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Halfway Report: Valverde, the Team & Player of the Season so Far

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Atletico Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde


Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Your Rating: 9

Sam’s Rating: 9

Weathering the biggest of storms upon his arrival, Valverde has negotiated the Neymar departure, his boss being the subject of a vote of no confidence, injuries to key players and a complete writing off from various media outlets to guide Barcelona to first. The calm head of Valverde was needed at a time of much tension and his in-game tactical changes have been great. The recovery of Dembélé will aide him in the second half of the season as he looks to secure the Liga crown and go far in the Champions League.


The Team


Real Madrid v Barcelona - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Your Rating: 9

Sam’s Rating: 9

It may not always be pretty but it’s functional. Predicted their worst season for a long time, Barcelona find themselves top of the table. The football hasn’t been as mesmerising as recent years but the team has been struck with injuries to crucial players meaning it was more a case of win by any means possible.


Player of the Season so Far


Barcelona v Celta de Vigo - La Liga Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Lionel Messi (84.7%)

Was it ever going to be anyone else? Despite all of ter Stegen’s heroics, Umtiti’s dominance and Busquets’ quiet brilliance, Messi has been a cut above.


Player of the Season so Far without Messi


Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Marc-André ter Stegen (66.7%)

The rock in-between the sticks, ter Stegen is deserving of this accolade for the points he’s saved Barcelona alone. He is dominant, good with his feet, reactionary and is well on his way to becoming a leader at the club.