Lionel Messi scored as Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid 1-0 to regain the La Liga title with a game to spare.
Barcelona went into the game looking for a win at Atlético Madrid, or a better result than Real Madrid who were away to Espanyol.
Real Madrid beat Espanyol but Barca’s win at Vicente Calderon means they go into next weekend’s final round with an unassailable four-point lead at the top of La Liga.
Messi scored the crucial goal just past the hour mark to render Madrid’s 4-1 away win and Christiano Ronaldo’s hat trick useless, although he could at least beat Messi to the top of Spain’s scoring charts.
It was Messi’s 41st league goal of the season, Barcelona’s 13th win in 14 La Liga matches and sees the club win their 23rd Spanish title.
FC Barcelona are on course to win the treble this season and the first of those three titles have been secured.
FC Barcelona progressed to the final of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) despite losing to German Champions-elect, Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.
Barcelona also play Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final on May 30.
Sergio Busquets has urged his team mates to go for the remaining two titles. Speaking after the victory at Vicente Calderon, he said “It (La Liga) is the most important, it’s all year, you play everyone home and away. The Champions League is the most prestigious but this is more important.
“You can’t win every year. The cycle isn’t over. We’re a very young team. There’s a lot of players here from the Pep era. Now we have one trophy, we’re missing two and there are two games. It’s an historic season.”
FC Barcelona have progressed to the final of the UEFA Champions League (UCL) despite losing to German Champions-elect, Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.
The Catalans reached their first UCL final since 2011, despite Pep Guardiola’s team salvaging their pride in the return leg in Germany.
The German Champions revived their hopes through Medhi Benatia’s early downward header, after losing 3-0 to Barcelona at the Camp Nou last Wednesday.
The Spanish side levelled the score when Luis Suarez squared for a tap-in from Neymar, who drilled a second later in after the pair combined again.
Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller both curled in as Bayern won 3-2, but Barca still progressed 5-3 on aggregate after both legs.
However, cross town rivals, Real Madrid, must overturn a 2-1 first-leg deficit against Italian champions-elect, Juventus, at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, to defend the European championship title against Barca.
Bayern Munich have returned to their southern German hometown the evening after successfully defending their Bundesliga title in record time.
Bayern beat Hertha Berlin 3-1 on Tuesday (March 25) evening thanks to goals from Toni Kroos, Mario Goetze and Franck Ribery, winning the title with seven games left in the campaign.
Last season’s treble winners claimed their 23rd Bundesliga crown with a 10th straight away victory, extending their winning streak to a remarkable 19 consecutive league games and their unbeaten run to 52 league matches – all Bundesliga records.
The players looked relaxed wearing team tracksuits as they got off the plane at Munich airport, most of them getting into their own cars and driving away.
Spanish coach Pep Guardiola, who won 14 out of 19 titles in four years at Barcelona, has now added the Bundesliga crown to the European Super Cup and Club World Cup titles Bayern won earlier this season.
They have an unassailable 25-point lead over second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who were runners-up last term, with 21 points to play for in Guardiola’s first season in charge.
Victor Valdes the number one goalkeeper of Spanish giants; Barcelona has decided not to renew his contract with the Camp Nou club as he has plans to move on to some other league.
This was confirmed last night by his representatives with the principal agent; Gines Carvajal releasing a statement to Spanish national news agency Efe after a meeting with the club management saying the player has decided not to renew his contract with Barcelona.
The statement read: “The agents of Victor Valdes have communicated to Barcelona in a meeting held this afternoon the irrevocable decision of the player to not renew his contract.”
Valdes who has spent his entire professional life with the Spanish giants has been in the web of speculation for a while after he said in an interview that he is considering a move this season, a statement the management of Barcelona claim wasn’t made by the goalkeeper.
Valdes’ move is probably well-timed with the recent employment of former Barcelona Coach Pep Guardiola by German Side Bayern Munich, because the goalkeeper might be the first and early target of the coach Pep Guardiola.
Valdes has been Barcelona’s number one throughout the last decade, winning a host of trophies and earning recognition with Spain, however Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas has remained the regular international goalkeeper.
Reports making the round in the Spanish media circle after former coach of Barcelona Pep Guardiola missed the elite UEFA Coaches forum and coincidentally or not Manchester United’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson was also missing from the forum only for both men to be sighted together in New York probably in talks over the former Barca manager’s possibility of taking over the torch from Sir Alex at the end of 2012.
An issue that has generated so much debate amongst fans of the Red Devils’ and pundits alike for the better part of the last decade, and it seems as though the question of who will be the next Manchester United manager may finally be answered.
Of course, we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves too much here. Yes, the fact that these two managers skipped the Forum to have private talks on a completely different continent is somewhat intriguing, but after all, these two men are friends away from the pitch.
Who’s to say that they hadn’t had this friendly catch-up planned for a while and didn’t want to postpone it any further, despite it clashing with UEFA’s annual event.
What is really driving the rumours is the fact that Guardiola—along with Jose Mourinho—has been one of the breakaway favourites to take on the United job for a long time now.
When the former Barca man stepped down and announced that he would be taking a year off from football, those suspicions were only heightened.
It has been spoken about in whispers this summer that the current Premier League season may be the final one for the great Sir Alex Ferguson in being charge of Manchester United.
