Daily Dispatch

They set the Spanish league abuzz


JOSE Mourinho – Real Madrid boss Mourinho won his first Spanish league to become the first coach to win major titles in four different European countries.

The Portuguese maestro was able to instil a siege mentality in his squad throughout the season that made the difference over an incredibly competitiv­e Barcelona side.

Mourinho will go into next season with the capture of a 10th Champions League title, almost an obsession in the Spanish capital, as a key objective after penalty drama disappoint­ment against Bayern Munchen in this year’s semifinal.

Pep Guardiola – The former youthteam player who had spent all but a few years at Barcelona since he was a child surprised everyone by delaying news on his future plans throughout the season.

After a dramatic week in April, where he saw his side finally surrender La Liga title to their great rivals with a 2-1 home defeat and which was followed by Champions League disappoint­ment at home to Chelsea, Guardiola finally made public his decision to leave after four trophylade­n seasons.

His career, he insists, is on hold as he recharges his batteries before making any decision on where he will coach in the future.

Cristiano Ronaldo – With 46 goals in the league and 59 in total, the Portuguese star finally added a Spanish title to his honours in his third season at Real.

On many occasions it was his vital goals that won crucial games, a back-heel at Rayo Vallecano and two spectacula­r strikes at Atletico Madrid, to name only a few, gave his team six points away from home in tight Madrid derbies.

His winning mentality shone throughout the season and he seems to have become more of a team player since the arrival of his compatriot Mourinho.

Lionel Messi – His 50 league goals and 72 in all competitio­ns broke both records, taking him past the 67 Gerd Muller scored in 1972-1973.

He will now have to prove he can do it all again without the help of his mentor Guardiola who made him the key figure during his successful reign.

Radamel Falcao – The Colombian striker finished the season as the league’s third top scorer with 24 goals for Atletico Madrid.

With a match-winning performanc­e in the Europa League final and two stunning goals Falcao will undoubtedl­y be a target for bigger clubs during the summer.

His form towards the end of the season was spectacula­r right until its dying minutes when he rose to hit the winning header that relegated Villarreal with two minutes of the season left. — SAPA-AFP

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