La Liga- Team of the 2019/20 season revealed

Real Madrid won the league, Barcelona imploded by their standards and finished 2nd and the usual top 4 qualified for the Champions League. The season also kissed goodbye to Mallorca and Leganes and Espanyol finished bottom, so there will be no traditional derby between them and Barcelona next season.

But which players really came through and shined in La Liga? Which of these players did you have in your team? Did you find you had some bargains or was it the players that you would have expected to bag the points at the beginning of the season?

The format we are using is the traditional 4-4-2 as we look at the best team in La Liga for season 2019/20.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 117pts

Courtois finished with 10 more points than any other goalkeeper in the league and was only part of 2 keepers that earned over 100 points. Whilst Madrid didn’t score many goals by their standards this season they did defend well and Courtois was sharp in goal keeping an impressive 18 clean sheets.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 109pts

Let’s face it Sergio Ramos is the defender of the decade in Spain and it is no surprise to see the Real Madrid veteran ranked as the best defender in La Liga this season. Not only did he help keep 17 clean sheets he also scored 10 goals, incredible for a defender. In a rare instance for him he also managed not to get sent off this season in the league.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 83pts

Varane had another solid season in the back four of Real Madrid keeping 16 clean sheets and scoring 2 goals and assisting in another one. He was mostly a constant in the side playing 31 league games and has formed the perfect bedrock with his teammates.

Defender: Daniel Carvajal- Real Madrid 79pts

Yet another Real Madrid defender and the reason they dominate the team of the year is because Madrid conceded the least goals this season. Carvajal only scored once this season but then again he assisted in a further 5 goals just adding to his reputation.

Defender: Diego Carlos- Sevilla 64pts

Sevilla qualified for the Champions League and defender Diego Carlos had an outstanding and consistent season. He scored a couple of goals but in his real job as defender he helped keep 15 clean sheets which is more than impressive.

Midfielder: Santiago Carzola- Villarreal 79pts

Not many would have thought that the best midfielder in La Liga in the rankings would end up being Santiago Carzola but the player has returned to his former club in style. Racking up 79 points his value was just 5.5m and he went on to score 11 goals and assist in another 9 in an outstanding season for him.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia- Athletic Bilbao 75pts

What a season Raul Garcia had as defender for Bilbao, scoring an incredible 15 goals with his club only finishing in 11th place. He almost netted 40% of his clubs goals. His one weakness this season was his bookings where he picked up 11 of them.

Midfielder: Roberto Torres- Osasuna 65pts

Osasuna may have only finished the season in 10th place but their standout player was midfielder Roberto Torres who scored 7 goals and assisted in another 8 in a memorable season for the player who would only have set you back 5m at the beginning of the season.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 56pts

Only one Real Madrid made the midfield selection and that was German international Toni Kroos. He was involved in 8 goals in the league and helped shore up the midfield too and protect the back four and when he played he helped in keeping 18 clean sheets.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 134pts

Messi is still doing the business even if Barcelona had a season to forget. He was far and away the best player in Spain racking up 134 points. His scoring was down just 24 this season but that’s from just 32 games and on top of that he assisted in an incredible 18 other goals. Still one of the greats in world football.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 100pts

Much further down the pecking order, Messi would be partnered with Karim Benzema who had yet another consistent season with Real Madrid. Benzema assisted in 8 goals but also scored 21 making him the 2nd best striker in Spain this season.

All in all this is a team that is dominated by Real Madrid players, the eventual champions this season and 6 of their players are featured. It is interesting how just 1 player from Barcelona made the cut, a lot of change is clearly needed at the club ahead of the new season. And as for Atletico Madrid? They have an abundance of very good players, but not one of them was able to consistently stand out this season.

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Thibaut Courtois has become the ‘Galactico’ goalkeeper Real Madrid wanted

For a long time, it seemed to be in David De Gea’s destiny that he would one day be presented to the Santiago Bernabeu as a Real Madrid goalkeeper. Were it not for a faulty fax machine, the Manchester United shot-stopper would have signed for the Spanish giants in the summer of 2015.

