8 out of last 11 – Barcelona are the rulers of La Liga

Barcelona have their 26th LaLiga Santander title under their belts, having achieved their latest triumph with relative ease and confirming their status as champions with three games still to play.

It’s nothing new for the Catalans though and they have only failed to win three of the last 11 titles on offer, with Real Madrid claiming two and Atletico Madrid one.

The Blaugrana’s latest success, much like their last, has been helped along its way by Madrid’s complete collapse early in the season, though this year they remained at a lower level than in 2017/18.

Atletico Madrid did all they could, but it was clear to anyone who watched the Rojiblancos this year that the – misguidedly – put too many of their eggs in the Champions League basket.

But it would be unfair to take anything away from the Catalans, as their complete rule over Spanish football has been unquestionable. That they have the world’s best player in their squad obviously helps, and Lionel Messi delivers wins that simply wouldn’t come without him, as could be said for some of those eight titles in the last 11 years.

The podium is completed with Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique’s respective presences.

The no.9 has form a deadly understanding with Messi, while Pique has shaken off a rusty start to the campaign to deliver one of his best in the Blaugrana shirt, striking up an incredible wall at the back with Clement Lenglet.

These three have been key, though it’s impossible to overlook just how good Jordi Alba, Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Ousmane Dembele have been as well.

Alba was discarded from the Spanish setup by Luis Enrique, but forced his way back into the team after combining with Messi so effectively for Barcelona.

But they haven’t become champions themselves, and Ernesto Valverde has led them excellently from the sidelines, making this Barcelona the winning machine that they are.

The coach made changes when called for, and it’s in no small part down to him that they have won from losing positions ten times this term.

That stat also points towards the mentality these players have, as does the fact that they keep scoring late goals.

Barcelona can celebrate another LaLiga Santander title. It has been earned, but there are still challenges ahead. They can still win a treble, but they’ll have to be at their best to see off Liverpool in the Champions League semi-finals, before facing Valencia in the Copa del Rey.