The international stars of the 2022/23 LaLiga SmartBank season

The 2022/23 LaLiga SmartBank season has come to an end, with Granada CF and UD Las Palmas securing automatic promotion and with Deportivo Alavés also doing so in dramatic fashion through the playoffs.

Several international players have stood out once again with their performances in a highly competitive LaLiga SmartBank. Some of them may have not managed to lead their team to the Spanish football’s top flight, but they have been hailed for their contribution throughout the campaign.

Here comes a look at seven of the international players who impressed with their displays during the 2022/23 LaLiga SmartBank season.

Myrto Uzuni (Granada CF, Albania)

The LaLiga SmartBank top scorer netted 23 of his team’s 55 goals last season to help them clinch top spot and direct promotion to LaLiga Santander. Granada CF didn’t lose any of the 17 games in which the Albania international netted at least one goal, recording 15 wins and two draws. Unsurprisingly, it was Uzuni who broke the deadlock shortly before half-time when Granada CF needed a victory in the last game of the season against CD Leganés. His team won 2-0 on home soil and clinched promotion just one year after being relegated.

Sinan Bakış (FC Andorra, Turkey)

Born in Germany to Turkish parents, Bakış joined FC Andorra from Dutch side Heracles Almelo back in September. It was an amazing start for the forward, who came off the bench with six minutes to go in his debut against CD Mirandés and managed to rescue a point for FC Andorra, as he found the back to the net to secure a 1-1 draw away from home. In fact, the 29-year-old striker recorded three goals and two assists in his first four games. He finished the season as LaLiga SmartBank’s fourth-top scorer with 12 goals in 33 games as newly-promoted FC Andorra secured seventh spot.

Pablo De Blasis (FC Cartagena, Argentina)

Having participated in 10 of FC Cartagena’s 47 goals, De Blasis stood out once again in LaLiga SmartBank and the club captain helped inspire his side to a ninth-placed finish for the second term in a row. No international player managed more assists than the 35-year-old attacking midfielder and only Granada CF forward José Callejón finished ahead of him in the assist charts. As one of the most experienced players in the division, this was the third season in a row where De Blasis registered at least seven assists in LaLiga SmartBank.

Mamadou Mbacke (Villarreal B, Senegal)

Standing at 1.89m tall, Mamadou Ibra Mbacke Fall featured in 25 LaLiga SmartBank games last season. Villarreal B’s prodigious centre-back arrived at the club on loan from MLS club LAFC back in August and stood out with his performances in the second division, even earning a LaLiga Santander debut with the Villarreal CF first team off the bench in a game against Girona FC in January. In his first spell in Europe, the 20-year-old prodigy demonstrated that he is an imposing centre-back as well as being a threat at the other end, having scored three goals for Villarreal B in 2022/23.

Luca Zidane (SD Eibar, France)

Regarded as one of the most talented goalkeepers in LaLiga SmartBank, Luca is the son of LaLiga Santander legend Zinedine Zidane. He took his first footballing steps at Real Madrid’s academy before joining Rayo Vallecano. Then, the 25-year-old shot-stopper moved to SD Eibar in September, making his league debut in Matchday 12 in a 1-1 draw against Albacete Balompié. After securing three clean sheets in his first five games, Luca Zidane established himself as the first-choice goalkeeper at Ipurua, starting in 31 games for the Basque side. He finished the season with 14 clean sheets as SD Eibar came close to LaLiga Santander promotion.

Kento Hashimoto (SD Huesca, Japan)

Hashimoto was SD Huesca’s star signing last summer, when the experienced defensive midfielder joined from FC Rostov on loan. The Japan international made his national team debut in a friendly duel against Bolivia in 2019 and, from that point on, he has registered 15 appearances with Japan across all competitions. He debuted for SD Huesca in a goalless draw against Levante UD in August after participating in the East Asian Football Championship with Japan in July, and went on to make 33 appearances for the LaLiga SmartBank side that finished 15th in the table.

Giuliano Simeone (Real Zaragoza, Argentina)

The youngest of Diego Simeone’s three sons, Giuliano joined Real Zaragoza last summer on a one-year loan deal from Atlético de Madrid. After making his debut off the bench in a 0-0 draw against UD Las Palmas in August, Simeone soon scored his first goal for Real Zaragoza, doing so in a 2-1 home loss to CD Lugo in early September. The 20-year-old forward followed that up by netting a brace the following week to lead his side to a 2-1 victory over SD Ponferradina, their first win of the season. He finished the campaign with 12 goal contributions, scoring nine and assisting another three. In fact, he was the youngest player to score more than eight goals in LaLiga SmartBank in 2022/23, demonstrating that he has the potential to blossom into a formidable forward.

MG Team

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *