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LaLiga File: A Star Called Neymar

The Brazilian trickster was in full effect in Barcelona's must-win-at-all-costs game in the Canary Islands on a weekend filled to the brim with stellar performances.

by Gabrielle Amado

Player of the Round: Neymar

The collective masterpiece against Villarreal earned all three members of the MSN last week’s ‘Player of the Round’ prize, but this week it was all Neymar.

Round 37 marked a new milestone for the Samba King. Neymar bagged his 16th career hat-trick, his fourth with Barcelona and his first ever on the road for the Blaugrana across all competitions. 

Neymar has now been involved in 50 goals in his last 50 appearances for club and country; 25 goals, 25 assists.

His lucky number may just be 25, because at the quarter-century mark he has scored 121 more goals than Cristiano Ronaldo did at this exact age!

And of course, given the day that was in it, the bandy-legged Brazilian dedicated his three goals to lady who gave birth him. Totes adorbs!

 

Rising Star: Marlon Santos

Barcelona B’s Marlon made his LaLiga debut in Round 37 of LaLiga after a rather unexpected series of events. 

The 21-year old got the first team call up in lieu of Gerard Pique's trip to the hospital and got his first start against Las Palmas following Mascherano's last-minute injury during the pre-match warm-up. It appears fate wanted this young Brazilian on the pitch, and fate got its way. 

Marlon contributed directly to Barcelona’s first goal, had 95 touches, completed 84 passes, won three duels, intercepted twice and conceded one foul on his debut. Not a shabby start for your first time out with the big boys.

 

Super-Sub: Jon Bautista

With the battle between fourth, fifth and sixth place heating up in LaLiga, Real Sociedad hosted Malaga in what would be a ping-pong encounter that ended in a 2-2 draw.

Jon Bautista came on in the 75th minute with the home side trailing 1-2 and would leave his mark on the game: scoring 10 minutes later to level the board. 

The 21-year old now has 11 appearances with the first team squad and has tallied three goals along the way; meaning this super-sub thing is nothing new for this young Spaniard.

 

Goal of the Week: Nacho

When you score the cheekiest goal of the weekend, you also automatically scoop goal of the round. Hands down. 

The sight of Marco Asensio nursing an injury on the ground lulled Sevilla’s players into a false sense of security as they causally went about setting up their wall. Up step a quick-thinking Nacho Fernandez who punished the Andalusians harshly for their lack of focus by curling a low shot into the bottom corner of Sergio Rico’s goal.

It’s a lesson you are taught in soccer kindergarten, when the ref blows for a free-kick get your butt in front of the ball, but Sevilla went about their business like…well…preschoolers.

This marked Nacho’s first direct free-kick goal with his first ever attempt for Real Madrid across all competitions and sealed Los Blancos’ latest record under Zizou: having now scored in 62 consecutive matches. #ZidaneTheGreat​

Notable Mention: Cristiano Ronaldo's left-foot rocket of a goal which sealed his brace was a close second for goal of the week but lacked where it mattered most: controversy! 

 

LaLiga File is your one stop shop for a look back at the latest round in the Spanish top-flight. Sometimes it’s serious, sometimes its cheeky, but it always strives to bring you a sassy synopsis of (one of) the world’s best leagues. Tweet at us @beINSPORTSUSA and @gabbyamado using the hashtag #LaLigaFile with your comments, questions and, if you must, complaints.