Best Of La Liga: Celebrating The Standout Performers Of The 2023-24 Season

La Liga Trophy
La Liga Trophy

The 2023-24 La Liga season had its last hurrah over the weekend, with all 20 teams walking out to the pitch for one last time. Real Madrid, who had clinched the title with four games to spare, bid adieu to Toni Kroos, who will never play another official match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. Barcelona, meanwhile, played their last match under Xavi, who will leave his post as manager this summer. Girona secured a place in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in their history after finishing third, while Cadiz, Almeria, and Granada ended up in the relegation zone and dropped to the second division.

It was a memorable La Liga campaign, and today, we will take a look at six players who made it their own by producing remarkable performances throughout. Continue reading to meet the standout performers of the 2023-24 La Liga season.

Goalkeeper Of The Season: Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao)

Unai Simon Was The Best Goalkeeper In La Liga 2023-24
Unai Simon Saved 3 Penalties This Season

Athletic Bilbao enjoyed a fine season. They amassed 68 points from their 38 La Liga games to finish fifth in the La Liga rankings. It allowed them to secure a place in the group stage of the 2024-25 UEFA Europa League. Every player played their part to secure a European spot for Athletic Bilbao, but Unai Simon certainly deserves a special mention.

The goalkeeper played 36 games in the Spanish top flight and kept 16 clean sheets. He faced 122 shots on target throughout the campaign and let in only 33 goals, attaining a save% of 73.8. Simon was also brilliant from the spot, as he saved three of the five penalties he faced (1 conceded, 1 off-target).

Defender Of The Season: Antonio Rudiger (Real Madrid)

Antonio Rudiger Was One Of The Best Players In La Liga
Antonio Rudiger Helped Real Madrid Reach The UEFA Champions League

Real Madrid lost two pillars at the back, Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao, within the first 50 minutes of the 2023-24 La Liga season. With them gone, Los Blancos needed someone to lead the defense, and on stepped Antonio Rudiger, proving why he is one of the best in the business.

The former Chelsea man did not give attackers any breathing room, used his pace to perfection to stop counter-attacks, and reorganized the defenses after they let in a goal or made a mistake. Over the course of the season, Rudiger won 15 tackles, blocked 20 shots, made 11 interceptions, and completed 89 clearances. The German center-back did not attack too frequently but found the back of the net once in the 2023-24 season.

Midfielder Of The Season: Isco (Real Betis)

Isco Won 19 MOTM Awards In 2023-24 La Liga Season

La Liga is home to some of the best midfielders on the planet, with the majority of those playing for the three biggest teams in the division: Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid. However, it was a midfielder from Real Betis who impressed the most in 2023-24. It was former Real Madrid man Isco who emerged as the most impactful midfielder in the 2023-24 La Liga season.

The 32-year-old, who joined Betis as a free agent in July 2023, played sublime through balls on cue, combined effortlessly with teammates, created chances for fun, and found the back of the net with remarkable frequency. Throughout the season, Isco played 95 passes that led to a shot, completed 1288 passes, claimed five assists, and scored eight goals. Remarkably, Isco won the Man of the Match award in 19 of the 29 La Liga matches he featured in, becoming the most frequent recipient of the accolade in 2023-24.

Goalscorer Of The Season: Artem Dovbyk (Girona)

Artem Dovbyk Is The Leading Scorer In La Liga
Artem Dovbyk Scored 24 Goals For Girona This Season

In a league featuring the likes of Robert Lewandowski, Alvaro Morata, and Vinicius Jr., Artem Dovbyk emerged as the most prolific goalscorer. The Girona attacker was in sensational form throughout the 2023-24 La Liga season, scoring an impressive 24 times in 36 appearances to claim the Pichichi Trophy. He also showcased his creativity, chipping in with eight assists.

Without Dovbyk’s sensational goal contributions, Girona could not have fathomed to finish inside the top four of the 2023-24 La Liga rankings.

Breakthrough Player Of The Season: Lamine Yamal (Barcelona)

Barcelona Star Lamine Yamal Is The Best U-23 Dribbler In Europe
Lamine Yamal Is Spain’s Youngest-Ever Goalscorer

Barcelona’s 16-year-old winger Lamine Yamal earned a much-deserved promotion from the U19 side to the senior team in July 2023. Despite his lack of experience, Yamal got his shot right away, with Xavi handing him his first start in La Liga in a 2-0 victory over Cadiz in August. The La Masia graduate showcased his dribbling skills, link-up play, and commendable decision-making in his full debut, prompting Xavi to make him a first-team regular.

Throughout the season, Yamal played 37 La Liga games, starting 22. He played 64 passes that led to a shot, pulled off 17 take-ons, completed 18 goal-creating actions, provided five assists, and scored five goals. It will be interesting to see how he fares if he gets the chance to play for Spain in the 2024 European Championship.

Signing Of The Season: Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid)

Real Madrid Ace Jude Bellingham Is One Of The Top Scorers In La Liga
Real Madrid Superstar Jude Bellingham

Expectations were sky-high when Real Madrid splurged €103 million ($112.05 million) to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund last summer. However, unlike most big-ticket signings, the English midfielder did not let the pressure get to him. Instead, he somehow exceeded expectations, arguably emerging as the best player in La Liga.

Playing in an advanced midfield role under Carlo Ancelotti, Bellingham got the license to tap into his more ruthless side. He barged into the box with more urgency, spent hours inside the final third, and took his chances when they came his way.

Throughout the 2023-24 La Liga campaign, Bellingham featured in 28 matches, scoring a whopping 19 times and providing six assists. Had he not missed so many games due to injury, he could have bagged his first Pichichi Trophy in his debut season in Spain.

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