Sports Pundit has decided to put together a series of ‘Top Fives’ throughout Europe’s top leagues to round out the season before we switch our attention the 2012 European Championships.
5. Iker Casillas (Real Madrid) The Real Madrid veteran led by example at the back as Jose Mourinho’s side went all the way to lift La Liga. Casillas made a wonderful save to deny Xavi in the second Clasico, which Real famously won 2-1 effectively clinching the title for his side. Casillas continues to be a fine example for his team-mates but his voice and leadership are second to none too, along with his goalkeeping skills from reflexes to positioning.
4. Xavi (Barcelona The Spanish midfielder may be starting to get well into his thirties now and his form during the 2011-12 seemed indicative of that, as he begun to fade late in the campaign, but he was still very influential. The Barcelona man netted 10 goals and also contributed seven assists but his allround play was the highlight, controlling the midfield and whipping around pass after pass right on the mark.
3. Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid) Ozil may not have scored as often as many would have liked this term, but he still contributed a league high 17 assists including a vital one in the second Clasico. The German can sometimes get under the guard of the position and his slick passing nature is difficult to handle. Ozil’s positional sense make him a fine part of the Real midfield and with big names up front, he knows he doesn’t always need to be on the end of moves scoring goals.
2. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) The Portuguese superstar had another stunning season, he even described it as “perfect” himself as Real won the Spanish title from Barca. Ronaldo contributed a staggering 46 goals and 12 assists which is hard to believe. The Real man’s numbers would be record-breaking if it wasn’t for his rival Lionel Messi, however that shouldn’t detract from an amazing campaign. His desire to get involved in attacking moves and not be the man to finish it off, made him more valuable for his side this term too.
1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) Despite all of Ronaldo’s achievements, it’s hard to go past the Argentine maestro who scored an incredible 50 goals for the runners-up this term, whilst he also added a remarkable 15 assists. He broke all sorts of records this term including his famous club’s all-time goalscoring record, as well as European record for most goals in a season, as well as the most goals in a La Liga campaign. Plenty has been said about Messi before, from his quick feet, to his deadly finishing and killer passes, but all in all he is an absolute marvel and truly the number one.