Wu Haoyu, Special Correspondent of Sports Weekly in Spain
After the sorrow of parting, the 2022-23 La Liga season officially came to an end. Barcelona regained the league championship after three years, Real Sociedad returned to the Champions League stage after 10 years, Osasuna fought in the European war after 16 years, Benzema, Busquets, Alva and Joaquin and other veterans Say goodbye to the La Liga battlefield and say goodbye to an era.
Looking at the La Liga this season, the old rivers and lakes are still the backbone of each team. The top three scorers in La Liga are Lewandowski, Benzema and Joselu, all born in the 1980s. With 15 goals and 16 assists, Griezmann became the only player in La Liga to complete a “double-double” this season, and it has passed his thirties. Famous veterans such as Aspas and Stuani are also contributing to stable output. And young rookies have gradually begun to carry the banner, such as Barcelona’s Pedri, Garvey and Balde, Real Madrid’s Brazilian twin stars Vinicius and Rodrygo, and Real Sociedad, whose youth training players are the main body, entered the Champions League. , is one of the biggest surprises in La Liga this season.
The first four are “gnawing on the old”
After three years, Barcelona regained the La Liga championship. Although Pedri, Garvey and Bard are the backbone of the championship under Harvey, veteran Lewandowski definitely contributed to Barcelona’s final victory in La Liga. . After switching from Bayern to Barcelona at a high price last summer, the 34-year-old Lewando has shown the power of a top center in La Liga. The Polish striker won the La Liga Golden Boot with 23 goals without scoring a single penalty. He was crowned the top scorer in the first season of joining, and the arrival of Lewandowski perfectly made up for the lack of stable output points for Barcelona’s striker after Messi left. He joined Barcelona in the summer, which is comparable to the signing of Ruud van Nistelrooy by Real Madrid. The “King of the Small Box” joined Real Madrid from Manchester United in the summer of 2006. He helped the team win the La Liga championship after four years in the first season of landing in La Liga. Individuals also wore away the golden boots. In addition, the two veterans Busquets and Alva who bid farewell to Barcelona this summer also contributed to the championship and left La Liga with the championship honor.
Although La Liga failed to defend their title this season, Real Madrid, which relies on the old and new lineups to win the world, can still win the Copa del Rey and reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. The 35-year-old Benzema received the Ballon d’Or during the season, and the Frenchman still scored 19 goals in La Liga despite minor injuries in the first half of the season.
The 37-year-old Modric and the 33-year-old Kroos are still indispensable in Real Madrid’s midfield. Among them, Modric played in all 7 games in the World Cup and still represented Real Madrid in various competitions this season. Up to 52 games. It is basically a foregone conclusion that the “two elders” of the midfielder will complete their contract renewal with the club. At least in the next season, the two will continue to be an important guarantee for Real Madrid’s midfielder. On the defensive line, the 33-year-old Nacho also had occasional highlights in the games he played, and recently returned to the Spanish national team. He will basically stay at Real Madrid for a year.
For Atletico Madrid, the 32-year-old Griezmann is the only “double-double” player in La Liga this season. He contributed 15 goals and 16 assists. After officially returning to Atletico Madrid from Barcelona, Griezmann, who had no distractions, helped the Sheets get back on track in the second half with his outstanding performance. Although Real Sociedad won the Champions League seat with the “Youth Army” team this season, the role of the 37-year-old David Silva cannot be ignored. Silva’s rich experience and control of the rhythm of the game are valuable assets for the team , He has renewed his contract with Real Sociedad until the end of next season. For the Real Sociedad youth team who will play in the Champions League next season, the experienced Silva is indispensable.
Aged “Old Cannon” Reverse Growth
A statistic shows that the average age of the 20 participating teams in La Liga this season has reached 27.7 years old. La Liga has once again become the league with the oldest average age among the five major leagues. As much as 1.5 years old, the average age of the Bundesliga and Ligue 1 is about 1.9 years younger than La Liga. Statistics also show that after halfway through this season, 19 veterans over the age of 35 have played in La Liga, including Joaquin, Diego Lopez and Reina who are over 40 veteran.
Villarreal’s original main goalkeeper Luli transferred to Ajax in the winter window, but the submarine did not sign a replacement, but “righted” the 40-year-old Reina to become the main force in the second half. Cassie’s substitute in the national team fulfilled his mission and helped the team enter the Europa League next season. Before Villarreal beat Cadiz 2-0, Reina received the commemorative trophy for his 1,000th career appearance. Villarreal also has 34-year-old Parejo, 34-year-old Capoue, 35-year-old Morales, 37-year-old Albiol and other powerful veterans in the Villarreal team.
Betis’ 41-year-old veteran Joaquin ended his career for more than 20 years after this season. The number of La Liga appearances tied with Zubizarreta and tied for the first place in history. The other two veterans are the big contributors to Betis’s entry into the European war. The former supernova Canales is now 32 years old. He has always been the core of Betis’ midfield in recent seasons. His performance this season is as good as ever. Excellent, also selected for the latest Spanish national team. The 40-year-old Chilean goalkeeper “Uncle Wall” Bravo can still share playing time with another goalkeeper Rui Silva this season. They all overwhelmed Rui Silva’s starting game and also had an outstanding performance.
