La Liga Team of the Week—Matchday 11

Michael CernaCorrespondent INovember 12, 2012

La Liga Team of the Week—Matchday 11

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    Valencia, Sevilla, Betis and Malaga all dropped points, while Los Boquerones joined Mallorca and Celta in a continued free fall.

    Both Basque clubs won all three points, while the Galicians failed to earn a single point between them.

    The top three teams all won again, putting more ground between themselves and the rest of the pack.

    This week proved as surprising and exciting as usual in La Liga, and a few players deserve special recognition.

    Here is a starting XI with the best players from the round included. I hope you will leave your comments below after reading the list.

    Note: All statistics taken from

Gorka Iraizoz—K (Athletic Bilbao)

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    Another class performance from the Basque star and this time his defense did enough to give him a victory.

    Iraizoz made seven saves against an oft-threatening Sevilla team, but it was his double save against Baba Diawara that was his highlight.

    He was just 10 minutes away from earning the clean sheet before Negredo slotted home a penalty.

Geromel—D (Mallorca)

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    Mallorca's Geromel was the best defender on the pitch against Barcelona as he saved at least two goals and rarely had a misstep all night.

    His ability to read passes both on and away from the ball was fantastic as he denied David Villa and Xavi clear chances on goal with some fine interceptions.

    In total he made seven interceptions, five tackles and 11 clearances, but the stats still don't give him due credit.

Adil Rami—D (Valencia)

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    Adil Rami looked a bit more like the rock of last season in Valencia's draw with Valladolid.

    The Frenchman made two key tackles that probably saved favorable attempts on goal, and even looked the most dangerous attacking threat for Los Che at times.

    Aside from Aly Cissokho's controversial red card and subsequent penalty, Rami and the Valencia defense allowed just a single shot on goal.

    Rami really deserved a clean sheet on this night.

Diego Godin—D (Atletico Madrid)

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    Another local derby, another spectacular night from Atletico's best central defender.

    Diego Godin continued his slight resurgence this season by putting on a man of the match-type performance against Getafe.

    He had five tackles to go along with 13 clearances, but it was his shot-blocking that did the most damage.

    The Uruguayan continues to be the best central defender in the league this season.

Xabi Alonso—DM (Real Madrid)

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    Add 'swimming pool' to the list of venues that Xabi Alonso has now conquered.

    Despite being incredibly hampered by one of the worst pitches in recent memory, the Spanish master led Real Madrid to another victory against Levante.

    Alonso's awful pass percentage does a severe injustice to his game. He managed eight tackles, two interceptions, four crosses, three accurate long balls and four key passes.

    The 30-year-old was the best defender and creator on the pitch, and again proved that he is the most important player for Jose Mourinho along with Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mikel Rico—DM (Granada)

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    Usually when Beñat is having a game like he did against Granada, it is hard to keep Betis out of goal, especially when Pepe Mel fields both Jorge Molina and Ruben Castro.

    Mikel Rico apparently is not as impressed with that trio.

    The 28-year-old not only out-shined Beñat in midfield, he had his best game of this season and maybe in Spain.

    He killed countless Betis attacks from all over midfield and gave perhaps the best performance of the round in La Liga.

Victor Rodriguez—M (Real Zaragoza)

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    Real Zaragoza are orchestrating quite the turnaround and their 5-3 win over Deportivo shows that their early offensive struggles are not a problem right now.

    One of the stars of this match was 23-year-old Victor Rodriguez who managed two key assists and put four men on goal.

    He completed 88 percent of his passes and sent eight crosses into the box, half of which connected.

Apoño—M (Real Zaragoza)

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    Outside of the top three, can you guess who the hottest team in Spain is? I'll give you a hint—they were in the relegation zone just one month ago.

    One of the key reasons for this is the midfield, which has been led by Apoño.

    Against Deportivo, the 28-year-old was just world class and looked like the man who all but carried Zaragoza out of the relegation zone last spring.

    He dominated the midfield battle and had more than twice the touches of anyone else on the pitch.

    The Spaniard also continued to build his reputation as one of the league's elite penalty takers when he slotted home his third goal of the season.

Jose Casado—M (Rayo Vallecano)

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    Casado was the best fullback in La Liga this week and was the man of the match against Celta Vigo.

    The 26-year-old bombed forward, had the second-most touches of anyone on the team and looked like more like an Italian wing-back than a defender.

    He never got caught out at the back, though. Just a superb performance all around.

Leo Baptistão—F (Rayo Vallecano)

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    With another goal scored against Celta Vigo, Leo has taken his tally to five this season. Add in his three assists and his first season in Spain is already a success.

    The 20-year-old continues to battle Isco for the title of best young player in La Liga this season and is making quite the case for himself.

    In his latest showing, the Brazilian's incredible timing, pace and positioning were used to start an incredible comeback after being two goals down for an hour.

    He nearly scored two more, but missed by inches. He strength in the air and ability to find that key ball were fantastic.

    Rayo's youth product is giving the great fans of Vallecas much to be proud of this season.

Helder Postiga—F (Real Zaragoza)

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    There is not a more in-form striker in all of La Liga right now than Helder Postiga.

    If the ref had allowed his wrongly-called offside goal to stand against Real Madrid, this would have been the 30-year-old's fourth-straight game with a goal.

    The Portuguese international scored two goals against Deportivo in an eight-goal thriller. His ended up being the goal that sealed the win and a full three points.


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    Andres—K (Osasuna)
    Was lights out to keep a clean sheet in a battle between La Liga's two worst teams.

    Alberto De la Bella—D (Real Sociedad)
    Shared the pitch with Nacho Monreal and was still the best defender in Malaga. The 26-year-old was fantastic on both sides of the pitch.

    Emiliano Armenteros—M (Osasuna)
    Sent a perfect through ball for Sola to finish and seal the win after scoring a beauty of his own. Didn't have much time on the ball, but made the most of his touches.

    Xabi Prieto—M (Real Sociedad)
    Rarely does someone share the pitch with Isco and Joaquin and still manage to be the best player on the pitch, but that is exactly what Prieto did in La Real's big win at La Rosaleda.

    Andres Guardado—M (Valencia)
    It took six games, but Andres Guardado finally got his first assist for Los Che. His crossing was fantastic and really helped Valencia take advantage of their height in the box.

    Lionel Messi—F (Barcelona)
    Had a rather pedestrian night and still managed two goals to break Pele's record. Perhaps our expectations for Messi are unfair.

    Iago Aspas—F (Celta Vigo)
    Has moved beyond being a candidate for Breakout Player of the Year and is simply one of the league's top players. His brace took him to five goals this season.

    Please also read my Weekly Power Rankings for Matchday 11.