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La Liga 2015/16 season review: Best team, best player and biggest flop

It has been another enthralling season in Spain, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid playing their part in a fascinating La Liga title race.

While Rayo Vallecano, Getafe and Levante will want to forget the campaign as soon as possible given their relegation woes, there were countless other more memorable moments as well as Gary Neville’s short stint at Valencia.

Nevertheless, despite seemingly coasting towards another title earlier this season, Barca were put under intense pressure until the final day of the season before claiming back-to-back league titles.

The Madrid giants are yet to contest the Champions League final for the second time in three years, and so Spanish football as a whole has once again placed itself at the top of Europe with Sevilla hoping to win yet another Europa League title too.

Here are our La Liga end-of-season awards for 2015/16:

Best team: Barcelona

Despite a dip near the end of the season, the Catalan giants claimed their 24th league title and were ultimately deservedly crowned champions.

Luis Enrique’s side ended the year with 112 goals scored and the second-best defensive record in the Spanish top flight, and were led by their star trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Regardless of their ups and downs, they were consistent and prolific enough to end the year as champions, leaving rivals Real Madrid disappointed having finished just a point behind them after a long and tough season where mental and physical strengths were stretched to their limit.

Best player: Luis Suarez

The Uruguayan international bagged 40 goals this season, and was a key player for them during their blip with the likes of Neymar in particular coming under heavy criticism.

Suarez scored 14 goals and provided four assists in the last five games to see Barca over the line, he got the club’s season back on track and fired them to the league title with some lethal performances.

Naturally, a lot of the credit must go to the teammates around him for putting him in a position to be so effective, but he deserves plenty of praise for his goalscoring exploits.

Flop of the season: James Rodriguez

After arriving at Real in 2014, the Colombian playmaker was expected to develop into one of the leading players in Europe.

However, under both Rafael Benitez and Zinedine Zidane this season, he has failed to establish himself as a key player for the Spanish giants while off-the-field controversies have dogged him throughout the year.

That in turn has resulted in the club wanting to sell him, and it is certainly a huge shame to see his time in Spain likely to come to such a disappointing end.

Best XI of the season: Jan Oblak; Dani Alves, Diego Godin, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo; Bruno Soriano, Andres Iniesta, Antoine Griezmann; Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Follow Sumeet Paul on Twitter @SP_Calcio

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