Déjà vu: Barcelona win it all over again
Pep Guardiola proved to be Real Madrid's nemesis once again as his Barcelona side defeated their expensive 'Galacticos' in both 'El Clasicos' and retained La Liga on the final day of the season.sports Updated: May 18, 2010 00:22 IST
Pep Guardiola proved to be Real Madrid's nemesis once again as his Barcelona side defeated their expensive 'Galacticos' in both 'El Clasicos' and retained La Liga on the final day of the season. Barca beat Valladolid 4-0, while Real were held to a 1-1 draw at Malaga.
A record 99 points saw Barca crowned league champions ahead of Real and the club also won the European Super Cup, Spanish Super Cup and a first ever World Club championship. Real ended up empty-handed as Guardiola masterminded two 'El Clasico' wins (1-0, 2-0) over Madrid.
Guardiola's summer signings had mixed reviews with club record signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic starting well before ending the season on the substitutes bench.
Ukraine centreback Dimitro Chigrinsky, 23, also spent most of the season on the bench following his 25 million euro move from Shakhtar Donetsk although Guardiola has tipped him to come good.
Brazilian leftback Maxwell, a summer signing from Inter Milan, had a fine debut season while Guardiola unearthed a new gem from the youth system in Pedro Rodriguez.
Pedro, 22, was playing in the Spanish third division a few years ago but ended up demoting Thierry Henry and becoming a first team regular.
For next season the rumours are that Valencia's Spanish star David Villa will join as doubts surround the future of Ibrahimovic while Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas, a product of Barca's youth system, is a long-term target.
Spanish press hails 'record' champions
The Spanish press hailed Barca on Monday as the “best team in the history of La Liga” after they won a second consecutive title. “In seventh heaven," headlined the Catalan daily El Periodico.
“Champion of champions,” said El Mundo. “Barcelona was crowned as the best team in the history of La Liga.”
“The Guardiola era continues,” said Publico. “Title with record,” headlined the sports newspaper AS.
“Barca wins the best league,” was the headline in Spain's leading daily El Pais, whilethe Catalan paper La Vanguardia said “Barca conquers the league of records.”
“Barca, the legitimate champions of La Liga,” said sports daily Marca, which also took aim at its favourite target, Real coach Manuel Pellegrino. “You are fired Manolo,” it said.
Barca fans arrested after police clash
Barcelona: Barca fans celebrating the side's La Liga title were involved in clashes with the police in the city centre late on Sunday night.
There were 104 arrests and 119 people were treated for injuries, though none were serious, the local police said.
Some 40,000 fans congregated near the Canaletas fountain after Barca's win over Valladolid at the Nou Camp, but the festive atmosphere turned ugly after midnight.
Some people started trying to pull down a huge advertising poster attached to scaffolding across a building in the square, and set parts of it alight. The police moved in and there were running battles in the streets, with missiles being thrown, phone booths smashed and bins set alight in the city centre.
Messi wins Golden Shoe award
Madrid: Lionel Messi added the European Golden Shoe to his growing list of awards after scoring twice against Valladolid, to finish the season with 34 goals. Rankings on www.eurotopfoot.com showed the striker had amassed 68 points, 10 more than closest rivals Didier Drogba (Chelsea) and Antonio Di Natale (Udinese) who scored 29 each.
“Messi is the best I have ever seen, of this there is no doubt,” Guardiola told reporters on Sunday.
“As well as being a winner he has great ambition. At 3-0 up, with the league in the bag, he continued chasing as hard as anyone else. He's impossible to emulate.”
First Published: May 18, 2010 00:14 IST