FC Barcelona are the 2015/16 league champions. They have won the title for the 24th time, and the sixth time in eight years sparking off dramatic scenes in Granada, where the final game was played, back home in Barcelona and all around the world where millions of fans celebrated in unison.
We have picked ten of the greatest moments from yet another remarkable Liga campaign for the Catalans:
– Solid start. Barça beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at San Mamés in the opening weekend, with Luis Suárez claiming the first goal of the campaign. Three more wins would follow, 1-0 at home to Malaga, 2-1 at Atlético Madrid and 4-1 against Levante. That was eight goals for and just two against.
– Suárez and Neymar take control. Messi suffered an injury against Las Palmas, but the other two members of the trident kept the charge going in his absence. Suárez got ten goals while the Argentinian was side-lined, including a hat-trick against Eibar, while Neymar got nine of his own, including four against Rayo and a stellar performance against Villarreal.
– Delight at the Bernabéu. If there was a single highlight of the year, then it has to be the 4-0 defeat of Real Madrid on their home patch. Suárez got two goals and Neymar and Iniesta got the others, but it was the fantastic performance by the team as a whole that got the world gushing with admiration.
– Return of Messi. The Argentinian made his comeback in the second half against Real Madrid, and a week later, against Real Sociedad, he was back in the starting XI and able to celebrate with an injury time goal that made it 4-0 to Barça.
– No knock-on effect of Club World Cup. There was no hangover after the successful trip to Japan, with Barça getting straight back to business with a 4-0 defeat of Betis at the Camp Nou. The game with Sporting, which had to be postponed because of the intercontinental tournament, would also see Barça take the three points.
– Atlético Madrid beaten again. Barça had come from behind after conceding to Torres in the first meeting, with Neymar and Messi getting the goals, and history repeated the second time round. This time Koke scored the opener, but Messi and Suárez made it 2-1, a huge result because it also meant Barça now had a better head-to-record on one of their main rivals for the title.
– Historic run. FC Barcelona went for 39 official matches without defeat, a Spanish record. Those included 23 consecutive games in the league.
– Huge wins. April was not a great month for Barça, and they slipped from being runaway leaders to only narrowly holding on to top spot. But they bounced back with an 8-0 drubbing of Deportivo and then got six against Sporting. A great response after losing three league games in a row.
– Five star derby. FC Barcelona confidently disposed of Espanyol 5-0 with goals from Messi, Suárez (2), Rafinha and Neymar. Atlético lost that weekend to Levante, leaving only Barça and Real Madrid in contention on the final day.
– Champions! Barça knew a victory on the final weekend of the season would hand them the league title. Real Madrid were just a point behind and poised to take advantage of any slip from the blaugranes but Luis Enrique’s team closed the door firmly on their great rivals, Luis Suárez’s hat trick in the 3-0 win at Granada securing the league championship and with 40 goals in the season, the honour of top scorer not only in La Liga but also in Europe.
Source: FC Barcelona