Top 10 things we learned from 2022-23 LaLiga season

Hardik MalhotraHardik Malhotra

June 7 2023
LaLiga Barcelona

Now that all 38 matchdays of the season have been completed, there are several coach and player performances worth highlighting.

Opinions are formed and perceptions are changed over the course of any league campaign, and the 2022-23 LaLiga Santander season was no different. Several footballing lessons were learned across the 38 matchdays of a season that saw FC Barcelona win their first championship since 2018-19, and 10 of the main ones are outlined right here.

Xavi has what it takes to lead Barça to glory

FC Barcelona are the new Spanish champions, having been the most consistent team by far as they accumulated 88 points from the 38 matchdays. In Xavi Hernández’s first full season in the dugout, Barça have returned to winning ways by claiming the LaLiga Santander title, while they also lifted the Spanish Super Cup in January. The Catalan coach has more than demonstrated that he can win silverware with the Blaugrana.

Lewandowski remains a goalscoring machine

One of the most important players in FC Barcelona’s title win was Robert Lewandowski, as the Polish striker netted 23 of the team’s 70 goals. Even though he turned 34 at the beginning of the season, shortly after completing his transfer from Bayern Munich, the centre-forward proved all year long that he is still a goalscoring machine. 

Defence wins championships

As impressive as Lewandowski was up front for FC Barcelona, this title was based on the Blaugrana’s solid defence. Barça conceded just 20 total goals across the entire season, with Marc-André ter Stegen playing the best football of his career as he amassed 26 clean sheets.

Vini Jr. is already one of the best players in the world

If 2021/22 was Vini Jr.’s breakout season then 2022-23 was the campaign in which the Brazilian consolidated his place among football’s elite. After scoring 22 goals and providing 20 assists across all competitions last term, he matched and even improved on those numbers this year by scoring 23 and assisting 21 times. Still only 22, Vini Jr. is already in the Ballon d’Or conversation and is ready to take the baton from the departing Karim Benzema to become the leader of Real Madrid’s attack.

Valencia CF’s strength is in their academy

Valencia CF were at serious risk of relegation this season, but ultimately stayed up after bringing in former player Rubén Baraja as coach. That decision was an astute one, as was the new coach’s willingness to trust players fresh out of the club’s Paterna youth academy. The trio of Javi Guerra, Alberto Marí and Diego López were particularly key, scoring five of Los Che’s last nine goals of the season.

Simeone knows how to unlock Griezmann’s best

So many players had excellent 2022-23 campaigns, but Antoine Griezmann might have been the best of all. The Frenchman was simply superb for third-placed Atlético de Madrid, scoring 15 goals and providing a league-high 15 assists. Since returning to the Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Griezmann has rediscovered his best form. It seems Diego Simeone knows how to get the best out of him.

Arrasate and Imanol show that patience pays off

Simeone is by far the longest-serving coach in the competition and had another successful season by leading Atleti to third. Then, the two coaches who follow the Argentine in terms of being in their posts the longest also had excellent campaigns. In the case of Jagoba Arrasate, he led CA Osasuna to the Copa del Rey final, to seventh place in the standings and, therefore, a return to European football. As for Imanol Alguacil, he returned Real Sociedad to the Champions League after a decade away, securing fourth place at the club he loves so much.

LaLiga is home to world champions

The 2022/23 campaign was an unusual one because there was a month-and-a-half pause in the middle for the Qatar World Cup. Argentina won the most coveted trophy in international football and 10 members of the South American squad were plying their trade in Spain. Therefore, LaLiga Santander has more current world champions than any other league, not to mention all the players who won the World Cup in 2010, 2014 or 2018 and who play in Spain’s top flight each weekend.

Nobody had a better end to the season than Nico Jackson

At the beginning of April, Villarreal CF’s 21-year-old forward Nico Jackson had just two league goals to his name and had been suffering from various physical issues. It had been a frustrating season for the youngster up to that point. However, Jackson embarked on a sensational scoring streak, netting 10 goals across the final 12 matchdays. That brilliant end to the season ensured that Villarreal CF secured fifth.

There is no clear favourite for the 2023-24 title

Looking ahead to the 2023-24 season, there is no clear favourite and a three-horse race should be expected. FC Barcelona will aim to retain top spot, but Real Madrid will be determined to bounce back and Atlético de Madrid enter next year with momentum after an excellent second half of 2022-23. Each of these three clubs has been crowned Spanish champion once in the past three years, making LaLiga one of the most fascinating competitions in the world, and all three will be raring to go come August. 

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