Michel’s Girona, a historical leader

It is the first leading team on matchday 12 without counting Barça, Madrid and Atlético since 2002


Girona beat Osasuna (2-4) last Saturday while Real Madrid did not go beyond a draw against Rayo Vallecano (0-0) this Sunday, results that have allowed the Catalan team to become the sole leader of LaLiga EA Sports by end of matchday 12, a first place that had not been held at this point by a team other than Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Atlético de Madrid since the 2002-03 season.

It has been almost three months since the competition began and Girona, after 12 days played, is the surprising leader of LaLiga EA Sports. The Catalan team is experiencing a historic start with 31 points achieved out of the 35 that have been at stake, with 10 victories and a draw that, with more than two thirds of the League still to play, represents 63% of the points achieved by the Girona at the end of last season.

A scoring pace that neither Real Madrid, Barça nor Atlético have been able to sustain, with Míchel’s team being the current sole leader of the First Division. A historic leadership, but not only for Girona, but for LaLiga. It had been 21 years since a team other than Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Atlético de Madrid was at the top of the standings alone. The last to achieve something like this was Real Sociedad, which in the 2002-03 season was the leader after 12 games played, with 5 points less than Girona has.

And the 31 units of the ‘Gironí’ team is one of the best historical starts in Primera. Beyond the ‘big three’ of Spanish football, only Real Betis in the distant 34-35 campaign (victories are multiplied by 3 points as is currently the case) managed to add the same number of points as the Catalans this season . What’s more, the Catalan team has equaled the 9th best start in LaLiga history, which in turn is the 6th best so far this century.

Figures that, so far, have ensured a place among the top 3 in the table. Of the other 8 teams that started the season identically to Girona, 6 ended up winning LaLiga -Real Madrid (32-33, 88-89 and 11-12), FC Barcelona (10-11 and 22-23) and Real Betis (34-35) – with Real Madrid in second place (58-59) and Atlético de Madrid in third place (12-13). Therefore, what has ensured so far a start to the season like Girona’s is a place in the top 4 of the standings, which would mean qualification for the Champions League.


Míchel’s Girona is a team with an identity. Their verticality, high pressing and commitment to offensive football are some of their hallmarks. Under a 4-3-3 scheme, which sometimes becomes a 3-4-3 in offensive terms, the Madrid coach has found the balance to hurt his rivals and, despite the fact that it is the team that most goals conceded by the top 10 classified teams, they subdue the rival through the best attack in LaLiga, where they are the highest scoring team with 29 goals.

The cornerstone of the Catalans is Aleix García. All the attacks of the ‘blanc-i-vermells’ pass through him, being the Girona player who has carried out the most actions with the ball so far in the League, with 1099. In addition, he is the team’s top assistant, along with Sávio and Dovbyk, with 4 assists on goal, and the player who has created the most chances so far, with 25. In the scoring aspect, he has also helped the team with 3 goals, some of them decisive like the ones he scored at the Ramón Sánchez. Pizjuán and the New Mirandilla.

And if Aleix is ​​the catalyst for Girona, Sávio is the agitator. The Brazilian winger, only 19 years old, who is making his debut in LaLiga, is being one of the great revelations of the season in European football. He is the player under 20 years of age who has made the most participation in goals in the five major leagues so far with 7, and is also the second player who has completed the most dribbles in LaLiga with 26, only behind Bryan Zaragoza (36).

But behind a great team there is always a great scorer, and Girona has found him in the Ukrainian Artem Dovbyk. The forward, formerly of Dnipro-1, is the offensive reference for Míchel’s team. Thanks to his corpulence, he provides an outlet for the team when he feels pressured in the build-up, and fixes the rival centre-backs so that the wingers and midfielders can break into space and generate danger from the second line. Furthermore, to all this, we must add that he is the 5th top scorer in LaLiga with 6 goals, and that only Jude Bellingham (12) has participated in more goals than him so far this season.

A Girona whose streak and style guarantee that it is not a flash in the pan, but will be in the shortlist for the Champions League positions until the end of the competition. And, why not continue daydreaming about a heroic act that Leicester City was able to achieve in the Premier League not so long ago? Steal a League title from the biggest in the country.