I’ve been told over and over again: the key to get the balance right in a team, is to get your defense right and you can build a solid foundation from there. But is this really the case? Maybe not, look at how Barcelona do it. Pique and Puyol have been absolutely useless this year, having shipped bags of goals and conceding 8 in their last 5 games. Despite this, Barcelona are 13 points clear at the top of La Liga. The previous statement is surely wrong then, no?
If you score more than you concede, you will win, obviously, so this is where I am scrapping the “defense comes first attitude”, because clearly the best are, at the end of the day, putting in the goals for pure fun.
This is what makes La Liga so special. Goals go in for fun and the retention of possession, ball control, scoring, calamitous affairs and class is what makes La Liga special.
I am going to start with the Spanish League’s most prolific strikers, which, at the end of the day, is where the goals and most of the excitement stem from.
Radamel Falcao: A proven striker, with a knack for goals, having slotted away 21 already this season in La Liga. His positioning has proved to be excellent and his speed and strength make the Colombian hitman a real presence on the pitch.
Where would Atletico be without him? They may well have ended up in a relegation battle. It is an extremely competitive league after all, and no league is worth its salt without a good relegation scrap.
David Villa: Villa has been benched for most of the season, which means clubs around the world have been lurking, waiting for their time to pounce on Spain’s leading goal-scorer. When Villa has appeared, he has added a touch of class that Barcelona have been lacking recently. His presence allows Lionel Messi the freedom to roam, and in many cases, will in fact relinquish some of the Argentine maestros duties, allowing a more free flowing game.
Villa is a fast player, who has proved his shooting and passing ability having played in the Spanish League for a while now, previously with Valencia and now with Barcelona. Where will he be next season? He can score, we know that much, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ended up at one of the very best football clubs in the world.
Adrian Lopez: Lopez has not been at his best this season, mainly taking a seated role on Simeone’s Atletico bench, displacing him from first team action. However, when this lad turns it on, he can produce for any of Europe’s top flight teams.
Carlos Vela: Vela has been without doubt the standout striker of the season for Sociedad, having scored the same tally, 13, with 10 games left as he did last season. He has established himself as a first class player and finds the net regularly, his last coming in the 3-3 clash with Real Betis at the Anoeta in San Sebastian.
What Vela lacks in speed, he makes up for in strength and tenacity to both win the ball and set-up play for his compatriots. He has a stinging shot that has proved to be one of his biggest assets this year and he is certainly a hot property at this moment in time.
Antoine Griezmann: The French Under-21 international has looked incredible at Real Sociedad this season. Bags of talent. The youngster’s playing style compliments Carlos Vela upfront, but if required he can put the ball away with true class, as he showed the other day against Betis, when his 40-yard thunderstrike was incorrectly deemed to be offside.
Gerard Deulofeu: I hold my hands up: Deulofeu actually plays in Segunda divison but he is a classy talent. Watch this space, he will be the next Messi.
Find out more from me on Twitter: @RobinVanKloezej
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