LaLiga Veteran XI of the Season so Far

LaLiga old players

As per transfermarkt, LaLiga has the oldest average age among Europe’s top five leagues at 27.11 years. Along with many young exciting prospects, the Spanish top flight can also boast of a lot of old-timers who have been in supreme form this season. As we have now reached the halfway mark, here is our veteran line-up of the league so far with players only above 30 years of age.

LaLiga Team of the Season so far – Over 30’s Only!


Sergio Asenjo (Villarreal)

There are not many veteran goalkeepers in LaLiga. 37-year-old Claudio Bravo is the most famous one of them in the division but his injury issues have limited him to only nine starts for Real Betis. So, Villarreal’s Sergio Asenjo is our pick between the sticks. The 31-year-old is conceding 0.95 goals per game so far which are his best numbers in the last four seasons.

Only four goalkeepers have bettered Asenjo’s six LaLiga clean sheets until now. Perhaps the highlight of his season was returning from the Wanda Metropolitano with a clean sheet back in October, something no keeper has been able to do so far.


Kieran Trippier (Atlético)

Apart from the 10-week ban imposed by the FA on Trippier last month, it’s been a tremendous season for the Englishman. The 30-year-old has racked up five assists already in half a season, equaling his full-season tally at Tottenham in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

His wing back role in the new 3-5-2 system of Simeone has transformed him. Statistically speaking, Trippier completes 2.5 crosses and 71.6 touches per 90. He has the most touches in the final third among all Atlético players and is second on the charts in terms of tackles and interceptions. It’s a shame that Simeone will be without one of his best performers of the season until March.


Stefan Savić (Atlético)

Los Colchoneros have let in only 10 goals in 19 matches and a big reason for that is Stefan Savić. The defender, who turned 30 only last month, is having the best season of his career. With Savić being so consistent and reliable in central defence, it’s safe to say he has fully filled the void left by Godín.

More solidity has come with more aggression for the Montenegrin as he’s picked up eight bookings already. But that’s probably a good thing as he looks more like a commander on the pitch than ever. His robust performances week after week means that he is possibly the best defender in Europe at the moment.

Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid)

Sergio Ramos is doing what he’s been doing for the last 16 seasons in LaLiga. Even at 34, Los Blancos’ captain shows no signs of slowing down. Apart from being a pure leader on the pitch, he has continued to contribute heavily in attack. His 3.8 xG is the third-highest among all Madrid players.

His passing is unmatched in the team with 91.9% pass completion and a progressive distance (passes towards the opponent’s goal) of 547.9 yards per 90. Nevertheless, his future at Real Madrid still hangs in doubt with his contract finishing at the end of the season.


Yuri Berchiche (Athletic)

30-year-old Berchiche gives you everything you want from a full-back – marauding runs down the wings and good defensive coverage. Athletic are a team who rely a lot on the wide areas and Berchiche continues to operate remarkably on the left. Offensively, he has been a cross machine, averaging 3.3 crosses per 90, the most for Athletic.

With 1.7 xA, he has given a return of 3 assists. He also has the second-most goal-creating actions behind Muniain. Defensively, he has the most tackles in the defensive third for Los Leones. Whether it’s going forward or holding back, Yuri Berchiche has been a force to reckon with for the opposition.


Luka Modrić (Real Madrid)

Every time we see Modrić play, it gets harder to believe this player is 35. You wouldn’t imagine a 35-year-old clocking the fourth-highest number of minutes for Real Madrid unless it’s Luka Modrić. He’s been an unstoppable engine in Los Blancos’ midfield.

Apart from three goals and two assists, he also has the most dribbles and touches in the attacking third for his team. The Croat’s defensive work remains terrific as he ranks in the top three in tackles and interceptions for Real Madrid. He could arguably be performing even better than his Ballon d’Or year.

Dani Parejo (Villarreal)

Just the colour of his shirt has changed, but everything stays the same with Parejo. For years he had been the most influential midfielder for Valencia, now he’s doing the same for Villarreal.

The 31-year-old is averaging 74.3 passes per 90 with an 89.9% completion rate, by far the best numbers of his career. He has the most touches and passes of any player in LaLiga. The Spaniard has three goals this season and all have come from outside the box. Parejo has been, undoubtedly, the most indispensable player for Unai Emery.

Fernando (Sevilla)

He might often go under the radar, but Fernando is a very valuable player for Julen Lopetegui’s Sevilla. At the age of 33, he continues to operate expertly in the heart of midfield. The Brazilian has the most number of tackles, blocks, interceptions and recoveries in his team.

With Koundé and Carlos in central defence and Fernando right ahead of them, Sevilla have only allowed 16 goals so far, the second lowest after Atlético. Fernando has been your typical defensive midfielder doing all the dirty work in the middle of the park.


Iago Aspas (Celta)

No other LaLiga team depends on a single player more than Celta do on Aspas. At the age of 33, he continues to carry the Galicians, almost single-handedly at times. Of the 24 goals Celta have scored this season, Aspas has played a part in 15 of them (9 goals, 6 assists).

That includes a run of nine consecutive matches either scoring or assisting in November and December. Celta failing to win any match since his injury in early January shows how pivotal he is for his side. If not the best, Iago Aspas has been one of the best players in the Spanish top division this season.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

If there’s one player who’s going to be in a best XI, be it regular or veteran, in his worst season, it’s Lionel Messi.

The 33-year-old Argentine is second in the Pichichi race with 12 goals. He leads LaLiga charts in shots, shots on target, xG, dribbles, progressive passes, shot and goal creating actions and touches in the final third. We are not even surprised.

Luis Suárez (Atlético)

The best striker in the league and there’s no argument about it. He is top of the scoring charts and his team is top of the table. With 14 goals in only 16 matches, he is only two shy of his previous season’s mark.

After a horrible summer last year, Luis Suárez is enjoying life again, potentially leading Atlético to their first title since 2014. Another Pichichi, his first in five years, would be the icing on the cake for the 34-year-old Uruguayan.

LaLiga team of season


Jordi Masip – Jesús Navas, Gonzalo Verdú, Dimitrios Siovas, Jordi Alba – Fidel Chaves, Toni Kroos, Sergio Busquets – José Luis Morales, Karim Benzema, Roger Martí

The very fact that this veteran XI of the season wouldn’t differ a lot from the regular XI of the season is remarkable. It busts the myth that players struggle to keep performing after their 20’s. Many of these veterans are ageing like fine wine and probably doing even better than in their youth.

It is significant to have a fine blend of youth and experience in the squad. Atlético, being the outright league leaders, are providing a commendable example. For a Suárez, they also have a Félix. If there is Savić, there is Hermoso too. There’s Trippier and there’s Lodi.

Villarreal’s Pau Torres and Raúl Albiol form a terrific young-old central defensive pairing. Barça’s new Messi-Pedri duo has been excellent. In Athletic’s midfield, we have Dani García and Vencedor. Bryan Gil and Kike in Eibar’s attack. Duarte and Germán in Granada’s defence. We have many examples of master-apprentice partnerships in LaLiga.

More from Akhil: Villarreal – The start of the Unai Emery Era

Featured Image of Luis Suarez via Антон Зайцев, CC BY-SA 3.0

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About Akhil Rawat 41 Articles
Based in New Delhi, Akhil follows LaLiga and Spanish football religiously. Currently a novice in the world of football writing, he fancies expressing his passion for the league through words.