This, coinciding with Guardiola’s year-long break, now followed by a “coincidental” meeting in America, will only continue to fuel the rumours of the Spaniard’s possible arrival at Old Trafford next summer.
Nothing is confirmed yet by any means, but perhaps United’s future post-Fergie is slowly starting to reveal itself.
Argentine forward and Barcelona ace player Lionel Messi has credited his club the Spanish giants on their readiness on the challenge of competing on all the tournaments this season.
Barca appeared on course to retain both their league and Champions League triumphs as last season drew to a close.
But they were knocked out of Europe’s premier club competition by Chelsea in the semi-finals and lost their domestic crown to Real Madrid.
He admitted that as always, he would have loved to win the champions league last season and every other tournaments as it has been their trademark for a while now.
He said further that not beating Chelsea who were crowned the new European Champions last season and playing the final was painful for Barcelona and the most painful for him was the penalty he missed but all that is behind now because Barcelona will be going all out for laurels again for they are very prepared.
The Argentine said although new coach Tito Vilanova had a different personality to previous boss Pep Guardiola, his approach to football is the same.
Former Barcelona boss, Pep Guardiola and England’s former coach, Fabio Capello are amongst the high profiled candidates running eagerly for the position of Russia coach.
The Russian Football Union (RFU) revealed on Tuesday that the union is planning to discuss further with the contenders so as to determine who takes up the job as head coach of the National team.
Other top contenders for the position are Harry Redknapp who is the former boss of Tottenham Hotspur, former Liverpool boss, Rafael Benitez, Marcelo Bielsa and Marcelo Lippi.
Local media and football pundits tipped Capello and Guardiola who are the early front-runners as possible two contenders after the filtering must have been completed but also ruled the chances any Russian taking up the position as Valery Gazzayev, Anatoly Byshovets and Yuri Semin, who coached the national team in the past but were sacked or quit following a string of poor results were amongst the list as Russians.
Much against the will of the Russian Football Union the list of the candidates were released claiming it was due to intense media speculation about the job, which became vacant following Dutchman Dick Advocaat’s departure after Russia’s failure to get past the group phase at Euro 2012.
One name conspicuous by its absence was Manchester City’s Italian manager Roberto Mancini who agreed a new five-year contract with the English Premier League champions on Monday.
On Monday, Russian media, quoting RFU and Sports Ministry sources, said Mancini had agreed a four-year deal to become Russia’s new coach after officials found a “signed contract” in the safe of former RFU chief Sergei Fursenko.
The sporting board of Barcelona has made a list of their priority summer transfer target and Gareth Bale is the topmost on their mind so far.
The 22 year old Gareth Bale has been considered to be the perfect long-term replacement for Eric Abidal, who underwent a liver transplant last week by the sporting board of Barcelona.
Scouts for the Spanish club has been following the performances of the 22 year old for a while now but the game that finally sealed the decision to do a follow-up on signing the player was the 3-1 win at Fulham last November, when he set up Aaron Lennon for Spurs’ second goal.
Also on the list of the sporting board is Brazilian Neymar who plays for Santos but is shrinking from meeting the buy-out clause in his contract, which reportedly rose from pounds 37 million when he renewed his deal last November.
However the move on Neymar has been postponed till after the 2014 World Cup.
The heat has been turned on for the signature of Gareth Bale away from Tottenham Hotspur as he is the man Barcelona’s board would most like to see in the blaugrana but the issue surrounding the signing is that of Guardiola’s new contract negotiation which has been tied to that Bale too and there seem to be a fallout between the board and coach Guardiola as the latter kept delaying the contract extension move, therefore the his options open which is why his relationship with the board has been strained this season.
On the close-season transfer movements, Guardiola is yet to make any commitment too as he has the final say on who to buy and why buy who and this will only work if he pledges to stay another one year with Barcelona; still going back to sign his contract extension.
Going back to Bale, he is one the major players Tottenham Hotspur as he was nominated as the 2011 Player of the Year by the Professional Footballers’ Association, he has scored 23 goals over the past two seasons, including a San-Siro hat-trick against Inter in the Champions League 18 months ago and this has made him one the most expensive player for the club and the club management months ago warned potential scouts and clubs to back off their players as a lot of money has been spent to acquire their signature which they also do not intend to let go just yet.
But this has deterred Barcelona from going after the player as he has three years left to lace boots for Tottenham.
The board will be hoping that Guardiola will be moved by the player’s profile to make a quick replacement for the left-back position and also Bale is seen as an added advantage as the attack will be sharper.
The Spanish club is looking to sell one major player in their squad and it was David Villa initially but due to the injury sustained during a game and a surgery afterwards attentions turned to Alves who is presently facing a divorce that is set to cost him millions in alimony, there are hints the Brazilian will make himself available for transfer to generate a big payday.
And in that event Barcelona would replace him with the more defensively minded Martin Montoya and seek to shift their attacking focus to the left flank, explaining the move for Bale, a player who has not been comfortable as an orthodox left-back.
Although English players imported to Spanish clubs proved less their abilities during their stay in the Spanish clubs but Barcelona board are willing to give it a go even though Guardiola may sound his disapproval to the Welshman’s move to Barcelona.