Ernesto Valverde Admits Relief After Barcelona Claim 25th La Liga Title With Win Over Depor

Ernesto Valverde admitted a sense of relief as a ​4-2 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday evening crowned the Catalans La Liga champions for the 25th time.

A stunning opening strike courtesy of Philippe Coutinho and a Lionel Messi hat-trick were enough to see off a dogged Depor, who themselves had relegation confirmed with the defeat. 

The victory secured Barca’s seventh league title in 10 years and also saw Blaugrana wrap up the eighth domestic double in their history after blowing away Sevilla 5-0 in the Copa del Rey final last weekend. 

However, despite getting his hands on his first-ever Spanish league crown, Valverde told ​ESPN post-match he was merely glad the race was over. 

“When you’re chasing something for the whole season, it’s more a feeling of ‘finally’ when you eventually get there,” he said. “At the end of the day, the league is such a long competition. 

“You have to make sure you get through autumn, through the tough winter […] and we have come through it all. We have got there with room to spare. I think we have been the best team.”

Barcelona’s domestic dominance has been tainted somewhat by their exit of the Champions League at the hands of Roma; where they surrendered a three-goal advantage to crash out of the competition, although, Valverde gives more credit to success in the league than any other.

“For me, La Liga is the most difficult competition to win,” he stated. “In the Copa and in the Champions League, one bad day can knock you out. But the league is a constant over many months, and you need to have resolve and determination.

“Because of how we were knocked out [of Europe], it marked us a little bit. It was unexpected. It’s difficult to do what we have done [domestically], but as we want to win everything, there’s always a but.”

The 54-year-old also praised vital parts of his squad’s constant winning mentality, with this the ninth league title won by Messi and Andres Iniesta and the seventh by Gerard Pique and Sergio Busquets.

“The most difficult thing is to keep winning,” the coach added. “Everyone has moments when they win once. The hardest thing is to keep on winning and winning and winning.

“Having to re-motivate yourself and staying at the top is the toughest thing in any sport. As Valero Rivera said: ‘The difficult thing is not winning, it is winning again.'”

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What is your perfect career in football?

Coach

Like a young Pep Guardiola, your passion for coaching and teaching others to improve shows you have the mind-set, skills and drive to make it as a Football Coach. All the greatest players have an even greater coach behind them!

Disability Support Manager

Your drive to support other members of the community sets you apart and shows you have the selfless characteristic to excel as a Disability Support Manager!

Journalist

Your thirst to travel the world in order to be at the forefront of the debate, along with your sharp eye for a story makes you a natural football journalist. You can’t wait to get out there and find the best action on and off the pitch!

Statistician

You know that numbers are just as exciting as goals, and your natural gift for the more analytical side of the game makes you a strong contender to go all the way to the Premier League as one of the industry’s most gifted statisticians.

TV Presenter

You know the name of every player, can talk faster than thought humanly possible, and your enthusiasm never falters – even when the game’s gone 10 minutes into extra time. Like the Premier League’s young and talented Kelly Somers, you’ve got the gift of the gab to excel in a career as a TV presenter!

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You love to be at the heart of the business side of the game, which could give you a real edge in a role such as a player’s agent, negotiating deals for clients!

Professional Player

Your passion for playing the sport means you belong on the field, competing with the 1% of players who make it to the very top of the game!

Accountant

You have a natural talent working with numbers, and an unstoppable passion for the beautiful game. Time to bring the two together to pursue your perfect career!

Pundit

You control the conversation, always offer a unique insight, and are never afraid to express your opinion in high pressured debates. This puts you in a very strong position to pursue a career in the limelight as a football pundit!

Photographer

You would travel to every corner of the globe to capture the action first hand, sharing your own unique perspective of the beautiful game, to create ever lasting memories for your passionate audience.

Physio

Feeling a responsibility to help others, while also wanting to be at the centre of the action, means a role such as physio could be the perfect role for you!

Groundsman

You see the pitch and everything about the stadium as a thing of beauty, and with a passion for working outside you would suit the life of a Club Groundsman!

Where is your ideal workspace?

What would you prefer?

What interests you more?

What’s your favourite subject in school?

What would you prefer to wear at work?

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