Enough with Real Madrid, Chelsea, Juventus and all the rest. Time to celebrate the clubs and figures that deserve an extra bit of time in the limelight
While most of the top European leagues ended up in the hands of the established, wealthy powerhouses Monaco deserve special mention for ending Paris Saint-Germain’s strangle-hold over Ligue 1. Hardly an impoverished minnow, Leonardo Jardim’s young side were regardless an exciting breath of fresh air and already look to be raided over the summer.
Elsewhere, Papu Gomez and Atalanta toppling the Milan giants to claim their best ever Serie A finish and European football was a tremendous achievement and in Argentina, Atletico Tucuman reaching the Copa Libertadores group stages for the first time deserve great praise.
However, Huddersfield Town’s promotion to the Premier League was a feat that almost none expected at the start of the season. David Wagner looks to be a manager with a bright future and after taking a side that was more widely tipped for the drop to the most lucrative league in world football, playing an attractive brand of football often out of place in the Championship, The Terriers have provided the often maligned, financially dominated English game with a wonderful underdog story.
Crotone staying up in Serie A is almost on the level of Leicester City winning the Premier League. An absolute sporting miracle. Over the last Serie A games the calabrese side piled up more points than Juventus, overtaking Empoli at the last turn, with a team that did not change much from the previous Serie B season and not even having a home ground at the start of the season. Sensational: Serie A survival is well deserved.
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic finally leaving PSG last summer, this season was Edinson Cavani’s time to shine. After receiving lots of criticism in his first few years at the club, the 2016/17 season can officially be seen as the year Cavani has silenced his critics. 49 goals in 50 games is simply sensational and gets very near to Ibrahimovic’s best campaign as a PSG player (50 goals, 51 games), underlining El Matador’s great season for PSG.
In this quick recap of short La Liga stories, let me tell you that Pablo Daniel Piatti has been the best player in Spain ‘pound for pound’, or, if you wish, ‘euro for goals and assists’. The little guy, after a year where he played loaned in RCD Espanyol, has performed leaps and bounds above his seasons in Valencia and earned a huge number of points for his team with ten goals and ten assists, fitting like a glove into Quique Sanchez Flores’ tactical approach.
And signing him has been easy and cheap for the Perico team: Valencia CF will only cash in about 1.5 million euros for the Argentinean, who was included earlier this week amongst this season’s UEFA Best La Liga XI.