Team of the year in La Liga 2021

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2021 was a strange year for La Liga without any team that seriously impressed during the entire 12-month period.

Atletico Madrid impressed last season on the road to the title but have wavered this promotion, while Real Madrid have done the opposite and Barcelona have … well, the less said about them the better really.

We have also seen underdog stories with the likes of Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano and for a short while Real Sociedad challenging the big boys in Spanish football.

Here are the 11 La Liga players who have impressed the most in 90 minutes in 2021 …

Navas just will not stop impressing / Quality Sport Images / GettyImages

Thibaut Courtois (GK) – This was a close thing with Jan Oblak who also enjoyed another predictably impressive year between the sticks. Courtois’ almost flawless start to the current campaign, combined with Oblak’s relatively slow, means that the Belgian only takes the number one jersey.

Jesus Navas (RB) – Now on the wrong side of 35, conventional wisdom dictates that Navas should start phasing out his playing career. Instead, he continued to impress in an over-performing Sevilla team and made more crosses than any other player in La Liga this year.

Jules Konde (CB) – There was a reason Chelsea were so keen to bring in Konde this summer – he is one of the best young defenders on the planet. Together with the experienced Diego Carlos, he is a major reason for Sevilla’s incredible defensive record in the last 12 months.

Mario Hermoso (CB) – Atletico Madrid’s 2021 title triumph in La Liga was built on a rock-hard foundation in the form of Stefan Savic, Felipe, Jose Gimenez and Hermoso. In fact, any of the four could have done this team, but we have chosen Hermoso because of his superior numbers.

Jordi Alba (LB) – Barcelona has meandered from one crisis to another this year, but in the midst of this chaos, Alba has continued to be quiet excellent as a left-back. Still skilled defensively and in the final third, the Spaniard deserves solid praise for staying on top of his game for so long.

Llorente’s goal helped Atletico win the title / Angel Martinez / GettyImages

Casemiro (DM) – The one-man offense ball continues to strike fear in the hearts of La Liga midfielders. Casemiro has consistently carried out an unholy amount of tackles and interceptions since he became Real’s first choice and it has been a similar story in 2021.

Toni Kroos (CM) – Devilishly creative and the owner of the cutest right foot in world football, Kroos outshined longtime criminal partner Luka Modric this year to earn his place on this site.

Marcos Llorente (CM) – He is a difficult player to define, such is his incredible versatility and versatile skill. Llorente can play anywhere but his fantastic performances in the second half of last season, which helped Atleti take a close title race, mean he earns a place in midfield.

Benzema has been incredible in 2021 / Quality Sport Images / GettyImages

Lionel Messi (RW) – Yes, we know he only played in La Liga for half the year but with Messi still scoring 23 goals and 12 assists in 2021, it was impossible to leave him out.

Karim Benzema (ST) – Benzema has taken the step admirably since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real and 2021 may have been his best calendar year so far. 38 goals in all competitions for club and country is a record.

Vinicius Junior (LW) – It has taken some time but Vinicius started to show signs of his soaring potential this year. When the Brazilian was once criticized for missing an end product, he has been deadly ahead of the 2021 goal, especially this season.

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