La Liga Team of the Season so far: Messi absent as Ronaldo, Valdes & Diego Costa all feature

With 17 rounds of the Primera Division disputed and the winter break now interrupting the action until January, Goal takes a look at the standout performers so far in Spain

Another calendar year is coming to an end and with it, La Liga’s finest take a well-earned rest.

Barcelona lead the Primera Division on goal difference from Atletico, with Real Madrid a further five points back. Unsurprisingly, those three teams feature heavily in Goal‘s Liga Team of the Season so far.

In goal is Victor Valdes. The Barca shot-stopper may have missed several weeks after picking up an injury on international duty, but the Catalan is enjoying his best-ever season in what will be his last at Camp Nou.

In defence, young centre-back Marc Bartra has also impressed for the Catalan club. Villarreal’s Mateo Musacchio has enjoyed a memorable season as well and the Argentine’s impressive performances could lead to an international call-up for the Albiceleste in the build-up to the World Cup. Several of Europe’s biggest teams, including Barcelona, Chelsea and Manchester City, are also admirers. On the right, Athletic Bilbao captain Andoni Iraola has been as consistent as ever and has just signed a new deal with the San Mames side, while Filipe Luis has shone in both defence and atack for Atletico.

Cani has been the engine for Villarreal in midfield, while Antoine Griezmann has continued his fine form for Real Sociedad this term. Gareth Bale, following a shaky start, has been excellent for Real Madrid and already has seven goals in just 10 Liga appearances.

In attack, Cristiano Ronaldo is obviously in after hitting 18 goals from his 16 games in La Liga this term, one fewer than Atletico’s Diego Costa (19 in 17), and those two are joined by Real Sociedad’s Carlos Vela, who has netted eight in 16 appearances, including all four in the 4-3 win over Celta Vigo. There is no place in our XI for injury-hit Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

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