Guillem Balague's La Liga XI: Lionel Messi only makes the bench

Sky Sports Spanish football expert Guillem Balague picks his 2014 La Liga XI, but do you agree?

Rakitic is the latest in a long line of players to blossom at Sevilla before being sold to balance the books. Sevilla will almost certainly sell the Swiss-born Croatian midfield maestro for considerably more than the 2.5 million euros they paid Schalke for him, but his performances in both the league and the victorious Europa League campaign certainly means they will, at the very least, be looking to move the decimal point one place to the right, not if, but when he is sold.
After a sensational season that saw Costa earn a Spain call up following performances that saw his club, Atletico, win La Liga and secure a Champions League final spot, the tempestuous Brazilian-born striker's season ended in heartbreak when injury ruled him out of the Champions League. It might also cost him his place in the World Cup but what it almost certainly won't stop is a big money move in the summer, probably to Chelsea.
And once again Ronaldo did what he did best, scoring all four goals - including a hat-trick in the second leg against Sweden - that booked Portugal's place in the World Cup finals. He also picked up the Ballon d'Or, the Pichichi, as well as score, arguably the goal of the season with an impudent back heel volley in the closing minutes against Valencia. On his day, a goal-scoring machine and quite simply unstoppable and certainly one of the greatest ever to play the game.


And what about this for a bench? KEYLOR NAVAS At the World Cup, England will have an opportunity to get a close up look at Keylor Navas the Costa Rican goalkeeper who has been exceptional for his side Levante this season, helping them to a very creditable 10th place. Only the top four clubs have conceded fewer goals and Navas is now attracting attention from many bigger clubs. KOKE Koke of Atletico has earned himself a place in Del Bosque's 30-man squad for Brazil following a dream season with Atletico where his partnership with Diego Costa has been one of the highlights. Just 22-years-old, he is almost certain of a long future with La Roja. GARETH BALE Bale had a difficult start after his record signing for Real Madrid but achieved cult status with his wonderful winning goal in the Copa del Rey final against Barcelona and for all his problems he still managed to hit 15 league goals in 27 appearances, which bodes well for next year. LIONEL MESSI Messi, by his own stellar standards, had an indifferent season. That said, he still managed an astonishing 41 goals in 46 games, a figure that just about any player anywhere in the world would give their right arm for. There are, unbelievably, still some people out there that question where he stands in the history of the game, which I find baffling, because in my opinion, when used correctly, he is quite simply the greatest player EVER. ANDRES INIESTA And talking about great players, the universally adored little maestro Andres Iniesta also didn't have the best of seasons finishing - so far - without a trophy for the first time since 2007. Mind you, he's still got the World Cup to go for and in an indecently talented midfield he will almost certainly be one of manager Del Bosque's first names to go on the team sheet. SERGIO RAMOS And finally Sergio Ramos, who has had his best season for some time, and is now looking to round it all off with the much prized and illusive 'Decima' in Lisbon against Real Madrid. Still aged just 28, the Sevilla born central defender seems to have been around for ever and is also, injury permitting, a certainty to start in the middle of defence for Spain in Brazil. Do you agree with Guillem? Let us know your La Liga XI by commenting below.

Around Sky