2024 La Liga Roundup: Title #36 for Real Madrid

Girona Surprises of the Season

Real Madrid Set Record Unbeaten Streak

It was another historic season for Real Madrid, as they won their record 36th La Liga trophy. To close out the season, they put together a 32 game unbeaten run, which is their longest-ever in the league. Girona also had an incredible season, as the Catalan upstarts finished in third place to seal their first-ever Champions League berth. Alaves were also plucky underdogs and managed to stay up comfortably with the league’s smallest budget. We’ll talk Real, Girona, Alaves and more in our 2024 La Liga Roundup.

Bellingham Shines in Real Madrid Debut Season

In his first season at Real Madrid, Jude Bellingham scored 10 goals in his first 10 La Liga matches. It was one of the surprise La Liga stats of the season, as the Englishman had never reached the 10 goal mark in a full season in his fledgling career. He finished with 19 La Liga goals and led Real Madrid in scoring and goal contributions over Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

Granted, Vini was limited to 22 starts and scored an impressive 15 goals in those games. Vini has cemented his status as one of the best players in the world, while Rodrygo, Joselu and Brahim Diaz were solid alternate scoring options in Real’s title-winning season.

Winning the league with just one loss is an incredible achievement for Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid, as they dealt with bad injury luck. Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, defenders Eder Militao and David Alaba tore their ACLs, meaning Real had to use their depth this season. Andriy Lunin did an excellent job deputizing at keeper, as Real were 16-5-0 in the games he started.

Teenage sensation Arda Guler also got opportunities towards the end of the season and scored six goals in just 377 minutes of play. While legends Nacho and Toni Kroos are leaving at the end of the season, Real have a seemingly endless supply of talent to restock. Kylian Mbappe is likely joining in the Summer and Brazilian sensation Endrick will follow.

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Girona, Villarreal, Alaves Headline Top Half

Barcelona couldn’t defend their title but La Liga’s second place team certainly put up a respectable points total. As Robert Lewandowski scored 19 goals, Barcelona went 26-7-5 and put up 85 points. Xavi won’t be returning as head coach next season but he integrated some exciting young players during his tenure, like Pedri, Gavi, Fermin Lopez, Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi.

Our 2024 La Liga Roundup would be remiss without mentioning Girona’s campaign. Sure, they have financial backing from the Man City affiliated City Group, but no one expected the Catalan side to gain 32 more points than they did last season. Artem Dovbyk was one of the signings of the season, as the Ukrainian scored 24 goals and won the Golden Boot. Coach Michel guided Girona to their first-ever top four finish and all of Dovbyk, Miguel Gutierrez, Aleix Garcia and Savio made La Liga’s Team of the Season.

Atletico Madrid (4th) weren’t their usual selves on defense but they’ll be playing in the Champions League next season, nonetheless. Antoine Griezmann had another great season under Diego Simeone.

Athletic Bilbao finished in fifth place and won the Copa del Rey for the first time since 1984. They’ll be joined in the Europa League next season by Basque rivals Real Sociedad, who ended the season in sixth.

Real Betis (7th) grabbed the last European spot, as they’ll be playing in the UEFA Europa Conference League next season. Villarreal’s La Liga scores were much improved after they appointed Marcelino as they lost just two of their last 18 matches.

To round out the top half, Valencia finished in ninth and Alaves snagged tenth place with the league’s smallest budget. Alaves had a budget 24 times smaller than Atletico Madrid’s but they were just 11 points away from a European berth.

Cadiz, Almeria, Granada Going Down

Just seven points separated La Liga’s 11th-placed and 17th-placed teams. Osasuna (11th) completed the season with 45 points and it was a bittersweet ending for the 2023 Copa del Rey finalists. Jagoba Arrasate guided Osasuna to their first European berth for 16 years in 2022-23 but he left the club at the end of the campaign.

Getafe (12th) lost their final five matches of the season but it didn’t matter much, as they finished well outside of the relegation zone. Meanwhile, almost nothing separated 13th-16th places in the Spanish La Liga standings.

Celta Vigo (13th) and Sevilla (14th) finished with 41 points each, while Mallorca (15th) and Las Palmas (16th) ended the campaign with 40. It was a particularly disappointing season for Sevilla, who started 2023-24 in the Champions League. Las Palmas were flirting with a European place for a while but the newly-promoted club didn’t win any of their last 14 games.

Rayo Vallecano (17th) were the last team above the relegation zone and the Madrid side finished five points clear. Cadiz’s four year stay in La Liga came to an end, as they finished in 18th place. Almeria (19th) and Granada (20th) didn’t put up much of a fight, as the relegated pair picked up just 21 points each.

La Liga Awards

Artem Dovbyk scored a hat trick in the season finale to clinch the Pichichi (Golden Boot) Award. Dovbyk scored 24 times in his first season in Spanish soccer and should lead the line for Girona in their first foray in Champions League football. Meanwhile, Athletic Club’s Unai Simon kept 16 clean sheets, which led the league, but there’s no official Golden Glove.

The official La Liga awards ceremony will be held later tonight and here are the nominees:

La Liga Player of the Year Award:

  • Jude Bellingham (Real Madrid), Take Kubo (Real Sociedad), Antoine Griezmann (Atlético Madrid), Artem Dovbyk (Girona FC), Kirian Rodríguez (UD Las Palmas), Robert Lewandowski (FC Barcelona), Vinicius Jr (Real Madrid), Isco (Real Betis), Aleix García (Girona FC) and Alexander Sørloth (Villarreal).

Our Pick: Jude Bellingham

La Liga Best U23 Player Award:

  • Lamine Yamal (FC Barcelona), Javi Guerra (Valencia CF), Rodrygo (Real Madrid), Yan Couto (Girona FC), Savio (Girona FC), Johnny Cardoso (Real Betis), Pau Cubarsí (FC Barcelona), Miguel Gutiérrez (Girona FC), Nico Williams (Athletic Club) and Take Kubo (Real Sociedad)

Our Pick: Savio

La Liga Best Coach Award:

  • Carlo Ancelotti (Real Madrid), Míchel (Girona FC), Diego Simeone (Atlético Madrid), Ernesto Valverde (Athletic Club) and Marcelino (Villarreal CF)

Our Pick: Míchel

Sneak Peek at 2024-25

We’ll end our 2024 La Liga Roundup with a quick look at the outright odds for the 2024-25 season. Real Madrid show -200 odds to defend their title, which isn’t a surprise given they’re set to add Mbappe to an all-world attack. Barcelona (+350) and Atletico Madrid (+800) are the only other teams with shorter than +2000 odds.

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