In the end, though, Real Madrid signed another former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper, with Thibaut Courtois joining Los Blancos two summers ago. At the time, many saw the Belgian’s addition as unnecessary. Keylor Navas was widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the game. What’s more, the Costa Rican was a favourite with the club’s fans.

Initially, Courtois struggled. The pressure of playing for Real Madrid, in front of one of the most demanding fanbases in world football, appeared to get to him, turning in a number of less-than-convincing performances. Now, though, Courtois has grown into his role. He has become the ‘Galactico’ goalkeeper Real Madrid wanted for a number of years.

Real Madrid’s defence has been key to their challenge at the top of the Spanish Liga table this season and Courtois has more than played his role in that. In the early days, the likes of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane looked unsettled with the Belgian behind them. They were more comfortable with Navas as their goalkeeper.

The relationship between Real Madrid’s number one and the centre backs in front of him has improved a lot since then, though. Ramos and Varane are now the strongest defensive pairing in the Spanish game, but without a solid goalkeeper like Courtois behind them they wouldn’t be so formidable.

“I’m happy with him and I’m sure he’s happy with the game he put in,” Zidane said about Courtois after a particularly impressive performance from the Belgian earlier in the season. “He’s our goalkeeper, we’re happy with him. We have to keep this up, keeping cleans sheets… He’s my keeper, for me he’s the best, no doubt about it.”

La Liga is awash with world class goalkeepers at the moment. Jan Oblak and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen are among the very best in the game right now. Some might even rank them as number one and number two. Courtois, however, has joined that sort of company this summer with his performances for Real Madrid.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players from the Weekend: Matchday 22

Real Madrid beat Atletico in the Madrid derby to move 3 points clear of Barcelona who got a nervous win over Levante. Atletico have been underwhelming and this weekend looks to have put paid to their title. It’s a two horse race now between Real and Barca.

Let’s look at the 11 players who performed the best in La Liga at the weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Only a few goalkeepers achieved 7 points at the weekend but our vote goes to Courtois because he was able to keep a clean sheet in the very important Madrid derby against a quality side.

Defender: Damien Suarez- Getafe 8 pts

Damien Suarez is having a very good season and he had a great game at the weekend as his side beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0. He kept a clean sheet and also scored a goal for a perfect weekend. Suarez would cost 7.5m to bring in.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5 pts

Sergio Ramos what more can you say about the quality of his defending. He kept a strong head too as he usually gets sent off in Madrid derbies and he help to keep a good clean sheet in 1-0 win.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5 pts

Varane has a great chemistry with Ramos and it showed again, these two are world superstars and keeping a clean sheet ensured that Madrid are now top of the table. You can add Varane to your team for 8.5m

Defender: Djene- Getafe 5pts

Djene is doing very well at the back for Getafe keeping another clean sheet and also that is his 8th of the season and he is valued at just 5.5m so seems a real bargain.

Midfielder:Carlos Soler- Valencia 6pts

Carlos Soler was the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga in a strange weekend that saw few points for the midfield maestros of the league. Soler got the only goal as his side Valencia beat Celta Vigo 1-0.

Midfielder: Santiago Carzola- Villarreal 5pts

Cazorla earned 5 points and had a great game as Villarreal won their match 3-1. He assisted for the opener and then scored the 2nd goal through a penalty. But he dropped some points as he was booked late on.

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 4pts

Betis drew 1-1 with Eibar and Betis have to thank Fekir for the goal. He has become a firm favourite with the fans, even if he is having a mixed season but maybe this goal will ignite his form and he may be worth taking on?

Midfielder: Ruben Jimenez-Villarreal 4pts

Ruben Jimenez earned another 4 points and he now has 13 in total and would cost only 5m, and could be a bargain if he has a strong finish to the league campaign.

