There are plenty of world superstars plying their trade in La Liga but also a lot of lesser lights working in their shadows.
Not every team can splash the kind of cash that makes Real Madrid and Barcelona so powerful. Most have to sell their best players just to keep the Spanish tax agency at bay for another season.
But there are plenty of gems in the league that do a job on yearly wages equivalent to a few minutes work for some of the more celebrated players. Sofiane Feghouli (above) is one, although he might not have quite lived up to the "new Zinedine Zidane" tag.
Here's a new year's toast to the secondary actors in the self-styled "greatest league in the world."
Alves makes a habit of turning in game-saving performances in big matches.
He produced the display of a lifetime against Real Madrid in the opening game of the season to earn Valencia a point in the Bernabeu and did the same against Barcelona last season.
A shot-stopper extraordinaire, Alves has 12 penalty saves to his name in his Liga career, the last two coming from the boots of none other than than Leo Messi and Bayern Munich's Mario Mandzukic.
His consistency earned him a place in the Brazil team, for which he has played five times this season and kept four clean sheets.
One of many Real Madrid youth products forced to seek his fortune elsewhere, Juanfran Torres has done just that since arriving at Atletico from Osasuna.
Used mostly as a winger by the Navarrese club, Juanfran was turned into a right back by Gregorio Manzano and kept there by Diego Simeone.
His performances during Atletico's Europa League run did not go unnoticed by Vicente del Bosque, and Juanfran made his Spain debut against Serbia in May. He also earned himself a place in the squad for Euro 2012.
Sevilla has been slightly erratic this season as its transition period under Michel continues, but one solid and reliable aspect during the side's campaign has been Spahic.
The Bosnia and Herzegovina captain has played every Liga match for Sevilla this season and every minute of his national side's unbeaten World Cup qualifying campaign.
Equally comfortable off either foot and with great positional awareness, Spahic was a snip at €2 million from Montpellier.
A colossus of a central defender, Rami has a fistful of France caps and has been the fulcrum in defense for Valencia in the Champions League this season.
A real handful at both ends of the pitch, the Corsican is a bit of a red card magnet and has received his marching orders twice already this season, ruling him out of a match against BATE Borisov in Europe.
A scorer in Valencia's morale-boosting 2-0 win over then-unbeaten Atletico in November, it's only a matter of time before the man signed from Lille for €6 million moves to one of the big boys for about double that figure.
One of six Spanish Juanfrans active in La LIga at the moment, Juanfran Garcia is one of the reasons Levante has been bloodying noses in Europe and domestically as of late.
As part of the oldest back four in the league last season—with a combined age well over 100—Juanfran contributed to Levante's incredible season, which featured a spell at the top of the league and culminated in its first European qualification in over 100 years of existence.
At 36 Juanfran hasn't got much playing time left but still possesses enough in the tank to have turned in over 1,500 minutes so far this season.
All action Croatia international Rakitic has been at Sevilla for two years and is one of the driving forces behind the team.
This season he has chipped in with three goals and three assists, including the pass to Piotr Trochowski that felled Real in the Sanchez Pizjuan.
Currently sidelined with an ankle injury, Sevilla will hope to have Rakitic (who came within a whisker of knocking Spain out of Euro 2012 in the group stage) back as soon as possible.
Having come through the ranks at Real Sociedad, Griezmann is now an established first-teamer who can play either on the wing, in the hole or as a striker. He possesses wonderful technical ability and a burst of pace.
In 14 Liga starts this season, he has chipped in with three goals and three assists, including both strikes to rescue a point against Valladolid.
A recent fixture for the France national under-21s (although under suspension until the end of next year for a night on the tiles in Paris with teammates), Real will struggle to keep him under wraps for too much longer.
Malaga's top scorer in the Champions League, and the player with the most field time in Europe for the south coast club, Eliseu has played all 17 games in La Liga, racking up a goal and four assists.
One of those goals in Europe earned Malaga a 1-1 tie at the San Siro and another almost ripped Anderlecht's net apart.
Picked up from Lazio for €2 million in 2012, Eliseu's value has more than doubled, and it won't be too long before the Cape Verde-born midfielder forces his way back into the Portugal team with the form he has shown in 2012.
Brought back to Athletic in the summer from Valencia, Aduriz might have expected to play second fiddle to Spain striker Fernando Llorente.
But the big No. 9's desire to leave has seen him pushed to the fringes of the club, and Aduriz has settled into his role of main striker with relish. Without his 13 goals in 23 appearances in all competitions this season, Athletic would be in a lot more trouble than it is now, even if Aduriz was unable to prevent it from slipping out of the Europa League and King's Cup.
Not called up for Spain in over two years, Aduriz did earn a starting place for the Basque Country (who like Catalonia have a pretty formidable side) in its 6-1 demolition of Bolivia last Saturday. Llorente didn't even warrant a telephone call.
Only Leo Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Radamel Falcao have more league goals this season than the Athletic forward.
With all due respect to Zaragoza, what exactly Helder Postiga is doing at the Aragonese club is a mystery.
A player with 23 goals for his country, the Portugal striker has represented Porto, Tottenham and Sporting Lisbon but signed with Zaragoza for just one million euros in 2011.
Along with three goals for Portugal in World Cup qualifiers this season, he has bagged eight for Zaragoza so far, and at 30 years old, still has a few years left in him.
It could be an interesting January window for Postiga.
Shipped out on loan to Rayo for the second half of last season, the future did not look red-and-white for Costa.
But having returned to Atletico in the summer, Costa has won the admiration of Diego Simeone and the Calderon alike and is currently keeping Adrian Lopez on the bench.
A Brazil call-up is probably a long shot, but the combative forward looks likely to be a fixture for Atletico in the second half of the season, though UEFA banned Costa for four European matches due to his headbutt of Viktoria Pilzen's David Limbersky.