With a third of the La Liga season already done and dusted, now is as good a time as any to analyse the most productive players in the Spanish top flight so far. Productivity may be an open term of course, with goalkeepers or defenders able to be productive to his team by saving goals, however, productivity is normally seen as a direct participation in goals – both scoring and assisting.
Last season only two players managed to score more than 10 goals and also assist more than 10 goals. It is little surprise to discover these two players are Lionel Messi, who apart from scoring 50 also delivered 16 assists, and Cristiano Ronaldo – who scored 46 times and produced 16 assists. This season however, there are a few other names added to the mix. Apart from Messi, his Barcelona teammate Cesc Fabregas and Valladolid’s midfielder Óscar González are on course to hit the ‘double double’ with the likes of Leo Baptistao of Rayo and Real Sociedad’s Carlos Vela also having great seasons so far.
In fact, La Liga production of goals plus assists seems to be in good pace so far. Last season 57 players managed to have at least one game where they scored a goal and recorded an assist. This year, however, 35 players have already achieved this same feat. Last season this was made 95 times, with Messi heading the list after recording at least one score and one assists on 10 ocasions. This term, La Liga has witnessed the feat 39 times
When it comes to individual performance, Messi obviously leads the league in productivity. The Argentinean not only leads the league in goals with 21, he is also one of only eight players to have scored and assist a goal in the same match twice. So far, Messi has had a direct participation in 26 of Barcelona’s goals – more than anybody else in the league. He has played a part in 54,17% of Barça’s goals this season, the fourth best mark among strikers.
A bit far behind Messi, is Cristiano Ronaldo who has participated in 15 goals so far this season, scoring 13 and assisting 2. After managing a goal and an assists in the capital city derby last week, Ronaldo has had a direct participation in 44,12% of Madrid’s goals this campaign.
Next to Ronaldo is Messi’s teammate Cesc Fabregas. The former Arsenal skipper is having one of the most productive years of his career. He leads La Liga midfielders in assists with nine and has managed to score four goals. Cesc also leads midfielders in direct participation with 13 and interesting enough, 11 of his interventions have come on the road – something which has really helped Barcelona this term.
If Fabregas has been the best midfielder so far, Óscar González is not too far behind him. For all non Barcelona or Madrid players, Valladolid star Óscar is having the best year (only to be challenge by Falcao). The former Zaragoza ace, has scored seven times and has also managed four assists. He should become the first player, since Juan Román Riquelme back in 2005 to manage more than 10 goals and 10 assists in La Liga without playing for the big two.
Leo Baptistao has also been in impressive form for Rayo Vallecano this season. The young Brazilian has produced 10 goals so far for his team (six scored and four assists) and has participated in 55,56% of his team goals – the second best mark in the league, just behind Mallorca’s Tomer Hemed.
Another familiar name in the listings is that of Colombian Radamel Falcao. The Atlético Madrid striker is one of seven players who have participated in more than 10 goals so far this season – scoring 10 and assisting one. In fact, Falcao has managed that great statistic with only 21 shots on target.
Last on this list of players who have helped produce at least 10 goals for their team so far this season, is Aritz Aduriz. Despite having been given the unenviable task of replacing Fernando Llorente at San Mames, the former Valencia striker is having an amazing season back in the Basque Country, scoring eight goals and making two assists.
Below Aduriz, Rubén Castro, Carlos Vela and Iago Aspas complete thr top ten. Betis striker Rubén has scored eight times and is only one assist away from helping to produce 10 goals for the Andaluz outfit. While both Aspas and Vela have produced three assists and scored six goals each so far – giving them agood chance of scoring 10 goals and assisting 10 goals this season. In fact, Vela wasn’t that far from that figure last season where he assisted seven goals and net 12.
With almost five months remaining of the 2012/13 campaign, there is still ample opportunity for players to make names for themselves in La Liga. Whether they will however, is another matter.
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