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Xavi Pascual talking to the crowd at the Palau / PHOTO: ÀLEX CAPARRÓS-FCB

Xavi Pascual was hoarse but content this Saturday afternoon as he picked up the mic to address the crowd after FC Barcelona Intersport had claimed the Liga title for the second consecutive year. The Barça manager could barely speak after the fans and the team celebrated the title. But this small handicap didn’t stop him from expressing his joy. “I’m so very proud of this team,” was the phrase that Pascual kept on repeating to the different press outlets.

Pascual said that winning the Liga title “is the team’s merit, they give it everything” and, proof of this, is that this season has been “extraordinary.” The Barça manager considers that “we deserved to win a big title” as recompense to the work the team put in throughout the year.

The long battle is rewarded

While Pascual highlighted the season-long performance of his team, the captain Nagy dedicated the trophy to his manager as he emphasised how difficult the season has been: “it has been a long season with a lot of difficulties but we put in a lot of hard work and we held on until the end.” The Hungarian player didn’t want to talk about his future with FCB, but he did say that “I have a contract [with the team] through 2013. We’ll see what happens. The two clubs need to negotiate.”

Here are some of the statements made by FC Barcelona Intersport’s players after the match:

Aguirrezabalaga:

“It’s a shame that I’ve been injured for the past three weeks and that I wasn’t able to help the team. But I’m very content with how the year has gone, especially because we won the Liga after a very hard and very tough fight.”

Noddesbo:

“It’s been a very long season. I’m very eager to go on vacation.”

Igropulo:

“I can’t say a lot, even less in Spanish. The words just won’t come out. I’m very excited.”

Victor Tomás:

“It’s clear that it’s been a long and hard-fought season, in the end we won by a goal difference of one over Atlético Madrid. I advise people to follow handball, as you can see, it’s breathtaking sport.”

Saric:

“After the year we’ve gone through, when you win a title like this you forget everything. The important thing is to keep on winning titles. These fans have always given us an amazing push, without them we couldn’t have done this.”

Ugalde:

“I’m very pleased with the title after such a difficult season and, at the same time, I’m sad because I’ve been at Barça for so many years. I’ve grown as a player and as a person, I’m very grateful to the Club for the values it has taught me.”

Entrerríos:

“We have the assurance that we’ve finished the year with a title, it leaves a good taste in our mouths.”

Rutenka:

“It’s important that we managed to win back-to-back Liga titles after such a long season. I’m very pleased and I congratulate the whole team and the fans.”

“It's impressive”

Eduard Coll, director of the FCB handball team, said that the team “deserved to win a title like this.” Coll went on to say that “it’s very difficult” to win the Liga titles two years in a row, and the fact that Barça successfully defended the title is “impressive” after such a “difficult” year.

Thanking Xavi Pascual

During the celebration, Víctor Tomás asked his team-mates that won’t be with the team next season to address the crowd. After the outgoing players gave their speeches, the team tossed Xavi Pascual in the air in the traditional title celebration ritual.

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