Messi hat-trick seals Barca's 25th title in style
Madrid: Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was delighted that his side "finally" wrapped up a 25th La Liga title with four matches to spare, after a Lionel Messi hat-trick secured a thrilling 4-2 victory at Deportivo La Coruna.
Valverde's men completed a league and cup double after thrashing Sevilla 5-0 in last week's Copa del Rey final, regaining the Spanish crown from Real Madrid and relegating Deportivo in the process.
"When you chase it for so long you say 'finally'," he told Spanish television yesterday. "I feel very happy because in the end the league is very long, it starts in August... and when spring arrives everything is decided, we have passed everything.
"We've been pursuing it since the beginning, we have been in the lead, we've finished well, with a big margin... It's the first La Liga that I've won."
The only blip on the Catalans' season was the stunning Champions League quarter-final loss at Roma when they blew a 4-1 first-leg lead.
"The elimination (by Roma) marked us a little bit because it was unexpected, but out trajectory has been extraordinary," added Valverde.
There is always a small 'but', but we'll try again next year."