In Granada on Saturday, shortly after 17:35 Central European Time, Luis Suárez scored his and Barcelona’s second goal of the game to seal a sixth Barcelona La Liga title in eight seasons. A third goal for the Uruguayan just before full-time rounded off a 3-0 win for the Blaugrana, sparking scenes of triumph back in the Catalan capital as fans flocked to their traditional celebration point of the Canaletas fountain on Las Ramblas, in the heart of the city’s iconic thoroughfare.
The jubilation shown by the players on the final whistle showed that although they have been prolific in La Liga over recent seasons, their hunger and thirst for success remains unabated.
In Suárez, Barcelona have a man who has outscored Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Pichichi – the award for the highest goalscorer in La Liga – with 40 goals in just 35 matches. In doing so, he becomes the first player this decade outside of team-mate Lionel Messi and Ronaldo to win the award.
In typically humble fashion, Barça’s number nine dedicated the award to his team-mates: “Thanks to everyone because without them I couldn’t have done it. Without them, I wouldn’t be in this situation.”
Despite a wobble in April which saw Los Culés encounter a dreadful run of form, losing three consecutive La Liga matches and getting knocked out of the Champions League against domestic rivals Atlético Madrid, the title was never seriously in doubt.
Even with some late pressure from eternal rivals Real Madrid and Diego Simeone’s unyielding side, Luis Enrique’s men knuckled down to work to claim a title they believed they had already won once this season, when their sparkling early and midseason form saw them stretch ten points clear at the top. Since the surprising 1-2 home defeat by Valencia on April 17th, in true champions’ style, Barcelona have reeled off five consecutive wins, scoring 24 goals, with none conceded.
In his post-match press conference, Enrique addressed speculation, fuelled by some parts of the Madrid media, who claimed a pro-Barca bias within La Liga and suggested that Granada may roll over to allow Barca to secure the victory they needed to win the title.
Enrique told reporters: “This is the country of speculation. Granada achieved their objective and they went out to play their game. They didn’t make it easy for us. We needed to get a goal as early as possible and we managed to do that.
“We’re very satisfied and hope the fans go out to celebrate. I’m a bit boring. I hope there’s a big party and I’ll have to adapt to my 46 years of age but I’ll have a good time. I’ll remember the people who have supported us through the tough times. The fans have stuck with us despite the things that get built up.”
In a subsequent interview with Barcelona’s in-house TV channel, he spoke with a more boisterous tone:
“We have to celebrate this league with a victory parade. We’re not used to this. We need to celebrate it. Other teams would love to be in our position, winning six out of the last eight league campaigns. The league is benchmark for what you have achieved throughout the season. The Champions League depends more on specific moments: who you get in the draw, and having luck in the ties, than having a poor game away from home which could leave you out of the competition… The Copa del Rey is similar. We’re very excited by it but what reflects how you have performed over the whole season is the league”.
With the league title now secured, the champions head into the Copa Del Rey final against Sevilla next weekend looking to achieve a second successive domestic double. More titles and more glory await this incredible team, whose drive for success and constant winning is the true mark of champions.