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It’s the Sids 2017! The complete review of the 2016-17 La Liga season

From Real Madrid’s historic double to a bottom three in a league of their own, via explosive managerial cameos and that statue, it’s the annual awards

Luka Modric went to lift the trophy but there was nothing in his hands, just a look on his face that said it all. Beside him, Gareth Bale was giggling. Real Madrid won the league, shouting, embracing and leaping around the pitch at the Rosaleda where they had just defeated Málaga on the final day, but there was something missing. “What do you mean, no trophy?” the Croatian asked Madrid’s press officer. “They’ll hand it out at the start of next season,” came the reply. “So now we celebrate here, we go back to the dressing room, and that’s it.” That’s it?! Modric gave him a look; baffled, Bale did too. And off they ran to join the rest.

They had no idea. How could they? It happens every May, but this was the first time in five years that Madrid had won the league, only the second in eight years – a wait that was too long, which is why they had made it a public priority from the start, and when it finally came the sensation was that something had shifted in Spain; a fortnight later, that feeling deepened. First, rivals Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, Luis Enrique departing with just the one trophy and leaving Ernesto Valverde to step into his place, a big task ahead. In Cardiff, Madrid won again, becoming the first team to retain the Champions League.

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