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FC Barcelona clinched the 2018-19 La Liga title after beating Levante at Camp Nou on Saturday night, mathematically eliminating second-place Atlético Madrid from contention and giving Ernesto Valverde's team its first title of the season with three league games still to play. It is the earliest calendar date in the 21st century on which Barça have captured the La Liga title.
The 2018-19 title further cements Barça's dominance in the Spanish top flight — the Catalans have now claimed eight of the last 11 La Liga championships, which have come over more than a decade of glory led by the greatest player of all time, the team's captain Leo Messi, who has become the first player in Club history to win ten La Liga titles.
Similar to last season, when the team clinched with three games to play, Barça led the competition practically from start to finish, and will have been number one in 34 of the 38 weeks this season. In the four weeks Barça were not the leaders, they were in second place — twice on goal differential alone and twice by just a single point.
Including last season, Barça will have led the league in 70 of the 76 weeks since Ernesto Valverde became the team's head coach.
Celebració sobre la gespa
From the sidelines, Valverde has conducted the blaugrana orchestra — he has used a total of 26 different players — with serenity and intelligence, while always respecting Barça's emblematic style of play. How else could one explain such impressive triumphs like the 5-1 rout of Real Madrid at Camp Nou — without Leo Messi, nonetheless, who was injured — as well as important victories at RCD Espanyol, at Sevilla, at Real Madrid, and at Real Betis, all of which were decisive in delivering the title this season
Now, the only thing left to do in La Liga is to celebrate. Meanwhile, two more objectives remain — the Champions League semifinal clash with Liverpool, and the Copa del Rey final against Valencia. It isn't over yet!
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