Sun 28 February 2021 | 16:30

Best La Liga Players of 2021

This season may be the most entertaining La Liga season that we’ve had in recent years so let’s take a look at the best La Liga players of 2021 who’ve made this season so enjoyable to watch.

La Liga is currently going through a rebuilding phase where the La Liga itself and the teams participating in it are trying to redefine themselves. While the Big 3 teams are again ruling the top of the table, it’s apparent that the gap between them and the rest of the league is definitely smaller. All of this is in parts because of the era of Ronaldo/Messi rivalry coming to an end but also because of other factors like empty stadiums, which has resulted in bizarre results, smart recruitment of the mid-table teams and financial woes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

All of this means that La Liga has been a joy to watch this season, with players from different teams turning out to be the real stars of the show. Oh as always rom the regulars like Leo Messi, Benzema or Jan Oblak are in the mix of

best La Liga players of 2021

but so are players like Gerrard Moreno. So let’s see who else is among the best La Liga players of 2021 chosen by us here at Sportmob:

Best La Liga Players of 2020-21 Season

While certain players on our list have definitely performed better than others, we’ve decided to not rank the best La Liga players of 2020-21 season, since each of them have different roles in their respective teams. Let’s see who made it onto our list:

Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid)

We’re going to start our list with Atlertico’s shield between the posts,

Jan Oblak

. The Slovenian shot-stopper has been one of the greatest goalkeepers in the world for years and this season has been no exception for him. Although it’s worth mentioning that this spot just as easily could’ve gone to Thibaut Courtois, who has gone toe to toe with Oblak in the past couple of seasons. Nonetheless, Oblak deservedly gets the nod to be among the current best players of La Liga as his form has hugely helped Atletico be at the top of the league for the majority of this season.



itself, Oblak started the season perfectly, registering most of his clean sheets in the first half of the season but his form has somewhat dipped as of late and yet he still is the top performer among La Liga goalkeepers. Oblak is form will prove vital in Ateltico’s hopes of becoming champions of La Liga in the upcoming months.

With 16 goals against him and 11 clean sheets in his first 23 matches, Jan Oblak is currently the best goalkeeper in the La Liga, with the likes of Courtois, Sevilla’s Bonou and ter Stegen following on his heels. Oblak is definitely one of the

best La Liga players of 2021

as he has been in recent years and he remains one of Atletico’s biggest reasons to achieve any success. He has already won a Europa League with Atletico but getting that La Liga title would be something else for the Slovenian keeper. Whether he and Ateltico will get the prize remains to be seen in the coming weeks.

Kieran Trippier (Atletico Madrid)

When Trippier decided to join Atletico at the beginning of last season, many were shocked. The transfer came out of nowhere and it was an unusual move by an English player to move abroad, especially to La Liga. The fact that he became Atletico’s first English player in 95 years proves that. And although the transfer had repercussions for him personally, involving a betting scandal along with a fine and 10-week ban for


himself, since then he has gradually bettered his performances until now that he is one of La liga best players of this season.

England is currently having an embarrassment of riches when it comes to right backs, with players like Trent Alexander-Arnold, Reece James, Tariq Lamptey and Kyle Walker all being right backs, and it seems that Trippier’s current good form has come at the perfect time as England is getting ready for the Euros. Unlike some of the players mentioned, Trippier has somewhat of a good balance when it comes to defending and attacking as a right back, although he is prone to make a defensive mistake or two from time to time.

With less than 1300 minutes in La Liga this season, Trippier has the least amount of game time among the best La Liga players of 2021 on our list but that hasn’t stopped him from making a serious impact on Atletico’s great title-run so far. With 5 assists to his name, Trippier is one of the best assists providers in La Liga this season and he has balanced that attacking prowess with 2 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game, which are great defensive stats for a fullback. Him sustaining this great form will help Atletico immensely in their title-run.

Casemiro (Real Madrid)

The fact that Casemiro has been one of the best defensive midfielders in the world in the past several seasons isn’t a news to anyone. The Brazilian has been a rock for Real Madrid in the heart of midfield, working like a well-oiled machine in tandem with Toni Kroos, who could’ve just as easily been added to the

La liga best players of this season

. Casemiro’s great performances helped Real Madrid clinch the title last season and this season has been no different, even though Real Madrid has lost much of the sharpness they showed last season.

