Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde confessed ‘we thought winning the League was impossible in August’ after Saturday’s 2-1 win against Valencia.
Barca were trounced by Real Madrid in the Supercopa and lost Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain at the start of the season, but they have since opened a 14-point lead at the top of La Liga and could be crowned champions in as early as two weeks.
“We marked this match in red before the week we had. Imagine how we marked it after the week…” the Coach said after the game.
“We marked it with more colours. We had to take a step forward, it was crucial. Now we have seven points left [for the title].
“Valencia were on a run of 25 points out of 27 and are having an exceptional season. We have 18 left to play for and we have six or seven to go.
“We also came into the match from the week we had as a club. There was a depressive atmosphere, where everything falls apart when you lose.
“We had to show our faces after such a tough defeat. I have to congratulate the players for doing so, it wasn’t easy.
“They also endured disappointment and their attitude was to go for the game. They had great responsibility on their shoulders.
“The fans were very good. We needed them. We know we failed in Rome, but we intend to look ahead. We have important things to achieve and we won’t lose face.
“We were already a team that come together during difficult times. Today we played against the third-placed team.
“In August, we thought winning the League was impossible. This week’s situation is comparable to that of eight or nine months ago.
“We’d all wound down: the coaches, players, kit-men, even the Press officer. There have been moments of anger, but we had to pull ahead and show heart on the pitch.”