- Rule as usual; one player per club. No more. Honourable mentions the exception.
- Criteria is based upon how valuable the individual has been to the team, and their improvement as a player.
- No players from Real Madrid or Barcelona. There will be a million teams produced with players from those teams.
GK: Gerónimo Rulli
There was concern when Claudio Bravo left the club but another South American has stepped up to the plate well at Real Sociedad. Gerónimo Rulli’s been a vital presence la Real’s team, saving his team an untold amount of points this season, with his athletic ability coming to the fore. While he needs to pack on some muscle and improve his claiming of crosses, Rulli is a phenomenal prospect who is excellent in terms of agility.
Honourable mentions: Diego Alves, Sergio Rico
Apparently nicknamed “Puyol” by some of his Celta Vigo teammates, and it’s not difficult to see why. Jonny offers the commitment and character the former Barcelona man did on the field, and more so, is apparently a key presence in the dressing room despite his tender years. Jonny has featured more often at left-back this season, but has also featured on the right and as a centre-back. He’s a versatile presence who reads the game well, is positionally aware and offers plenty of composure.
Celta’s full-backs influential as ever. Jonny growing in stature by the game (Celta’s POTY?) and Mallo strong in his weakest area (attack).
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) April 19, 2015
Jose Gaya, Jaume Costa
CB: Nicolas Otamendi
Perhaps the most obvious name on the teamsheet. Nicolas Otamendi’s season has been immense, from start to finish. Valencia’s vast improvement defensively is down, in most part, to the formation of Otamendi and Mustafi as an established pairing. It’s the Argentinean that has stood out though, with incredible leadership qualities and a physical presence unrivalled in La Liga. His sharpness in defence, and willingness to put his body on the line have made him a clear fan favourite.
Aymeric Laporte, Diego Godín
CB: Emiliano Velázquez
Atletico Madrid might well feel OK about moving on one of Miranda or Diego Godín, that’s how exciting the emergence of Emiliano Velázquez has been. In Getafe he’s shown how capable of defending in a deep block he is, clearing his lines adeptly, intercepting opponent attacks on the edge of the area and commanding his defence.
RB: Iván López
An outstanding breakout season for the Levante full-back, despite being in a mediocre team. Iván López is a well balanced full-back, competent in his defensive duties such as not getting sucked inside and tracking his opponent, but also rampaging forward. Good with the ball at his feet, and delivering a cross, he’s also shown to be a feature when Levante rarely sweep forward.
Iván López will be a steal for someone in summer most likely. Consistent, capable of stepping up for his team. All from right-back.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) May 10, 2015
Hugo Mallo, Aleix Vidal
CM: Nacho Camacho One of the toughest, meanest defensive midfielders around. Few in La Liga read the game better, and also execute their duties in a more efficient manner. Camacho is quick across the ground, packing energy and also great fitness levels in general. He shuts down play, is intelligent and despite needing little more work, possesses decent passing ability. Unfashionable he may be, but he’s effective.
Watching Spurs, and it’s becoming more evident how much Nacho Camacho from Málaga (€20m clause) should be their #1 priority in the summer. — David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) March 15, 2015
Ever Banega, Andre Gomes
CM: Grzegorz Krychowiak
One of the signings of the season, potentially even the best in several regards. It was always going to be difficult to replace Ivan Rakitic directly, so what Sevilla did is bring in several new faces to form part of a new system not reliant upon one player. Krychowiak’s worked predominantly in front of the defence; intercepting, tackling and generally throwing his body in the way of danger. Positionally he’s intelligent, and when he is caught out, boasts good enough speed to track back. The Pole has also joined the attack when possible, and packs a powerful shot. He’s produced big performances in the big games time and time again too, plus while Sevilla were struggling halfway through the season, he seemed to be the only player aware of his duties. Another Monchi masterstroke indeed.
Michael Krohn-Dehli, Dani Parejo
CM: Dani García
Eibar may end up going down but it has not been without a fight. Leading that fight has been Dani Garcia, an ever present as the team from the Basque Country went out each week to upset the odds. For awhile they did, and it was Dani Garcia’s energy in midfield that spurred them on. The 24-year-old can sit in front of a defence and shield it, while also being capable of helping retaining possession and shifting the ball with purpose.
My apologies to Eibar, as I seem to be touting Dani García around at every opportunity. But he is VERY good.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) January 7, 2015
Vicente Iborra, Raúl Baena
CF: Antoine Griezmann
Despite the high price on the outset, €30m, it seems Atletico Madrid got an incredible bargain in signing the young Frenchman. His goals return has been astonishing given he’s not a traditional centre-forward – even though his numbers match previous strikers at the club – and that this is his debut season adapting to a notoriously difficult system to understand. The demands have been high but attainable for a player with ambitions to match. Off the ball he’s improved considerably, becoming aware of his responsibilities away from the final third. Europe’s big guns should look back with regret on missing out. Next time he won’t come some cheap.
Nolito, Nordin Amrabat
If Otamendi was the first name on the team sheet, Jonathas was the second. Signed from Serie B in Italy, the Brazilian has been the revelation of the season. On face value you get everything you expect: toughness, strength, physical prowess. Watching him further however, you see excellent footwork, intelligence to associate with midfield and those around him. In pure goalscoring terms he has been extraordinary, capitalising on the small amounts of possession Elche had, but also producing from nowhere to land a key goal.
Jonathas: aka poor man’s version of Diego Costa. Three goals and two assists in eight games now. Will get a bigger move at end of season.
— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) October 25, 2014
David Barral, Sergio Garcia
CF: Aritz Aduriz
Athletic Bilbao’s campaign has been mediocre by their usual standards, but just imagine what would’ve been without Aritz Aduriz. The striker has produced his best campaign ever as a footballer in terms of a goals return, and has kept himself in excellent shape at 34-years-old. Aduriz has carried the team, and with the indecision in midfield crippling Ernesto Valverde it’s been up the striker to pounce on any chances he gets and relieve the pressure. He’s done so incredibly, and for months, like Jonathas, he’s baled his team out when no one else looked capable of doing so.
Luciano Vietto, Carlos Bacca