La Liga Best XI: Week 25
La Liga's Best XI: Week 25
La Liga saw many surprises this weekend with Real Madrid in the top spot for the first time in a year and a half. Former leaders Barcelona were beaten by Real Sociedad in San Sebastian and looked like a reflection of themselves, losing possession and not creating chances. This might have to do with their manager Tata Martino being kicked out just after halftime. The other title contenders in Atletico Madrid were also beaten (more outmuscled) by Osasuna in Pamplona.
Around the league, there also were great moments produced by individuals to help their teams in tight scraps for European places and relegation. There was a penalty saved in extra time, a game-winning goal, a player scoring against his former team, and someone that has a rocket launcher for a left foot.
Although there are many that should be recognized for their performances this weekend, some teams had harder obstacles to complete than others. This meaning Athletic Bilbao beating last-placed Betis after the Sevilla team had two already sent off. Malaga and Almeria seemed to have several hung over players on the pitch for the midday Sunday kickoff, ending in a dull 0-0. Levante at Real Valladolid was well played with many chances from each side, and one point was shared for their efforts.
A couple of players you would expect on this list would be the best players in the world, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Unfortunately, CR7 was out serving the last game of his suspension, and Messi, although being the best player in his squad, was unable to save his squad from a 3-1 defeat to La Real. So here come the best XI for this weekend
Alejandro de Jesús is a contributing football writer for Rant Sports. You can follow Alejandro on Twitter: @geografoot
Goalkeeper: Sergio Asenjo
The keeper on loan from Atletico Madrid was the best player on the pitch during Espanyol vs. Villarreal. Asenjo became the hero when he saved a penalty in stoppage time en route to their 2-1 victory.
Central Defense: Inigo Martinez
The young Spanish international was the key to stopping Lionel Messi, Neymar & co. on Saturday, which led to their sweetest revenge after being knocked out of the Copa by the same team.
Central Defense: Ruben Vezo
This 19-year old Portuguese international scored his debut goal in extraordinary fashion in stoppage time to gift Valencia the victory 2-1 over Granada.
Left-Back: Alvaro Arbeloa
Playing in a different position, Alvaro held his own and was solid enough for Real Madrid to maintain their consistency and reach the top.
Right-Back: Dani Carvajal
His constant racing up the right flank helped create chances for Los Blancos. Dani is further cementing his place on Real Madrid's starting roster with each Liga game.
Midfielder: Asier Illarramendi
The Basque midfielder was arguably the man of the match for Real Madrid. Illarra was looking very comfortable next to his mentor, Xabi Alonso, and even scored his first league goal ever.
Midfielder: Sergio Canales
With only a handful of games under his belt at Real Sociedad, Canales seems to already gel well with his attacking teammates. His false nine position allowed teammates Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann to run the flanks past the defenders.
Winger: Carlos Vela
The Mexican was able to shine in his team's overtaking of the league leaders. Vela's runs down the right were hard for the Barca defense to handle -- let's hope he can make it consistent.
Winger: Gareth Bale
Gareth has had better games. He is bouncing back from injury and might be pacing himself, but he did prove against Elche that he carries a 9mm onto the pitch with him in shape of his left foot. His 72nd-minute goal reached over 100 kmph coming from outside the penalty area -- by far the goal of the week around Europe.
Forward: Antoine Griezmann
The Frenchman was running circles around Gerard Pique, scoring and creating chances for his teammates. Griezmann's goal puts him behind Diego Costa and Cristiano on the charts.
Forward: Karim Benzema
Karim does not make many headlines with Cristiano and Gareth in the lineup, but he does quietly get the job done. His several shots on goal wore out the opposing keeper, allowing for a comfortable 3-0 victory.