Although he has often been described as a destroyer,


is a much more complete midfielder. His great positional sense, technique and even long range shooting ability allows him to be dangerous going forward and he has shown his attacking prowess time and time again. But this season he seemed to have upped his game, to the point that he is currently

Real Madrid

’s 2nd best goal scorer of the season, with 5 goals scored in La Liga!

That coupled with his 2.6 tackles and 1.9 interceptions per game makes him a top defensive performer and one of the best La Liga players of 2021. With Atletico’s bad form in recent weeks and Real Madrid’s record of miraculous comebacks in La Liga under Zidane’s management, there is always hope that they could catch their hometown rivals and deliver another title. It’s certainly possible if other Madrid players perform half as good as Casemiro’s been performing this season!

Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad)

Sociedad has been having one its best seasons in recent years, as they are currently 5th on the table and are set to miss out on a Champions League spot. But this great form could only be attributed to of their star performers,

Mikel Oyarzabal

. Although Sociedad’s great form hasn’t been consistent throughout the season, their skipper has steadily turned in great performances. His steady form is no surprise to anyone as he usually ends up scoring 15+ goals a season, year after year, which makes him one of the current best players of La Liga.

A product of the club’s own academy,


’s No. 10 is a support striker capable of both creating chances and finishing them. His pace also comes in handy when Sociedad are on the counter attack, which is where he usually does the most damage. He is also somewhat of a dead-ball specialist and has scored or assisted from set-pieces.

And true to his nature as a support striker, Oyarzabal has been successful at both assisting goals and scoring them this season which makes him one of the

best La Liga players of 2021

. His 10 goals and 5 assists has helped Sociedad have the 4th best attacking record in the league with 41 goals to their name.

As Sociedad’s captain, Oyarzabal has been leading by an example and helping Sociedad amass a reasonable number of points, 41 as of writing this article, which puts them in a good position to reach European competitions next season. no matter the outcome of the season, Oyarzabal’s performances can only be commended.

Iago Aspas (Celta Vigo)

Another great performer from an underdog team is Celta Vigo’s main man, Iago Aspas who has been a constant presence among the best La Liga players in the past several seasons and this season is no expection as Iago Aspas is one of the

best La Liga players of 2020-21 season

. in addition to his goals, Aspas has also added a considerable amount of creativity, providing assists for his teammates which makes him one of the top assist provider in La Liga this season.

Iago Aspas

’ career has been entirely spent at the

Celta Vigo

football club, Barring the two one-season spells Iago Aspas has spent at Liverpool and Sevilla, during which he has become one of Celta’s best players ever. Starting his journey at Celta’s reserves team in 2006 and subsequently spending several seasons at the Segunda Division. Aspas is probably La Liga’s best player outside the Big Three in the league, a fact he has been consistently proving season after season.

Iago Aspas’ contribution of 9 goals and also providing 6 assists has helped Celta Vigo challenge for next year’s European competitions spot in the first half of the season but Celta’s bad run of form lately has meant that those chances are all but lost as they are currently sitting comfortably in the middle of the table.

With 6 assists Aspas is currently only behind Marcos Llorente and Jorge de Frutos as the top assist providers in a Liga. Aspas seems to once again punch well above his weight as is his habit but he needs to replicate his performances from the first half of the season if Celta is to have a somewhat of a successful and comfortable season.

Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Karim Benzema had never been a prolific goal scorer who scores 30+ goals a season, that is only up until two seasons ago, when he had to fill in as the main goal scorer after Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, who was the main source of goals for Real Madrid. Fortunately for Real Madrid,


has taken up the challenge and has put in brilliant performances consistently in the past two seasons. With him being one of the best forwards of last season, this season once again, Real Madrid’s tile hopes have been resting on his shoulders and he has delivered what was expected of him, becoming one of

greatest La Liga players of 2021


Benzema and Sergio Ramos are the two most senior players in Real Madrid's squad and a remnant of a great team that won 4 Champions League titles. Although Benzema has always been counted as a decent well-rounded forward player, he has always lacked that certain polish and lethality in front of the goal, something which the best center forwards always have.  But that seems to have somewhat gone as he seems to have find the net more and more these days and has become a certified leader, driving his team in attack.

So far this season, Karim Benzema has scored 12 goals in La Liga and in addition to that he has also provided 5 assists, having a direct influence on almost half of Real Madrid’s goals in La Liga this season, which is further proof of him leading most of Real Madrid's attack. He is certainly one of the best La Liga players of 2021. The big question now is that with great performances from the likes of him, Casemiro and Kroos, will Real Madrid be able to catch Atletico and deliver yet another title?!

