With Barcelona defeating Real Madrid recently at the Santiago Bernabeu, The Blaugrana hurdled what could be their final obstacle to retaining La Liga this season, and thus, practically ended what has been one of Spain’s craziest seasons.

With very few fixtures remaining in this campaign, here is a list of the top ten transfers that took the Spanish league by storm this season:

1) Cristiano Ronaldo (Manchester United to Real Madrid; €94M)

Pole position was from the start a race between Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo, with the duo being La Liga’s newest stars this term. Consistency however has favoured the Portugal captain, who carries the burden of being the most expensive footballer in history. A transfer in the making ever since the 2006 World Cup, Ronaldo has adapted effortlessly to life at Madrid, looking as if he has been in La Liga for years. Only injury and a couple of suspensions have tarnished his reputation in Spain, but the Madeira man appears to be more mature than he was with Manchester United. Seemingly being tailor-made for the Spanish league, Cristiano Ronaldo's best years in the Peninsula appear to be well in front of him. 

2) Ever Banega (Atletico Madrid to Valencia CF; loan return)

This season Ever Banega has practically come back from the dead to have a stellar season for Valencia. Having had an atrocious first year with Los Che after landing from Argentine giants Boca Juniors, Banega enjoyed a transformation last season at Atletico Madrid. Back at Valencia, his fine form continued for Los Che, as the 2007 Copa Libertadores winner produced one performance after another. Having had a wonderful campaign so far, Ever Banega could very well have earned himself a ticket to South Africa this summer.

3) Xabi Alonso (Liverpool to Real Madrid; €30M)

After five years of waiting, Florentino Perez got his man, albeit for triple his original price. Long conceived as the last piece of the puzzle in the mogul’s transfer plans, Xabi Alonso was seen as the anchor in Real’s midfield, and possibly their entire formation. Having slotted marvelously alongside Lassana Diarra, Alonso was one of Los Blancos’ main maestros this season, with his passes landing practically everywhere on the pitch. His near 45 metre assist to Arbeloa in the Derbi Madrileno is surely La Liga’s best pass this season. With the 28-year-old showing the same composure and effectiveness as in his Liverpool days, it's no wonder Perez kept waiting for the Tolosa-born star.

4) Alvaro Arbeloa (Liverpool to Real Madrid; €4M)

Originally perceived as nothing more than a backup for Sergio Ramos, as well as the odd actor for a left back stint, Alvaro Arbeloa came back to his boyhood club this past summer as Florentino Perez promised to give the team a more Spanish taste. However, with Marcelo excelling as a midfielder and Ramos rediscovering his form, Arbeloa claimed the left back position as his own. Despite the former Deportivo La Coruna man being famed for his defensive assurance, Arbeloa displayed his true attacking colors this season, with two goals against Xerez and Atletico Madrid seeming more like a striker’s finish, rather than a player with the number 2 on his back.


5) Jose Antonio Reyes (SL Benfica to Atletico Madrid; loan return)

Not a transfer in the proper sense, but a gamble nonetheless. After a disastrous first season at Atletico, Reyes was shipped to Portuguese giants Benfica. Enjoying a renaissance period in Portugal, the Atletico Madrid hierarchy opted to bring back the player, and the move paid dividends, as Reyes established himself as a regular on the team’s flanks, relegating former team-mate Maxi Rodriguez to the bench. After producing wonderful displays for the Mattress Makers, Reyes is getting back to his best and so, an inclusion in the Spanish World Cup squad wouldn’t come as a surprise.

6) Raul Albiol (Valencia CF to Real Madrid; €15M)

The search continued this summer yet again for Real Madrid as the club looked around for the person to fill in the void left by Fernando Hierro, now seven years departed. Having been signed from in debt ridden Valencia, Albiol managed to slot in nicely alongside Pepe. Yet, despite the Portuguese’s season-ending injury, Albiol continued to perform for Madrid, this time alongside Ezequiel Garay. His assured and no-nonsense defending turned him into a back-line pillar for Los Blancos. He could very well be the man to break Real’s centre back curse.

7) Nilmar (Internacional to Villarreal CF; €11M)

All eyes were on Nilmar as the Brazilian embarked on his second European stint following a largely disappointing spell with French giants Olympique Lyonnais. His 10 goals in 27 league matches at the time of writing have greatly contributed to Villarreal’s escape from the danger zone after their horrific start to the season. With teenage wonder Giuseppe Rossi alongside him in attack, the duo nearly share half their team’s goals. A fine comeback for a player whose career was said to be over in Europe.

8) Didier Zokora (Tottenham Hotspur to Sevilla; €9M)

Bought in to fill the gap left by Christian Poulsen following the latter’s move to Juventus, Didier Zokora excelled marvelously in the middle of Sevilla’s attack-minded formation, with a notable mention given to the Andalucians’ 2-1 win over Real Madrid in the early part of this season. His rough style of play made it a nightmare for the midfield’s opposition, where Zokora used his pace and work ethic to break up and start his team’s own moves. Certainly Sevilla’s best signing of the summer.

9) Maxwell (Internazionale to Barcelona; €4.5M)

Originally perceived as nothing more than backup for Eric Abidal, Maxwell managed to hit back at those who questioned his signing at the start of the season. Having had the burden of being compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic as both players landed from Italy, it was the left back that had the better start in Spain, as he slotted in admirably whenever called upon, to a point where Josep Guardiola pondered installing him permanently as his first-choice pick for the left side. A definite rejuvenation for a player who had an abysmal final year at Inter.

10) Pedro Leon (Real Valladolid to Getafe; €4M)

Having exposed himself to the public last year with Valladolid, Pedro Leon’s ascension towards stardom continued this year as he opted to move to Getafe. Despite the Madrid-based outfit hardly being a crushing force, Leon managed to establish himself on the right wing of Getafe’s 4-2-3-1 formation. His assists have been one of the main reasons behind Roberto Soldado’s wonderful season, while Pedro Leon himself has not been shy of scoring. Based on current form, it wouldn’t be surprising if clubs come knocking on the youngster’s door.