Sevilla started the season in a bad state, but finally ended with a Europa League title, and they can still appear in the Champions League in the new season. Captain Jesús Navas made Mancini’s own goal in the Europa League final. With his stable performance throughout the season, he won the Europa League best player honor and returned to the Spanish national team at the age of 38. list. The 34-year-old Rakitic and the 35-year-old Fernando, two veteran midfielders, are also important contributors to Sevilla’s Europa League victory.
In addition, although the Spaniard cannot escape the fate of relegation, the 33-year-old Joselu still won the local scorer with 16 goals. He also entered the adult national team for the first time at this age. He is expected to return to his home team Real Madrid in the new season. The 35-year-old Celta old demon Aspas continued to have a stable output this season and was re-selected for the national team. The 36-year-old Girona captain Stuiani is no longer an absolute main force this season, but he also contributed 9 La Liga goals throughout the season. The 36-year-old Cavani also played a significant role after joining Valencia this season. The 35-year-old Vallecano midfielder Trejo helped the team approach the European theater this season. The 33-year-old Belcic and 34 The 20-year-old De Marcos is still the main left and right gate of Athletic Bilbao this season.
Rising stars step by step
Although veterans are still an important force in La Liga teams, there are still many new stars appearing in La Liga this season, and many young players have begun to take over the guns of veterans and carry the banner of the team. Take the champion Barcelona as an example. Although Busquets is still conscientious, the two teenagers Pedri and Garvey are the most shining stars of Barcelona in La Liga this season. Bald also overwhelmed Alva to become the main left back. The experience of following Spain in the Qatar World Cup and helping Barcelona win the La Liga championship will surely benefit several young Barcelona players.
It is worth mentioning that at the age of 15 years and 290 days, the supernova Yamal made his first-team debut in the La Liga match between Barcelona and Betis this season. Coach Harvey has also confirmed that Yamal will train with the first team in this summer’s pre-match, and the youngster’s future is limitless.
With Benzema not as good as last season, the focus of Real Madrid’s offensive tactics this season has begun to tilt towards Vinicius and Rodrigo, two Brazilian teenagers. Vinicius continued to evolve this season, relying on personal ability to decide the battle situation many times when Benzema was focused on marking. Rodrigo has become a regular starter this season from a magical substitute last season, and he can also play well at the 9th position. Camavinga, who has served as left back many times this season, has also performed well.
In the derby against Atletico Madrid at home this season, Alvaro Rodriguez, a young player of the Real Madrid B team, came off the bench and scored a key equalizer with a header. He will be promoted to the first team next season. With Benzema leaving, the tall Uruguayan “Bull” is expected to get more opportunities. Atletico Madrid coach Simeone, who has always been more cautious in the use of young players, also used the 19-year-old B team midfielder Pablo Barrios in the middle of this season when the lineup was not complete. The boy also gave back with a good performance Gained the trust of the coach. Atletico Madrid has renewed his contract until 2028, with a liquidated damages of up to 100 million euros.
In the La Liga match between Valencia and Mallorca in September 2019, Li Gangren and Kubo Jianying, who were only 18 years old at the time, both played and staged the “post-00 Japan-Korea Derby” in La Liga. Nearly 4 years later, the two have become important members of their respective teams. Li Gangren, who represented Valencia in that game four years ago, has now switched to Mallorca. He is a key player for Mallorca to enter the top half of the standings this season, contributing 6 goals and 6 assists throughout the season. At the same time, Li Gangren has succeeded in a total of 91 times in La Liga this season, second only to Vinicius. There are already reports that Atletico Madrid and Manchester United intend to sign him. After switching to Real Sociedad, which is good at training young players, Kubo Kenhide is like a fish in water. This season he ushered in an explosion and scored a total of 9 goals in La Liga. Next season, he will follow Real Sociedad in the Champions League.
In addition, the 21-year-old Auros is the main player in Osasuna’s midfield position this season. His wonderful performance helped Osasuna return to the European arena and reach the final of the King’s Cup. The 21-year-old Villarreal striker Nicolas Jaxon has become the biggest discovery of the submarine this season. He ushered in an explosion in the latter part of the season and once scored 8 goals in 6 La Liga games. It is currently reported that Real Madrid And AC Milan are paying attention to the teenager. The 21-year-old Celta player Vega won the La Liga player of the month with 4 goals and 1 assist in February this year. He scored twice in the last round to help the team beat Barcelona and complete relegation. Liverpool intends to introduce this young general.
The 20-year-old Girona defender Arnaud Martinez has played steadily this season, and it is reported that he is about to join Atletico Madrid. The 23-year-old Vallecano left-back Fran Garcia has played all 38 rounds of La Liga this season and has played steadily. He will become a member of Real Madrid next season. The 21-year-old Valencia teenager Diego Lopez has become the biggest highlight of this season’s flagging Bat Corps. He was promoted to the first team and became the team’s main force in the latter part of the season, scoring 3 goals and 1 assist, including lore Real Madrid’s goal, he became a major contributor to Valencia’s relegation.
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