2021 was a strange year for La Liga with no team seriously impressing over the entire 12-month period.
Atletico Madrid impressed last season on the way to the title but have faltered this campaign, while Real Madrid have done the inverse and Barcelona have... well, the less said about them the better really.
We've also witnessed underdog stories with the likes of Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano and briefly Real Sociedad challenging the big boys of Spanish football.
Here are the 11 La Liga players that have impressed 90min most during 2021...
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Thibaut Courtois (GK) - This was a close-run thing with Jan Oblak also enjoying another predictably impressive year between the sticks. Courtois' near-flawless start to the current campaign, combined with Oblak's comparatively slow one, means the Belgian just takes the number-one jersey.
Jesus Navas (RB) - Now the wrong side of 35, conventional wisdom dictates that Navas should be starting to wind down his playing career. Instead he continued to wow in an over-achieving Sevilla side, completing more crosses than any other player in La Liga this year.
Jules Kounde (CB) - There was a reason that Chelsea were so keen to bring in Kounde this summer - he's one of the best young defenders on the planet. Paired alongside the experienced Diego Carlos, he is a key reason for Sevilla's incredible defensive record over the past 12 months.
Mario Hermoso (CB) - Atletico Madrid's 2021 La Liga title triumph was built on rock solid foundations in the form of Stefan Savic, Felipe, Jose Gimenez and Hermoso. In truth, any of the foursome could have made this team but we've gone for Hermoso due to his superior numbers.
Jordi Alba (LB) - Barcelona has lurched from one crisis to the next this year but amid of these chaos, Alba has continued to be quietly excellent at left-back. Still proficient defensively and in the final third, the Spaniard deserves real credit for remaining at the top of his game for so long.
Casemiro (DM) - The one-man wrecking ball continues to strike fear into the hearts of La Liga midfielders. Casemiro has consistently completed an unholy amount of tackles and interceptions since emerging as Real's first choice and it has been a similar story in 2021.
Toni Kroos (CM) - Devilishly creative and the owner of the sweetest right foot in world football, Kroos outshone long-time partner in crime Luka Modric this year to earn his place in this side.
Marcos Llorente (CM) - He is a difficult player to define, such is his incredible versatility and all-round skill-set. Llorente can play anywhere but his stunning performances in the second half of last season that helped Atleti edge a close title race means he earns a spot in midfield.
Lionel Messi (RW) - Yes, we know he was only playing in La Liga for half the year but with Messi still managing 23 goals and 12 assists in 2021, it was impossible to leave him out of the side.
Karim Benzema (ST) - Benzema has stepped up admirably since Cristiano Ronaldo left Real and 2021 might have been his best calendar year yet. 38 goals in all competitions for club and country is some record.
Vinicius Junior (LW) - It has taken a little while but Vinicius started to show signs of his sky-high potential this year. Once decried for lacking an end product the Brazilian has been lethal in front of goal in 2021, particularly this season.