Real Madrid has officially won La Liga for the first time in five years after beating Malaga 2:0 at La Rosaleda. A draw for the Spanish soccer giants would’ve been enough to clinch the title, but Zinedine Zidane’s men turned up the heat one more time on the final day of the 2016/2017 season. Cristiano Ronaldo opened the scoring after just one minute, and Karim Benzema later got on the scoresheet as well and ensured that Barcelona could no longer catch up to Los Blancos.
In the meantime, Barcelona struggled against Eibar at home. The Catalans were initially trailing behind, with Eibar leading by two goals at one point. Eventually, Luis Enrique’s men regained control of the match and ultimately beat Eibar 4:2. Lionel Messi was awarded two penalties in the process but only managed to score one. The Argentine later redeemed himself by scoring a fantastic goal in extra time. Neymar and Luis Suarez each netted a goal as well.
The Catalan soccer club still had the opportunity to win the trophy as late as today but needed Malaga to beat Real Madrid in order for that to be possible. Barcelona has been a dominant force in the Spanish league in recent years and won the competition four out of five times in the last five seasons. The last time Real Madrid won La Liga was under Jose Mourinho, who currently manages Premier League side Manchester United.
Real Madrid’s La Liga win this season is a huge accomplishment, especially considering that this has been Zinedine Zidane’s first full season at the club. The World Cup winner took over from Rafa Benitez halfway through last season and has been hugely successful since. Under Zidane, Real Madrid won the Champions League against city rivals, Atletico Madrid, last year. This season, Los Blancos are in the final of the Champions League again and will face off against Juventus on June 3.
Evidently, Real Madrid has enjoyed a magnificent run under the management of Zidane, and a win against Juventus would be the cherry on top of their stellar season. If Zidane’s men overcome the Italian soccer giants, they will be the first team in history to win back-to-back Champions League trophies. Furthermore, Real Madrid has set an impressive record with their empathic victory over Malaga, according to Metro.
Ronaldo’s and Benzema’s goals on the final day of the season mean that the Real Madrid have scored in every La Liga game for the first time in their distinguished history. The Portuguese superstar is also the first player to score 40+ goals in seven consecutive seasons for Los Blancos – a remarkable feat to say the least.
However, his supposed archrival, Lionel Messi, ends the season as La Liga’s top scorer. The Argentine has 37 goals to his names, whereas Ronaldo sits in third place, behind Luis Suarez, with 25 goals. Suffice to say, the Portuguese superstar won’t be too bothered, considering he’s just won his second La Liga trophy during his eight years at Real Madrid.
But even though Barcelona failed to retain the league title this season, Luis Enrique and his team still have a shot at silverware. On May 27, Barcelona will face off against Alaves in the final of the Copa del Rey. The Catalans head into the match as clear favorites and will be hoping to clinch the trophy in order to have a triumphant send off for their manager. Enrique is, of course, set to leave Barcelona at the end of this season.
The 47-year-old has been a massive success during his time as Barcelona’s manager. During his debut season at the club, Enrique secured Barcelona’s second treble by winning La Liga, the Copa del Rey, as well as the Champions League.
[Featured Image by Daniel Tejedor/AP Images]