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Jose masterminds Real coup

sports Updated: May 04, 2012 01:43 IST
Jose Mourinho

Winning the title in four major European nations might never be repeated and the fact Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho has overcome the great Barcelona to achieve the feat makes his success even more remarkable.

Real, who have smashed the La Liga scoring record, clinched their 32nd league crown and their first in four years when Gonzalo Higuain, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo struck in a frenetic 3-0 win at 10-man Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

It went some way to easing their pain after a defeat on penalties to Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals last week.

Lionel Messi's record-breaking hat-trick in Barcelona's 4-1 victory at home to Malaga in the earlier kickoff had kept alive Catalan hopes of catching their rivals but Real swept Europa League finalists Bilbao aside.

They have a seven-point lead with only two games left.

Mourinho becomes the first man to win league titles in his native Portugal (Porto), England (Chelsea), Italy (Inter Milan)and Spain and has ended Barca's three-year stranglehold on the title, the club where he was an assistant coach in the 1990s.

Their success has been largely down to the awesome firepower of their front line, with Ronaldo racking up 44 goals, Higuain netting 22 and Karim Benzema 20, the first time three players from the same club have passed the 20 mark. Mourinho also gave an expensively-assembled group of players the self-belief that allowed them to get the better of Barca, widely regarded as one of the best teams of all time.