The top four currently stands at:
|Lionel Messi - Another perfect season?|
So the question is, has there been anything out of the ordinary from La Liga this season well yes and no. The prevailing theme really has been Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo playing their classic game of raise the bar. Messi has scored an astronomical 57 goals in 46 games this season that is well over a goal per game, this is why he belongs at the very top of football, when you look at the fact that he has scored 310 goals in 375 games overall you kind of understand the important of the little guy. What Messi offers isn't just sheer skill and technique he has an aura to motivate just by being on the pitch.
For reference you only have to look at PSG in the quarter final of the Champions League after drawing 2-2 at Parc Des Princes Barca were heading out after Javier Pastore had shocked the Camp Nou but the introduction of a half fit Messi meant he could galvanise the troops and of course have a hand in the goal. Mesmeric and inspirational.
|Cristiano scoring against old boys United|
It's no secret that Les Catalans have simply strutted to reclaim their title from rivals Madrid but it's the emergence of other sides and the disappearance of others that really defines the tournament this year. Remember Athletico Bilbao, a side with players like Iker Munian, Fernando Llorente, Susaeta? Well take a look back at last season when this side completely outplayed Manchester United home and away in the Europa League in what looked like a complete change in momentum in the top leagues.
|Fernando Llorente driving Bilbao to a 3-2 away win at OT|
Another disappointing group of teams in the form of Deportivo, Levante and Osasuna, sides who have enjoyed better times and yet especially Deportivo who currently reside outside relegation would be the most disappointed. It's been a tale of either sides on the up or sides simply on the decline, consistency is key. Solidarity is a powerful component in Spain, also retaining your better players is imperative but just like any other league if the bigger clubs come calling then it's Buenos Dias and thanks for coming.
Here are three suprise packages who have done themselves if not their teams any favours:
|Malaga's Isco at the heart of their CL run|
|Radamel Falcao - 30 goals for Athleti|
Athletic Madrid have been the closest to closing the gap from the front two and making it more competitive, this is simply down to a great team ethic and the marksmanship of Radamel Falcao. When they brought him in from Porto personally I thought the price tag was overflated at 40 million Euros which made him the most expensive player in Athletico's history.
30 goals return this season enables that some of that fee is being paid back. Interest from United is high, hardly suprising.
Overall La Liga has been a success this season, they could have two representatives in the final of the Champions League, could have been more had a lack of concentration not robbed Malaga. The top two have raised the bar and keep on improving although Real will be disappointing by their points difference in contract to Athletico who will be very happy with their season and have something to build on. Barcelona can be beaten and outfought as AC Milan proved and few occasions in La Liga this season. Also could I make a small mention to Celta Vigo who in their first season in the league are in 20th place 4 points off safety and it could have been much worse if it weren't for the form of
Iago Aspas. A small side who have done extraordinary well to reach La Liga itself, If they don't beat the drop with 7 games to go, I hope they at least make a speedy recovery back.
|Iago Aspas - Swansea City Target?|