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No doubting that Barcelona’s dominance of La Liga proves their credentials

10 for Messi, eight in 11 for Barca, two in two for Valverde

FC Barcelona v Levante UD - La Liga Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

It wasn’t quite the fiesta that everyone expected but Barcelona got the job done and that’s surely all that matters at this stage.

Ernesto Valverde has never been the most popular coach amongst cules, but let’s firstly tip our collective hats to a man who has won two La Liga titles in his two seasons as Barca coach, losing just three games in the process.

Unbeaten in the domestic competition since November, whichever way you dress it up, that is a sensational record. To knock him for one poor Champions League night in Rome is inherently wrong.

The best teams are generally considered to be those who’ve won their domestic competition, and in the last decade no one in Spain has come close to matching Barca’s superiority.

Lionel Messi’s 10th league title - more than any other player in club history - was poetic, given that the winning goal would be scored by the Argentinian. As captain, he’s led from the front throughout this campaign.

He’s been relied upon to deliver the goods again throughout 2018/19 - something he’s done with incessant relish - but perhaps more than ever, he’s been front and centre in virtually every game he’s played.

I genuinely can’t recall a performance from him in 2018/19 that has been below par, and like the finest of vintage wines, Messi is maturing with age. There won’t be too many arguments, if any at all, that this has been one of his best seasons in an individual level.

Right from the off, from his first words as captain before the Joan Gamper Trophy, we knew he was focused, but it’s all well and good setting out your ambitions at the beginning of the season. To then go on and deliver at the consistently high level he has takes a very special player indeed. But then we knew that already, right?!

His example has clearly rubbed off on his team-mates too, with the starkest change coming in Ousmane Dembele’s level of performance, albeit the Frenchman was off the pace against Levante and may have hindered his chances of getting a start against Liverpool.

Arturo Vidal and Clement Lenglet have been two high-quality additions whilst Arthur Melo has been a revelation.

Sure, there’s been the odd hiccup, including some head-scratching winter signings, but by and large this has been a successful campaign. One where we’ve made the difficult look routine... again.

They’ll have to work incredibly hard for it, but a third treble in 10 seasons for this team would be a fitting way to end 2028/19.

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