Bartomeu: A deserved title

Josep Maria Bartomeu believes Barcelona are deserving champions after the title was clinched against Atletico Madrid.

Lionel Messi scored as Barca beat the former champions, rendering Real Madrid’s win over Espanyol as meaningless.

“We’re very pleased. It’s a trophy, the League. It was an objective and the first one achieved,” Bartomeu said, according to AS.

“The season is very long and a lot of things happen. But in the end the League was deserved and we have shown we are united in all things. I congratulate everyone.

“It’s a trophy that’s been much anticipated. See how the players celebrate, and more with the new players, the joy is spectacular.

“The celebration will come on Sunday, after playing against Deportivo La Coruna.

“After this first step we go to the Copa del Rey. We don’t look beyond that. We concentrate and we work.

“We demand a lot and the players demonstrate it. In two days we’ll be focused on the competition.”

Bartomeu was asked specifically about Messi and Luis Enrique, the rookie Coach whose position was under threat earlier in the year.

“Messi scores a lot of goals but the whole team has shone. They played a very serious game,” he continued.

“He has always been the best player in the world. As Jorge Valdano said, the second best in the world is an injured Messi.

“Enrique has had a magnificent season as Coach. The results are there. The team and the players have come through changes without ending the cycle.

“The team is good, eager and fresh. Enrique has a contract for next year and I have no doubt he will fulfil his commitment.”

Bartomeu concluded by offering his thoughts on the reception Barca received from the Atleti fans, a year after Atleti won the title at Camp Nou.

“I had no doubt the people would react well. Last year the Camp Nou cheered them,” he recalled.

“This time the crowd applauded Barcelona. Enrique Cerezo has shown fair play and it counts for a lot.”

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