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Best XI Non-Spanish La Liga Players

Samuel MarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2013

Best XI Non-Spanish La Liga Players

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    Many of the finest players in La Liga remain Spanish, despite the fleeing of many to chance their luck in foreign leagues.

    Most clubs have a strong Spanish spine. Athletic Bilbao will only play Basque players, Real Sociedad boast a strong Basque spine too and Barcelona, when possible, like to give La Masia graduates a chance.

    With that in mind, there's not as many non-Spanish players as there is, say, non-English players in the Premier League.

    There are still plenty of talented imports, though, as this XI proves.

Goalkeeper

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    Thibaut Courtois

    He's not officially an Atletico Madrid player, but Thibaut Courtois will begin his third season on loan with Los Rojiblancos when the season starts in August.

    Still just 21, the Belgian has caught Europe's eye with a string of fine performances in the Spanish capital and looks set to head to next summer's World Cup as his nation's No. 1.

Back Four

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    Dani Alves

    Barcelona's bursting full-back isn't just the obvious choice for right-back, he's close to being the only choice.

    Against Spain in the recent Confederations Cup final, he showed a more disciplined side to his game, while for Barca he's often more akin to a winger than a defender.

     

    Raphael Varane

    Real Madrid's young Frenchman looks set to become first choice alongside Sergio Ramos at the heart of Los Blancos' defense from now on.

    The 20-year-old impressed in the absence of Pepe and hasn't looked back since.

     

    Diego Godin

    Atletico Madrid's Uruguayan center-back was arguably the best, most consistent defender across La Liga last season.

    Diego Simeone's men finished third, qualifying for the Champions League and won the Copa del Rey, maintaining the tightest defense in Spain—Godin played a large part in that.

     

    Filipe Luis

    Unlike his compatriot on the right side, Filipe Luis had plenty of competition for his slot in this side.

    From the Bernabeu, Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao were certainly pushing to be included, but Atleti's Brazilian has been the most consistent left-back in La Liga over the past 18 months. 

Midfield

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    Luka Modric

    Modric only really stamped his mark on Real Madrid toward the end of the campaign, when he slowly started to recreate his Tottenham form.

    He likes to get on the ball and be involved in play and will only get better in the Spanish capital next season.

     

    Sami Khedira

    As Real Madrid continue to be linked with midfielders, Sami Khedira may well be worrying about his future at the Bernabeu.

    The lack of competition from foreign midfielders in La Liga means he's assured of a starting place in this non-Spanish XI, though. 

Triumvirate

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    Cristiano Ronaldo

    Being Portuguese and not Spanish, Cristiano Ronaldo's inclusion in this side is one of the most obvious.

    Operating from a wide-left position for Real Madrid, the 28-year-old has consistently been Los Blancos' go-to man—he scored 34 goals in La Liga last season.

     

    Mesut Ozil

    Madrid's German playmaker created 13 goals last season and scored a further nine, according to WhoScored.com.

    Many people do appreciate his talent, but an equal amount seem to forget about how important he is when Real are at their best.

     

    Neymar

    The Brazilian is the only player in this team yet to kick a ball in La Liga. However, after his impact at the Confederations Cup, would anyone leave him out?

    Having only played in Brazil, many who struggled to gauge how much of an impact he could make in Europe are now eagerly anticipating his Barcelona bow.

Forward

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    Lionel Messi

    Who else?

    Barcelona's Argentinian forward has been named the winner of the prestigious Ballon d'Or for the past four seasons, and it's not hard to see why.

    Last season, he scored 46 goals in the Primera Division from just 28 starts—plus four substitute appearances—and created 12 more, according to WhoScored.com.

Bench

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    Here are some players who didn't quite make the starting lineup, despite having performed well for their respective sides.

    *WARNING: This may constitute quite a large bench.

     

    Goalkeepers: Willy Caballero (Malaga), Diego Alves (Valencia)

    Defenders: Martin Demichelis (Malaga), Javier Mascherano (Barcelona), Fabio Coentrao and Marcelo (Real Madrid), Miranda (Atletico Madrid)

    Midfielders: Geoffrey Kondogbia, Gary Medel and Ivan Rakitic (Sevilla), Angel di Maria (Real Madrid), Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad), Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona)

    Forwards: Carlos Vela (Real Sociedad), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) 

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