Well another La Liga year came and ended. It was quite disappointing for the most part, but there were quite
Team of the Year- Real Madrid.
Look, anyone that says that there was another team needs to have their heads checked. For those that say Villarreal was worthy of this recognition forgot the 5-0 clock-cleaning at El Madrigal. They were challenged once and Barcelona could not seal the deal. You could technically say that Barcelona were atop the standings for about 15 minutes when Ronaldinho scored one of the goals of the year against Atlético.
Surprise team- Almería
Why not Villarreal you may say? I don’t know… I just wanted to go the opposite direction of the rest of the crowd. Seriously, who expected this side to even end up in the top half of the table? At one point, yes everyone said it was a fluke. No way that a club with only 20 years in existence could keep this up. They were fighting for European spots until the final weeks of the season. My criteria for picking a team in this category is which team does the most with the least. Players that offered the leadership of Aitor López Rekarte, Veliko Paunovic, Albert Crusat, and Santiago Acasiete among others helped them get out of the first half doldrums and get out of the relegation area all the way to fight for a UEFA and Intertoto spot. Working with what they had- the team got their money’s worth.
Disappointment of the Season- Barcelona and Valencia were saved in this category. If Almería did the most with the least, then Zaragoza is their antithesis. Los Maños were supposed to be a big player in the race for the title. Their performance the previous season gave people at La Romareda hope to win a title for the first time since they won the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup back in 2004. The addition of Roberto Ayala to the defense and to have Pablo Aimar and Andrés D’ Alessandro in the midfield as well as Diego Milito and Ricardo Oliveira as a striker combo. Also their instability atop was key to their eventual destiny. Four coaches in a span of five months. The job was looking like a bad night at The Apollo. Víctor Fernández was gone and then his replacement Ander Garitano lasted a week. Jabo Irureta last lasted five matches and was quickly given the hook.
Only one win on the road was not a good precedent to go into the Son Moix and pull a win out against one of the hottest teams in the league. It seemed like yesterday when theclub proudly announced their plans to restructure in an effort to be successful in the top of the standings. Those results were favorable in the short term as they quickly earned their double in 2004. The repercussions will be great, but the extent is going to be seen throughout the summer.
Tragedy of the Year- Levante