Atletico Madrid, Barcelona stars Neymar and Luis Suarez and former Tottenham duo Gareth Bale and Roberto Soldado are some of the names that have stood out in La Liga as the Spanish league reaches its half-way point. IBTimes UK looks at some of the highlights from the campaign so far, after Diego Simeone's side's win over Celta Vigo at the weekend saw them finish as 'winter champions' over both Barcelona and local rivals Real Madrid.
Atletico Madrid lead the table
Simeone's outfit surprised all in 2013-2014 when they broke up the Barcelona/Real Madrid stranglehold on the title, also reaching the Champions League final. Some predicted they would be shown up as one-season wonders, but Real Madrid's neighbours have proved they are here for the long-term.
If La Liga ended today Atletico would be champions, as they lead the table two points clear of Barcelona – who have a game in hand – and four points ahead of their city rivals.
The first part of the season also saw Rafa Benitez's premature dismissal at Real just seven months after replacing Carlo Ancelotti, with club legend Zinedine Zidane taking the reins with a 5-0 victory over Deportivo la Coruna in his managerial debut.
Villarreal, meanwhile, look favourites to grab the final Champions League spot for next season after Valencia have laboured under both Nuno and surprise appointment Gary Neville to duplicate last season's successes.
Levante are bottom of the table with just 14 points out of a possible 57, while Eibar have emerged as the biggest revelation of the season, being in the sixth place after only avoiding relegation last season due to Elche's financial issues.
Luis Suarez and Neymar top scorers
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have dominated La Liga's top scorer ranks in recent years. However, with the Argentine out of action for two months due to injury and Cristiano Ronaldo appearing close to the end of his A-level playing career, the other two members of Barcelona's "MSN" have become the deadliest forwards around with 15 goals apiece. Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are both on 14.
Deportivo de La Coruña striker Lucas Perez and Real Sociedad's Imanol Agirretxe are the surprise entries in the charts, with 12 each. Gareth Bale joined them on this tally over the weekend with his hat-trick in Real's 5-0 win.
Gareth Bale and Roberto Soldado, assist kings
Bale, Ronaldo, Neymar and Soldado are the best assist-makers in La Liga, having provided seven goals each. The first three are predictable presences in the ranks, but the presence of the former Tottenham Hotspur flop is an odd one.
He made his name at Valencia as one of the most clinical finishers in Europe, netting 24 goals before a move to White Hart Lane. This season, after two miserable campaigns in England, he has swapped goals for assists, setting up seven and scoring just three.