2023-24 La Liga Title Contenders and Battle for Golden Boot


With the slate wiped clean, the 2023-24 season in La Liga is expected to deliver yet another blockbuster campaign featuring the two royalties of club football Barcelona and Real Madrid But the two powerhouses have lost some of their star names and thus it could open the door for the likes of Atletico Madrid, Sevilla or even Real Sociedad to swoop in and cause an upset. 

Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba are long gone, joining Lionel Messi at Inter Miami and after Barca’s failed operation for a reunion with their prodigal son, Xavi’s men will be a young-look side, much like their eternal rivals Los Blancos. 

The departures of Karim Benzema, and Marco Asensio have left Carlo Ancelotti’s side looking slightly thin on attacking options even as they continue to flirt with Kylian Mbappe

With the two El Clasico rivals set to undergo a season full of transition, it gives Diego Simeone’s Atleti the perfect chance to spoil the party and claim another Spanish title. Sevilla endured an uncharacteristically underwhelming season last year but given their past record they are also expected to be there among the top dogs. 

Valencia barely managed to retain their top-flight status last year and will face an uphill battle to stay up. Almeria, Granada, and Las Palmas have earned a place in La Liga and they will hope to avoid the drop this season at least.  

Title Contenders

After a three-season drought, Xavi finally guided Barcelona to their first La Liga title since 2018-19 and he will be hoping to repeat those heroics once again come the end of the season. 

While the Catalans still haven’t recovered from their financial turmoils, the departures of Alba, and Busquets helped trim the wage bill. Their attempts to re-sign Messi didn’t bear fruit and the Camp Nou side is expected to lose Ousmane Dembele to PSG which means there would be added responsibility on the shoulders of Robert Lewandowski. 

There’s plenty of good news too, Ilkay Gundogan and Inigo Martinez have joined the club and look well-settled already whereas Vitor Roque will join the Spanish giants next season. Pedri, Gavi, and Frenkie de Jong are all expected to be guaranteed starters, whereas there’s plenty of excitement regarding Lamine Yamal as well as Fermin Lopez who shined in the 3-0 win over Madrid in the pre-season El Clasico. 

Jude Bellingham has joined one of the biggest clubs in the world

Real Madrid finds themselves in all sorts of uncertainty, despite having spent freely on the likes of Jude Bellingham, Arda Guler, and Fran Garcia, Ancelotti could be without an out-and-out striker thanks to Kylian Mbappe. The Frenchman is edging closer to the Santiago Bernabeu but in all certainty, it seems the transfer could be completed next season. 

Thus, Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo, Joselu, and Brahim Diaz are the only forward options they have and it will be difficult to imagine them competing across all competitions with such limited options. 

That gives Atletico Madrid a glorious chance of winning a second league title in three years, Simeone’s side finished a point behind Madrid last year and they have added Cesar Azpilicueta and Caglar Soyuncu. 

The club from the capital could add more steel from the money that could come from the sale of Joao Felix who continues to be linked to Barca and the Saudi Pro League. Los Rojiblancos remain resolute as ever, scoring goals has been their Achilles’ heel and if they can work it out between Alvaro Morata, Memphis Depay, and Antoine Griezmann they could be in for a ride. 

Battle for Europe

Donny van de Beek’s camp is negotiating with Manchester United to work out a loan move

Real Sociedad under Imanol Alguacil looked a formidable unit as they finished fourth and even though they haven’t set the world alight in the transfer window Andre Silva’s loan move could be a shrewd addition after Alexander Sorloth’s departure. La Real are also in talks to land Donny van de Beek on loan who could be the ideal replacement for Asier Illarramendi. 

Sociedad will face a tough challenge from fellow European hopefuls Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine finished fifth last year and they have snapped up Sorloth on a permanent deal from RB Leipzig. Former Barca product Denis Suarez has also joined on a free from Celta Vigo but it remains to be seen how Quique Setien will fill in the gaps after the departures of Nicolas Jackson, Pau Torres and Samuel Chukwueze. 

Despite their slump last year, Sevilla will be expected to be among the running for the top four, their pre-season showed that there are signs of recovery under José Luis Mendilibar. 

Los Nervionenses have always done wonders in the transfer market and so fans can be excited about the arrivals of Loic Bade and Dijbril Sow. Yassine Bounou is reportedly on Bayern Munich’s shortlist and if the Spanish side can hold onto the Moroccan they can certainly spring up a surprise or two.

Real Betis will hope to continue their progress under Manuel Pellegrini, and to keep up with their on-field performances from last season, Los Verdiblancos snapped up Isco, Ayoze Perez, and Hector Bellerin for zilch which represents excellent business. Sergio Canales and Joaquin’s departures mean the incoming players have some big boots to fill. 

Osasuna also had a stunning campaign last year, they qualified for the UEFA Conference League qualifiers and also reached the final of the Copa del Rey losing narrowly to Los Blancos. With Atletic Bilbao also among the mix, it will be interesting to see how the battle for Champions League and Europa League berths shapes up. 

Golden Boot & Golden Glove Race

Having conceded just 20 goals last season Marc Andre ter Stegen was one of the reasons behind Barcelona’s league triumph and the German will once again be the favourite to retain the Golden Glove title or the Zamora Trophy as it’s called in Spain. That being said Thibaut Courtois, Jan Oblak, and YassineBounou have shown that they belong in the category of world-class goalkeepers and they will be looking to challenge Ter Stegen all the way. 

Furthermore, with Benzema’s departure, Robert Lewandowski will be the overwhelming favourite to pick up a second golden boot in as many years but Joselu, who finished third last year alongside Vinicius Junior will be looking to challenge the Polish marksman. 

Griezmann, Borja Iglesias, Joselu, and Morata will remain as the outside favourites but the golden boot race will really just be about who can stop Lewandowski from making it two in two seasons.