FC Barcelona have been named champions of La Liga Santander, with four games still to play. StoryHub looks at the Blaugrana team’s journey to the title, which they have not won since 2018-19.
FC Barcelona have been the most consistent team throughout the season, with only three defeats in the 34 matches.
Xavi Hernández won his first league title as Barcelona coach after just a year-and-a-half at the helm, and four games before the end of La Liga.
Interestingly, Espanyol has again been in the champion’s scene as FC Barcelona sealed their trophy title with a 4-2 win away at their neighbour’s home. Last season, Real Madrid won the title after beating the ‘Pericos’ 4-0.
Barca president Joan Laporta, through Movistar Plus, did not forget his biggest rival Real Madrid; providing his opinion on which Spanish team has had a better season, he said: “The team that wins the league is the best team in the season.”
Barcelona have spent 22 matchdays at the top of the table. They climbed to the top for the first time on matchday 13, lost the lead on matchday 15 to Real Madrid and regained it again on matchday 16, until they won the title.
LA LIGA CHAMP🏆ONS! pic.twitter.com/enrozFf9gs
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 14, 2023
During the season, FC Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen has broken all the clean sheet records – notching up 25. In 34 games, the German goalkeeper has only conceded 13 goals. A record never seen before in the top flight.
Barcelona’s 27th title was born from the defence. Compared to other years, the way to win was usually by deploying an offensive display that overwhelmed the rivals.
After a revolution in the market, Jules Koundé, Andreas Christensen and Marcos Alonso arrived to shore up a defence in which the Frenchman and Ronald Araujo have been great pillars, as has Christensen, who has fallen on his feet at Camp Nou.
Barcelona survived in midfield with the loss of Pedri and with the well-experienced expert of Sergio Busquets, who won his last title as a Cule after announcing this was his last season wearing the Blaugrana shirt.
In attack, Robert Lewandowski has made a special contribution to regaining the title lost three years ago, scoring 21 goals in La Liga and being the maximum goal scorer for the moment. In fact, never in the 21st century have they taken so long to win a title, since those won between 1999 and 2005.
After winning the Spanish Super Cup last January, Xavi now has his first league title after a great season achieving more than 85 points in the entire year.
He joins James Bellamy, Josep Samitier, Rinus Michels, Terry Venables and Tito Vilanova as Barcelona coaches with a league title.
He is also the 15th coach in the history of the ‘culé’ club to win the Primera División. Johan Cruyff, with four, and Pep Guardiola, with three, are the coaches with the most titles.
Together with Ter Stegen, Lewandowski’s goals, especially before the World Cup, the solidarity of the team, embodied by Gavi who has given Barcelona a competitive edge that has not been seen for a long time, the physical ability of De Jong, the flashes of Dembélé, Raphinha’s good numbers in goals and assists and the talent of Pedri, weakened by injury, have allowed Xavi to win his first major title as a coach. The journey has begun.