Can the Girona sensation really win La Liga?


By: Manu Tournoux

Yes, Girona can go all the way

The statistics speak for themselves. 16 days, 13 wins, 2 draws and one defeat. Here is the Catalan club’s exceptional record so far in Spain. With 41 points on the clock, Girona became the first team in the five major championships to pass the 40 point mark in 2023-2024. It is also the best attack in La Liga, with an average of 2.4 goals scored per game. Another interesting statistic circulating in Spain at the moment: the last teams to have had as many points after 16 days of the championship over the last 10 editions of La Liga all finished champions, namely Barça last season, in the 2017/season. 2018, and Atlético 2020/2021.

Girona’s strength does not depend on a few individuals who might be overperforming. Certainly, there are players who will logically, at times, lower the pace, but the strength of the Catalan team is their collective play. Even when players who are less usual or less good than the starters play, the team does not lower the level, since it bases its strength and success on very well-oiled offensive animation. When phases of poor form or injuries arrive, Girona should continue to take points regularly thanks to their style of play and their team.

Another strong point of the team coached by Michel this season: its mental strength. In a number of matches, Girona was behind, and managed to come back to win. Sometimes, spectacularly. It is a very strong team mentally, which never gives up and which always has the resources to be competitive even when it is trailing by one or more goals. This season, the Catalan club has posted six victories after being behind on the scoreboard in its thirteen victories, the record in La Liga. Proof that it is strong technically, collectively, and also mentally. What will be decisive as we approach the big meetings of the last few days…

No, Girona will collapse

Even if the squad includes great individuals like Aleix Garcia or Savio, and the team is indeed very well established, Girona is far from being able to sit at the table of clubs like Barça, Real Madrid or Atlético of Madrid if we talk about talent and squad depth. And we know that in complicated times, it is the great players who respond. Especially when the other teams have started to find solutions to thwart the team. Which players will then be capable of an individual exploit or a stroke of brilliance from elsewhere when the team is not doing well? We can also point out a few glitches, particularly in defense where the Catalans showed, at times, shortcomings. Girona is also the second worst defense in the top 10 of La Liga with 20 goals conceded, where Real Madrid and Atlético have only conceded 10 and 14.

There is another point which gives even more merit to Girona’s season: their rivals for the title are on a very good cruising speed. Clearly, the Catalan team is not a leader because of the weakness of the other big names. But the fact that the other big La Liga teams are thriving is not necessarily a positive thing in view of the fight for the La Liga trophy. Real Madrid, two points behind, is averaging 2.4 points per game, also a champion’s pace, while Atlético is averaging 2.26 points per game, figures which can also be those of a champion. Even Barça is above 2 points per game. Which means that Girona will not really have the right to make mistakes, and that the slightest poor performance could allow the other big Iberian clubs to take the lead, and even the lead.

Even if Girona displayed a certain mental strength as explained above, there are very few players accustomed to decisive games for titles in the squad. Daley Blind and Eric Garcia are the only players who have already played a minimum in top-of-the-table clubs accustomed to winning trophies. This lack of experience can therefore be detrimental, where teams like Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and even Atlético have many players who have experience and a track record as long as an arm. Which is likely to make the difference in the last tense days…

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