|Heroes and Villains 2008/2009|
Barcelona took all the honours this season, and this was reflected in the goalscorers chart, with Messi, Eto'o and Henry taking first, second and fifth respectively on an all competition basis.
One prize they didn't win though was the league Pichichi, with Diego Forlán pipping Eto'o for the second time in four years after scoring 32. Eto'o's 30 would have won it in any of the last few seasons.
It was a record season for goals though the 1,101 in the league some 80 more than last year, which itself was the best for several seasons. In all competitions 1,364 goals were scored, helped in part by the 158 netted by Guardiola's side.
The highest scoring weekend was week 14 with a massive 44 goals, well and away the biggest tally since we have been producing this website, and the lowest was week 31 with 18. See the weekly reports below for more details.
This season's "Villains" award goes to Valencia and Spain central defender Marchena, who picked up 18 yellow cards and three reds throughout the year. Many of those were in fact for protesting!
The outstanding moment of the season though must be Pepe's rush of blood at Getafe in week 32 where the Real Madrid defender kicked Casquero in the head whilst he was lying on the ground. That earned him a 10 match ban, four of which are still to be served next season. Paulo Assunçao (Atlético), Belenguer and Contra (Getafe), Josemi and Varela (Mallorca), Morris (now Racing), Luis Morán (Sporting) and Marcos (Valladolid) also miss the opening game through suspension.
There were a total of 2,468 yellow cards and 195 reds in the league and cup this year, an average of 5.6 yellows and 0.4 reds per game. On a club basis, the top villains were Racing Santander, who clocked up 197 points. followed by Athletic Bilbao and Mallorca with 193. The lowest total went to Barcelona with 120 points, followed by Deportivo with 124 and Villarreal with 128.
Víctor Valdés was the clear winner of the Zamora prize this season, the Barcelona keeper finishing well clear of his only close rival Palop.
Three keepers played in every match, Casillas, Diego López and Riesgo, and 59 were used in all, including outfield players Melli (Betis), Juan Rodríguez (Depor) and Pareja (Espanyol), who all had to take over after their respective keepers were sent off.
White stick award
Velasco Carballo won our "White Stick" award for the second time in three years after producing a record 165 yellow cards and 17 reds in the 22 matches he officiated, an average of 7.5 bookings and 0.8 sendings off a game! Referees produced a sum total of 2,525 yellow cards and 197 reds in league and cup competitions this season, in all 185 cards more than last year.
International referee Medina Cantalejo retires this summer, as does Rodríguez Santiago. Daudén Ibáñez gave up halfway through the season as well, and González González and Estrada Fernández have been promoted to replace them.