Gerrard Moreno (Villarreal)

Another player who has paid his dues to be on the list of

current best players of La Liga

, just like Oyarzabal and Aspas, is Villarreal’s

Gerrard Moreno

. He has earned his place among the best after going through several loans at lower divisions. His work finally paid off last season as he won the Zarra Trophy (given to the best Spanish goal scorer in La Liga every season), after he scored 18 goals. He has sustained that great form in this season as well, as has his team Villarreal.

Unai Emery, Villarreal’s current manager, seemed to have most of his mojo as he was fired from his job at Arsenal last season but he has gone back to what he does best which is taking teams like Villarreal that have rather small budgets and bring them to relative success and place in the European competitions. And with the help of players like Gerrard Moreno He has been doing just that. Moreno seems to be the driving force behind all



Moreno has managed to score 14 goals this season as well as providing 2 assists. His shots per game ratio is 3 and he is currently the third best goal scorer in the league behind Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. He is also one of La Liga’s best dribblers as well as the player with the most Man of the Match awards (8) after Lionel Messi (14), which rightfully earns him a spot among the best La Liga players of 2021. His great form has come just before Spain is gearing up for the Euros, which will undoubtedly earn him a place in Spain’s squad if he keeps fit until the tournament.

Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)

The free transfer of Luis Suarez from Barcelona to Atletico is definitely one of the worst transfer deals that has happened in football in recent years, perhaps ever. Barca let one of their best ever players go for free and handed him to one of their rivals in the league, Atletico Madrid. Although few expected Suarez to turn in such great performance in Atletico colors, the Uruguayan has certainly become one of the

best players in La Liga 2021

and has shown to everyone why Barca had made a huge mistake. A fact that even his friend and now rival in the top scorer charts, Lionel Messi, has admitted to in his goodbye letter to Luis Suarez on his departure.

The Uruguayan feels to be right at home in Diego Simeone’s Atletico, which has always nurtured South American players. With Suarez' addition to the team, Atletico seems a rejuvenated side despite the departure of key players like Thomas Partey. With creative players like Angel Correa and Marcos Llorente behind him


has quickly become Atletico Madrid’s target man and who better to have at the end of a chance than el Pistolero himself, one of only 5 active players who have scored more than 500 career goals!

Since joining Atletico Madrid, Suarez has scored 16 goals and provided 2 assists in 20 La Liga matches. Although him and Atletico have been on a bad run of form lately, they are still at the top of the table. Suarez himself is only behind Lionel Messi in the Golden Boot race. While Suarez has become one of the best La Liga players of 2021, it will be poetic justice if the Uruguayan manages to win the title with Atletico. Whether he actually manages it or not remains to be seen as we’re only two thirds through the season.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

With the Alien's contract coming to an end in the upcoming summer, the saga of Lionel Messi wanting to leave Barcelona in the summer has been well-documented and much talked about in the past year. Messi’s days at Barcelona are numbered and big clubs are no doubt lining their offers for him. But for now let's focus on his performances as it’s something Messi has done himself, being the absolute professional he is. Once again delivering almost unreal levels of performances and becoming one of the greatest La Liga players of 2021.

With the departure of their target man, Luis Suarez, and with no one to replace him,


has once again stepped up to the task and has delivered on scoring goals. Even though he had previously stated that he wants to play a deeper and creative role, acting as Barcelona’s playmaker rather than their target man. The fact that Barcelona so heavily relies on Messi has worried Barca fans for years but that worry is becoming more and more a reality as we’re nearing the end of the season and perhaps an era. Even in his supposed last season at Barcelona, the club has failed to properly replace the Argentine.

Messi and Barcelona started the season rather slowly but they have been on a great run of form in the past 10 games or so, despite their Champions League woes. One downside of Messi’s game this season could be his number of assists which is significantly lower than his las season’s 20 but then again, it’s of no surprise with the departure of Luis Suarez.

With 19 goals and 4 assists this season, Lionel Messi has had 23 direct goal contribution in the 21 starts he has had this season. he is currently the top goal scorer in La Liga ahead of his former teammate Luis Suarez. With a staggering average of 5.3 shots and 4.3 dribbles per game Messi is the best in La Liga in both categories and if this season is to be Messi’s Swan Song in the Barcelona shirt, then he has come half of the way with his head held high. Whether he manages to lead Barcelona to any silverware though, remains to be seen!


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