Striker: Anssumane Fati- Barcelona 8pts

When Lionel Messi is not the hero for Barcelona someone else has to be and Fati has been superb this season, a real find. Barca beat Levante only by 2-1 but it was Fati who grabbed both goals. His value is sure to go up soon but he is currently just 5m.

Striker: Carlos Fernandez- Granada 6pts

Carlos Fernandez scored a goal and assisted in one just like his teammate so it was hard to split the players. But at the end of the day it was Fernandez’s goal that settled the game and won it 2-0 for Granada so he gets the nod. He has scored 4 goals this season.

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La Liga Best 11 Players from the Weekend: Matchday 21

Real Madrid went top after they beat Valladolid to win their 3rd game in a row. And Madrid took 1st place after Barcelona lost 2-0 away to Valencia. Atletico Madrid continued their poor form when they could only draw 0-0 at home to Leganes. After 21 games the league title and top 4 places are still up for grabs and we look at the players who performed the best in matchday 21. Do you have any of them? Now is the time to look!

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

The goalkeeper choice goes to Thibaut Courtois because Real Madrid were the only side at the weekend to play away and keep a clean sheet and that was the goalkeeper’s 10th of the season.

Defender: Nacho- Real Madrid 8pts

Nacho played out the perfect game as he helped keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win for Madrid over Valladolid and he also scored the winning and only goal of the game. An unlikely hero that is valued at 6.5m and has scored 21 points so far in total.

Defender: Roberto Rosales- Leganes 5pts

Roberto Rosales starred well for Leganes who stunned Atletico Madrid at their own stadium to hold out for a 0-0 draw, even with 10 men in the end. Rosales is valued at 5.5m and that was third clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Jose Angel- Eibar 5pts

Eibar held off Celta Vigo away with that game finishing 0-0 and Jose Angel was thick in the action and made some crucial tackles as he earned 5 points for the clean sheet. He can be part of your team for 8m.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5pts

Now with a total of 54 points for the season Sergio Ramos is the best performing defender in La Liga. He has played in 10 games where Madrid have kept a clean sheet and the veteran star does not come too cheap at 9m, but seems worth it.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 8pts

Portu had a man of the match game after he assisted in Real Sociedad’s first goal and then  scored later on as his team won 3-0 against Mallorca in a one sided game. He has 42 points so far this season and is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Ruben Garcia- Osasuna 6pts

Osasuna’s game was 0-0 with just 10 minutes left when they were awarded a penalty and Ruben Garcia under obvious pressure scored and that goal was vital as the home side went onto win their game 2-0. Having earned 32 points this season Garcia looks like a great deal, valued at just 4.5m.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

Kroos was part of a Madrid midfield that stayed firm in a difficult match and helped the defence keep a clean sheet and the German international then assisted in Madrid’s only goal of the game. Kroos currently has 35 points.

Midfielder: Jesus Navas- Sevilla 4pts

Sevilla beat Granada 2-0 and the opening goal which helped the home side to win the game was assisted by Navas, who has had another solid outing for the club he has become most associated too. He has 24 points so far this season and costs 4.5m.

Striker: Carlos Bacca- Villarreal 4pts

It was a low earning week for strikers, and Carlos Bacca scored one of Villarreal’s goals as they beat Alaves away from home 2-1. It was Bacca’s first league goal of the season but he has only started a handful of games for the club. His value is 10.5m, perhaps this could kick start his form?

Striker: Angel- Getafe 4pts

Angel got Getafe’s goal as they earned 3 valuable points at home to Real Betis winning the game 1-0. It was the players 9th goal of the season and he has 35 points already this season and his value is 7.5m.

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Best 11 players in La Liga week 19

We are officially at the halfway point of the Spanish league season and the favourites to win the league, Barcelona and Real Madrid are both locked on 40 points with Barca on top due to goal difference.

We take a look at the players who performed this past weekend in La Liga, who made the cut for the best 11 and who didn’t?

