Jumaat, 7 Oktober 2011

Spain's Best XI So Far This Season

GK - Roberto (Zaragoza)
Eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that according to the brutally honest league table that never lies, the Zaragoza keeper is by a hundred miles the worst in la Liga, having conceded 13 goals. However it could have been 113 if Roberto had not been between the sticks for Zaragoza. From a miraculous performance in the side's first match against Real Madrid when the Spaniard stopped a 6-0 defeat going into treble figures, Roberto has made the most number of top-flight saves this season with 36. That's one every 15 minutes to keep Zaragoza mid-table, rather than at the bottom where side should probably be.

LB - Jérémy Mathieu (Valencia)
The Frenchman's performance against Barcelona alone is spectacular enough to pop Mathieu into a Best XI, with the fullback playing almost as a left winger to take advantage of the spaces left by Barça's 4-3-3 formation in what was a thrilling 2-2 draw in Mestalla. Mathieu had been a little flaky at times last season but is settling in very well indeed within a rejigged back four for Valencia that is looking fairly solid for once.

CB - Sergio Ballesteros (Levante)
The city-sized defender may have his own post code, need a life guard for his soup bowl, and use satellites to take his passport photograph (etc) but the 36-year-old centre-back has been truly spectacular in an incredible start to the campaign for Levante that sees the side sitting in second. Ballesteros has been focussed for every second of every match, an inspirational leader to his team - a bit of a cheat at times, admittedly - and helped a supposedly creaking, aging defence to conceding just three goals.

CB - Mártin Cáceres (Sevilla)
Ideally, the Uruguayan's partner, Emir Spahic, would have gone into the XI but the Bosnian's outrageous fakery to get Ariz Aduriz sent off in Sevilla's recent clash against Valencia disqualifies the centre-back. But then again, Cáceres' performance to keep Falcao quiet during Sunday's goalless draw against Atlético showed the fine form the defender is in at the moment to help Sevilla to four matches in a row without conceding a goal.

RB - Chica (Betis)
The Betis back four being poured into one player to acknowledge a storming start to the season that has stuttered of late with back-to-back league defeats to Getafe and Levante. Chica has formed part of a dynamic outfit who were at their attacking best in the first 50 minutes of a 4-3 win over Zaragoza when the defender supplied two assists.

CM - Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid)
One of the tactical tags for Real Madrid this season has been blistering counter-attacks that have been compared in approving terms by Marca to Usain Bolt. Xabi Alonso has launched quite a few of these with quick, accurate balls from midfield to send opposition midfielders and defenders back-peddling like mad. Whilst Alonso's midfielder's partners have changed on a almost match-to-match basis, the former Liverpool man's role in the team is irreplaceable.

CM - Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona)
A muscle injury against Sporting prevented the midfielder from starting six from six in la Liga for Barcelona in la Liga. But in a blistering start for Fabregas, the former Arsenal man has still racked up four goals and three assists in those five games the footballer has featured in. Although Cesc is sitting in the first line of three for this best XI, he has been an immense presence all over the pitch for Barcelona, a feature that Pep Guardiola has certainly enjoyed. "The anarchy of Cesc suits us, he moves to the right, to the left and is very strong physically," purred the Barça boss.

CM - Javi Fuego (Rayo Vallecano)A bit of an out-of-the-box, helicopter view, pushing the envelope personal choice here. Rayo were fully expected to be at the bottom-of-the-table already but are in 13th. Indeed, the Madrid side could have been an awful lot higher in eighth had it not been for a pesky referee ruling out a perfectly good goal in the final seconds of a goalless draw against Zaragoza. Rayo's relative success this season has been partly due to the tireless work of Javi Fuego in the centre of the side's midfield, with the 33-year-old winning the ball back 78 times, the second best record in la Liga.

Forward (Left) - Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid)
The current Pichichi has started the new season as he finished the last - with goals, assists, majestic charges down the field, imperious pouts with frustrated blasts over the bar thrown in for good measure. With just six games gone in la Liga, Ronaldo has scored seven goals, set up three and cracked in 45 shots. The Madrid man continues to be a joy to watch when he's in his prime.

Forward (Right) - Santi Cazorla (Málaga)
The one footballer that pretty much everyone loves in Spain, irrespective of existing loyalties. Cazorla has been a huge part of a successful start for Málaga this season with industrious work in midfield and up front and the contribution of four goals and two assists. What's more, there's no better free-kick taker in la Primera at this moment in time.

Forward (Centre) - Leo Messi (Barcelona)
Not the most controversial of choices, but Messi's brutal dismemberment of Atlético Madrid in a 5-0 shows that the Argentinean is still in blistering form. In the most basic of terms, Messi has scored the most number of goals with eight and heads the chart for assists with five.

source: http://www.football365.com/spanish-thing/7226085/Spanish-Thing

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