FC Barcelona deservedly sealed their 26th La Liga title on Saturday. Lionel Messi, who came off the bench to score the only goal in a 1-0 win over Levante, celebrated a remarkable eighth league crown in 11 years.
Barcelona’s captain decided the game and the title in the 62nd minute after he received a header from Arturo Vidal, and effortlessly freeing himself from two defenders with his right foot before using his left to put the ball into the far bottom corner.
The Argentinian maestro needed just over a quarter of an hour to have the desired effect, scoring his 34th league goal in 32 appearances this season. Barcelona lead the standings on 83 points after 35 games, nine clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid with three matches left and an unassailable advantage due to their superior head-to-head record.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid suffered their 10th loss of the season, leaving them 18 points behind league winners Barcelona and nine points behind rivals Atletico Madrid. On Wednesday, Barcelona will take the first step in their bid to win a third treble in a decade when they play Liverpool. Both teams go into this clash following impressive campaigns in their respective domestic leagues.
Liverpool are just one step away from repeating their run to the UEFA final like last season, while Barcelona will be aiming to reach the final of Europe’s most sought after trophy for the first time since 2015. Barcelona play Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on the 25th of May.