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

The spotlight has been on Courtois since his move to Madrid but this season he is amongst the very best goal keepers. Along with four others he was able to earn 7 points for his clean sheet. But he gets the nod as Madrid played a local derby in beating Getafe as the club won 3-0.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 9pts

What a weekend it was for Raphael Varane who kept a clean sheet in the Madrid derby as his team won 3-0. But what nobody was expecting was that he scored 2 goals in the game and was the main reason his side won and strolled in the end to victory. Varane is currently 4th in the fantasy rankings and can be bought for just 8.5m.

Defender: Daniel Wass- Valencia 6pts

Daniel Wass was at the heart of everything and had a very good game as Valencia beat Eibar 1-0 and are now in the top six. He would have picked up more points but he got booked in the game.

Defender: Daniel Carvajal- Real Madrid 5pts

This was another solid game for Carvajal in defence as he was able to help his side to a clean sheet with a 3-0 win at Getafe. The defender is currently the best in La Liga fantasy rankings and has 50 points so far and is just 7m to buy.

Defender: Domingas Duarte- Granada 5pts

Domingas Duarte has proved to be one of the surprise defenders this season and is doing well week in and week out. He helped his team secure a 1-0 win over Mallorca and kept a clean sheet in doing so as the club propped up the table.

Midfielder: Luka Modric- Real Madrid 6pts

The world player of the year in 2018 was dominant in midfield as Real Madrid beat Getafe and to top it off after the club were 2-0 up he put the win beyond doubt by scoring a 3rd goal, which was ironically his 3rd of the season.

Midfielder: Manuel Trigueros- Villarreal 4pts

Trigueros has only scored 10 points all season and 40% of those came in this match as Villarreal beat Real Sociedad 2-1 away from home. The midfielder opened the scoring for his side after converting a penalty.

Midfielder: Santiago Cazorla- Villarreal 4pts

Sticking with Villarreal is Santiago Cazorla who came on as a substitute on the hour mark and then won the game for his side with a goal as the club ran out 2-1 winners.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Midfielders did not have a great weekend in La Liga with the average best scores of just 4 points. Correa gained his after his side beat Levante 2-1 and he opened the scoring which set the game up for his side.The player has earned 29 points so far this season.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Barcelona 6pts

Luis Suarez is still scoring goals as his team Barcelona drew 2-2 with Espanyol in the derby game. Suarez scored the equaliser for Barca and the teams first goal which ended up setting them up with a point at least to go home with. Suarez is the 3rd best striker in the league so far and has scored 11 goals.

Striker: Enes Unal- Real Valladolid 7pts

But the best striker this past weekend goes to Enes Unal who bagged 7 points as his side drew 2-2 with Leganes. Both times Valladolid were a goal down and both times Unal scored to get them back in the game. He is valued at 5.5m and has scored 3 goals so far this season.

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Thibaut Courtois has achieved redemption at Real Madrid

It’s not so long ago that Thibaut Courtois found himself a target. The Belgian goalkeeper started the season poorly, with Zinedine Zidane handing summer signing Alphonse Areola a few starts. Some argued that Areola should have kept his place as Real Madrid’s starting goalkeeper, at least for a spell.

Zidane stuck with Courtois, though, and the 27-year-old has now achieved redemption. He has been one of Real Madrid’s best performers over the past two months or so with his display in the win over Getafe on Saturday crucial to pulling the capital club back to the top of the Spanish Liga table.

The 3-0 scoreline of Saturday’s match at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez flattered Real Madrid. Getafe dominated large periods of the game and created the better of the chances. Courtois stopped them from finding the back of the net, pulling off save after save. It was quite the performance from the Belgian and the sign of a goalkeeper in form.

Confidence had long been an issue for Courtois, even going back to his final season at Chelsea. He arrived at the Santiago Bernabeu seemingly weighed down by the pressure of being a ‘Galactico’ and never really coped with it until recently. Now, Courtois looks much more comfortable with his position at one of the biggest clubs in world football.

