Coral’s XI of Argentine La Liga stars in the modern era
The footballing world was hit with the news that ex-Valencia attacker Pablo Aimar, who also played for Zaragoza in Spain during his heralded career, has announced his retirement from all football aged 35.
So, in light of this, Coral have come up with a starting XI of Argentine stars, including Aimar, that have plied their trade in La Liga in recent times.
Goalkeeper: Roberto Abbondanzieri
Although he only spent three seasons in the Spanish top flight, with Getafe, Abbondanzieri is perhaps one of the best stoppers to have come from Argentina, and won the prestigious Ricardo Zamora Trophy in 2006/07.
Right back: Pablo Zabaleta
Before becoming arguably the best right back in the Premier League with 12/5 title chances Manchester City, Zabaleta helped Catalan club Espanyol to the Copa del Rey and UEFA Cup final.
Centre back: Roberto Ayala
With 115 caps for his country, sweeper Ayala is arguably the best centre back Argentina have ever produced, and he played alongside Aimar at both Valencia and then Zaragoza.
Centre back: Walter Samuel
The only other player that can lay claim to being the best La Albiceleste centre half in history is former Real Madrid player Samuel, although he managed less than half the caps. The current Basel veteran only spent a season in La Liga, but makes this list.
Left back: Juan Pablo Sorin
Argentina have produced a number of left backs in recent years that have played in Spain, including Gabriel Heinze and Santiago Solari, but ex-Barcelona and Villarreal star Sorin just edges them.
Defence midfield: Esteban Cambiasso
Midfield master Cambiasso has impressed everywhere he’s played, most recently with 10/3 top 10 chances Leicester City, and before his super spell with Inter Milan he spent two seasons with Real.
Right wing: Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi, enough said.
Central midfield: Juan Roman Riquelme
Former Barcelona playmaker Riquelme is the centre of our majestic midfield, and makes this team after becoming a cult hero for Villarreal.
Attacking midfield: Pablo Aimar
Being the focus of this feature, Aimar of course makes the team, and we’ve placed him just ahead of Riquelme. He made over 200 appearances for Valencia, for where he is now a hero.
Left wing: Angel Di Maria
On the left, is current Manchester United (6/1 title chances) winger Di Maria, who was better known for his four seasons with Real Madrid, where he was one of Cristiano Ronaldo’s key assisters.
Striker: Sergio Aguero
Although Atletico Madrid commanded a hefty fee of around £38m for Aguero, Man City ultimately got a bargain as he is one of the most ferocious forwards in recent times. He has been prolific in front of goal in both England and for his former club, who he spent five seasons with.