Barcelona's Ballon d'Or winner and the midfielder, who finished third in the final vote for the prestigious prize last week, are both included in this week's Spanish selectionLa Liga has reached its halfway stage and it is Barcelona who are setting the pace so far, having picked up 55 points out of a possible 57, dropping their only two in a 2-2 draw at home to Real Madrid back in October.
Barca are well on course for a new points record, while Atletico Madrid have also performed brilliantly in the first 19 rounds of the competition, claiming 44 points. Both teams won again at the weekend, while Real Madrid could only draw at lowly Osasuna.
Meanwhile, Rayo Vallecano and Betis deserve a special mention after moving into the European places ahead of the second part of the campaign, thanks to victories over Athletic Bilbao and Levante, respectively.
Here, Goal.com takes a look at the standout performers from the 19th round of matches.
In goal, Atletico's Thibault Courtois is in again after another impressive display in the 2-0 win over Zaragoza.
At the back, youngster Johny looked assured even though Celta Vigo lost at Espanyol, while Jordi Alba starred in defence and attack for Barcelona in Malaga, and Guilherme Siqueira was on form for Granada in their 2-2 draw at Getafe, scoring both goals from the penalty spot.
In midfield, Sergio Busquets produced a dynamic display which even included a remarkable 'roulette' at Malaga, while Andres Iniesta was peerless in midfield at La Rosaleda. Elsewhere, Patrick Ebert shone with two goals and an assist for Valladolid and Tiago impressed again for Atletico.
Ruben Castro was on target again for Betis as they beat Levante, while Roberto Soldado netted both goals in the 2-0 win for Valencia over Sevilla and Lionel Messi was key for Barca as usual, with a goal and an assist in Malaga.
| vs Zaragoza (h)
| vs Malaga (a)
||vs Espanyol (a)
|| vs Getafe (a)
| vs Mallorca (h)
|| vs Malaga (a)
|| vs Malaga (a)
||vs Zaragoza (h)
|vs Sevilla (h)
||vs Malaga (a)