Recently, Courtois has been much more commanding. He has forged a stronger relationship with his defence. This is what Keylor Navas had going for him – the Costa Rica appeared to have a greater understanding with the likes of Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane in front of him.

Of course, Navas is now gone, making the move to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer, leaving Courtois as Real Madrid’s undisputed number one goalkeeper. Again, that pressure seemed to weigh heavy on the 27-year-old at first, but he has now embraced all that comes with the role.

Courtois has turned himself from a weakness into a strength into a matter of weeks. He did more than anyone on the pitch to earn Real Madrid a win over Getafe on Saturday, even more than any of the players who found the back of the net for the capital club. Zidane doesn’t need to concern himself with the man between the posts anymore. He has other things to worry about.

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Should Zinedine Zidane give Alphonse Areola a chance?

There was a symbolism to Wednesday’s Champions League clash between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid. These were two giants of the European game who have somewhat lost their way over the past year or so. Are there two more volatile footballing arenas than the Parc des Princes and Santiago Bernabeu right now?

There were subplots everywhere, but perhaps the most compelling one concerned the two mean in goals. Of course, until a few weeks ago Keylor Navas was a Real Madrid player. The Costa Rican won three Champions League titles during his time in the Spanish capital, but lost his starting place to Thibaut Courtois after the Belgian’s arrival last summer.

Navas was subsequently sold to PSG in the final few days of the summer transfer window and started against his former team on Wednesday night. The Costa Rican must have drawn great satisfaction from the clean sheet he kept and the emphatic 3-0 win he helped his team to.

On the flip side, Courtois looked shaky throughout. There were no glaring errors from the Belgian, but he might have done a little more to stop both of Angel di Maria’s two goals and looked unsure of himself from the first whistle until the last. This wasn’t an isolated case either. Courtois has been suspect for a number of months.

Courtois has now gone 15 games in all competitions without keeping a clean sheet. Real Madrid’s defence looked much steadier with Navas behind them, but that didn’t stop the Costa Rican from being cast aside. The suspicion is that Florentino Perez never saw Navas as befitting of a club of Real Madrid’s size and stature.

Alphonse Areola headed in the opposite direction to Navas in the summer window and so Zinedine Zidane does have another option between the sticks. Could Areola be given an early chance to prove himself at his new club? The poor form of Courtois might well be opening the door for the 26-year-old.

Despite being signed for over £30 million, Courtois has never really proved himself at Real Madrid. The Belgian certainly isn’t to blame for the issues his team have faced over the past year, but his influence at the back hasn’t done anything to help steady the ship. Zidane could be forgiven for looking at his new second choice goalkeeper and pondering if he might give him something Navas took when he left for France.

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Zidane pushing for Real Madrid summer clear out

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Zinedine Zidane will push ahead with plans for a squad overhaul this summer, as he pledges to challenge Barcelona for the La Liga title in 2019-20.

The Frenchman has been clear in his desire to make changes at the club he led to three Champions League title between 2014 and 2017, and that means moving on some big names from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Club President Florentino Perez will fund certain transfer targets, but Zidane will have to clear out players to fund extra moves.

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Zidane open to Courtios exit this summer

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With attention turning to next season, Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has made it very clear that he expects to challenge for the La Liga title in 2019-20.

The Frenchman has been widely reported to be keen on bringing in a number of new faces to inject some life into his ageing side in the coming months.

However, despite club president Florentino Perez confirming he would be backing Zidane in the transfer market, he will have to make some space in his squad with some high profile departures – with goal keeper Thibaut Courtois the latest name to be linked with an exit.

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Barca could end Solari’s Real Madrid career

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Earlier this season, Julen Lopetegui knew definitively that his Real Madrid coaching tenure was over when Los Blancos were hammered 5-1 at the Camp Nou.

The manner of the defeat left Florentino Perez no other option, notwithstanding that the president needs no excuse to exercise his trigger finger. Continue reading