Vigo and assisted in another six. Now here’s the amazing fact Celta Vigo have scored 22 goals in the league and Aspas has been involved in 15 of them, that works out at 70% of the goals coming from Aspas, not a bad return. His value is 8.5m.

2. Lionel Messi- Barcelona 43pts

A list of best players in Spain wouldn’t feel complete without Lionel Messi and he would be making lists like this every year for the past 13 years at least. By his standards it has been a quiet start and at times Barcelona have struggled with form. Still Messi has earned 43 points and scored 11 goals and assisted in another 2.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 13

Atletico Madrid finally lost their first game of the season and what a game to do it in as they lost in the Madrid derby to Real Madrid by 2-0. The club also lost 1st place to Real Sociedad who drew their third game in a row.

The league is very exciting now as just four points is the difference between 1st and 4th and Real Madrid are now in 3rd place after winning back to back games. Barcelona beat Levante 1-0 thanks to Lionel Messi but the 2019 champions are still in 8th place.

It was a weekend of few goals in La Liga though with just 19 scored.

Let’s take a look below at which 11 players make the team of match day 13.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Courtois had be to very alert as Real Madrid played and beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 2-0. True Courtois wasn’t as busy as he would have expected to be but he did make a good save to deny Atletico in what was the biggest game in Spain of the weekend.

Defender: Quini- Granada 5pts

Quini helped Granada to keep a clean sheet as they beat Elche 1-0 away from home in a very tough and close contest. Quini has only come on from the bench twice this season but may get more nods after this performance and his value is 4m.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5pts

A very solid display from Sergio Ramos at the weekend who helped Real Madrid to a clean sheet over Atletico Madrid and has now helped to keep 4 this season, he has 22 points overall so far.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Barcelona were expected to thrash Levante especially being at home but that didn’t happen as they only won 1-0. However Levante had chances themselves which included 3 shots on target and Alba did very well at the back to keep the defence line well disciplined. Alba now has 19 points for the season.

Defender: Ferland Mendy- Real Madrid 5pts

Ferland Mendy is proving to be a good acquisition for Real Madrid and showed a lot of maturity in what would have been one of their toughest games of the season. Mendy helped keep a clean sheet and his value if you want to add him is 7m.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 6pts

Carlos Soler now has 29 points overall and earned another six at the weekend as Valencia drew 2-2 with Athletic Bilbao in an entertaining game which saw Soler score the opening goal for the hosts and then assist in the 2nd one.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia- Athletic Bilbao 3pts

Raul Garcia had an eventful game, he lost points as he received a yellow card but he also got Bilbao a point as he converted a penalty to make the game 2-2 against Valencia. For this week 3 points was enough to make the final cut.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

Toni Kroos should count himself special as his assist to set up Real Madrid’s first goal is a rare one to make against Atletico Madrid who had only conceded 2 goals prior to the Madrid derby. Kroos earned 4 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Roberto Torres-Osasuna 4pts

Osasuna lost 3-2 against Real Valladolid in a very exciting game but Roberto Torres for Osasuna had a good match and he scored a goal also. Torres now has 12 points overall as he earned 4 points at the weekend and his value is 5m.

Striker: Fabian Orellana- Real Valladolid 4pts

Not many points were needed to make the list this week as Fabian Orellana got the points for scoring a penalty. It was an important one though as Real Valladolid ran out 3-2 winners at home against Osasuna. It was only Orellana’s 2nd goal of the season.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 4pts

Lionel Messi usually gets more points than this to make the team but his 5th goal of the season was one of his most important. Barcelona were heading for a 0-0 draw against Levante with just 15 minutes of the game left to play and Messi scored from nothing, proving his talent once again.

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Fired up by Diego Simeone: Atletico Madrid the club that won’t go away

The 2010s were amongst the most successful years in Atletico Madrid’s history. A league title success was seen as an exceptional achievement given how strong both Barcelona and Real Madrid were at the time. But Atletico also won the Europa League 3 times and were runners up in the Champions League twice. It has been quite a ride for the club.

So after such an incredible decade and with coach Diego Simeone starting his 10th season in charge of the La Liga team you would have been forgiven for thinking that Atletico were not up to spec.

But Atletico are not a team that have good moments and wield that thorn into the sides of Barcelona and Real Madrid temporarily. No Atletico are here to stay. They sell Antoine Griezmann no problem they bring in Joao Felix. Diego Godin veteran swashbuckler moves on, no problem in comes the underrated Kieran Trippier from the Premier League. They move stadium, no problem, they won’t suffer the Arsenal syndrome anytime soon. Atletico do what they do best and that is continue to compete and move on.

This season the club has taken advantage of Barcelona’s many off the field problems that almost saw Lionel Messi leave the club. In fact in being 2nd and Barcelona being out of the top 10 the clubs have changed places from the beginning of  last season. Atletico know the real threat is from their city neighbours Real Madrid but they will also be respecting how Real Sociedad have started the season.

With Atletico though they look the real deal this season to go on and win the title. You want goals, well Atletico have 18 of them and only Real Sociedad in 1st position have scored more with 21.

One of the revelations in terms of attack for the club has been Joao Felix. True we knew that last season when the club signed him he was something special but Felix didn’t get a good run of games and would need time to adjust to his new surroundings. It wasn’t the mind blowing debut season that many expected. This season could be it though. Felix has already scored 5 goals and assisted twice and there will be plenty more to come from him.

But a lot of credit also needs to go to Luis Suarez, the surprise signing in the summer who was let go by Barcelona. While it may be easy to laugh at Barcelona’s decision Suarez had lost something in the past 18 months. It felt like he was a few yards slower, but the truth is he needed change, now he is thriving under a coach that has been part of the set up for 10 years and Atletico are seeing the results. Suarez has scored 5 goals also like Felix.

But let’s talk about what is happening in defence. It is rare that an English player goes abroad and does really well but Trippier is carving out a name for himself and the fans love him. The former Tottenham player has been part of a mean defence that has conceded only 2 goals so far this season from 8 games played. One at home and one away and that is simply remarkable.

Trippier has the most clean sheets in the team with six. Another player who has impressed at the back is Mario Hermoso. His value is just 5m and he has helped keep five clean sheets.Of course it also helps when you have one of Europe’s best goalkeepers and in Jan Oblak Atletico sure do have that. Oblak has 42 points already and has six clean sheets.

Presently six of the top 10 players in La Liga in the fantasy rankings play for Atletico Madrid. They are all inspired and fired up by the pure energy, passion and intelligence of Simeone, who this year celebrated his 50th birthday- how fitting then if the club can indeed go on to win La Liga for the 2nd time in seven years.

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