|Heroes and Villains 2006/2007|
Ruud Van Nistelrooy took the Pichichi prize this year in his first season in Spain, his goals helping Real Madrid to a first league title in four years.
Kanouté gave him a good run for his money though, also in his first year over here.
Last season's Pichichi Eto'o picked up a serious injury which kept him out for half of the season, but a late flurry did take him up to 15th place.
The number of goals scored was on par with previous years, 942 in the league against 936 last season and 980 the season before, and 1,209 in all competitions compared to 1,105 and 1,159.
The highest scoring weekend was week 35 with 42 goals in the ten games (the highest since we have been producing this website), and the lowest was week 19 with 9, curiously also the lowest we have seen. See the weekly reports below for more details.
Zaragoza's Diogo takes this year's "Villains" award by a mile, ahead of last season's winner Luccin. His bun fight with Sevilla's Luis Fabiano on day 17 and subsequent five match ban helped of course, but even without that he would have taken our prize.
Several players miss the opening game of the new year after receiving suspensions in the last games of last season, including Iraola (Athletic), Gaby Milito (now Barcelona), Contra (Getafe), Poulsen and Kanouté (Sevilla), Guille Franco (Villarreal) and Chus Herrero and D'Alessandro (Zaragoza). Luccin, Andrade, Maxi López, Roberto Carlos and Piqué should also be banned, although they are no longer playing in Spain.
There were a total of 2,278 yellow cards and 188 reds in the league and cup this year, an average of 5.2 yellows and 0.4 reds per game. On a club basis, the top villains last year were Levante, who clocked up 186 points, with Deportivo once again second and Betis third. This season the lowest total went to Recreativo with 97 points, well below Barcelona with 119 points and Nàstic with 120.
Another new face on the goalkeeping front, Pato Abbondanzieri making history by being the first Getafe player to take one of the individual player prizes in the history of the club. The Argentinian international, playing his first season in Spain, pipped Barcelona's Víctor Valdés on the last day simply by being away on international duty!
Four keepers managed to play throughout the season, Valdés (Barcelona), Aouate (Deportivo), Casillas (Real Madrid) and César (Zaragoza), and 39 minders were used in all by the 20 first division sides. That included three stand-ins, Juanito (Betis), David López (Osasuna) and Felipe Melo (Racing) who all had to play the last couple of minutes or so in their respective matches after their own keepers were sent off with all three substitutions already made.
White stick award
Velasco Carballo takes this year's "White Stick" prize after producing 148 yellow cards and 10 reds in the twenty games he officiated, an average of 7.9 cards a match. Pérez Burrull was the only man to come near him with 135 yellows and 17 reds in 22 games.
Referees produced a sum total of 2,348 yellow cards and 190 reds in league and cup competitions this season, in line with last season's haul of 2,399 and 171. Readers can find out more about our men in black from our weekly reports (see below for links).
Two more referees will be leaving us this summer, Pino Zamorano and Pérez Lima being relegated back to the second division. They will be replaced by Paradas Romero and Ontanaya López-Astilleros, and for the first time we will also have a lady assistant, Marisa Villa. We wish them luck!