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Seven Barcelona stars included in The Athletic’s La Liga TOTS, ter Stegen named MVP



Barcelona were crowned La Liga champions earlier this month after a long wait. The championship was completely deserved, especially considering how dominant and consistent Xavi Hernandez’s men were.

Only one matchday remains in La Liga now before the players across Spain disperse for the break. Taking into account the consistency and level of the players this season, The Athletic have released their version of La Liga’s Team of the Year. The champions, Barcelona, have seven representatives in the list of eleven.

The most obvious, yet deserved, inclusion from Catalonia was Marc-Andre Ter Stegen. The German has been absolutely phenomenal for Xavi’s side so far with 26 clean sheets from a possible 37. Moreover, he has conceded one goal in every two games on average. The only downside of his season, perhaps, would be his lower level in Europe.

The German’s staggering numbers not only earned him a spot on the English publication’s TOTY but also the title of the La Liga MVP. After all, he has equalled the league’s best-ever clean sheet tally and can go on to break it later this week.

Three of the four defenders in the lineup are from the Blaugrana setup.

Alejandro Balde’s breakout season has got the world talking and has earned him a place on the team of the season. In just his first full season with the first team, he has displaced Jordi Alba and recorded a stunning six assists in 33 games.

The youngster is accompanied by Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo, both of whom have been pillars in Barcelona’s run to the league title. It is no coincidence that the period of their absence overlaps with the team’s lowest points in the season.

Frenkie de Jong is the fifth, and one of the most deserved Barcelona candidates on the lineup. After heavy links with an exit from the club last summer, the Dutchman has well and truly turned his situation around.

De Jong was not only consistent as ever in the middle of the park but also completed the season with minimal fitness troubles. His performances have earned him a position in the starting lineup once again, not just for 2022-23 but for the years to come.

Pedri accompanies his teammate in the team of the season’s midfield. The youngster was Barcelona’s best player when fit, but a series of long injuries cut short his impact on the team’s run.

The final Blaugrana on the lineup is the Pichichi leader Robert Lewandowski. The Pole has had his highs and lows in his first season in La Liga, but the goalscorers chart tells you everything about his deserving of a spot in the lineup.

Notably, former Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann is also on the list as one of the league’s best players in 2022-23. His return to Atletico Madrid has clearly fared well, but one is compelled to think of the scenario had he continued in Catalonia.

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