Barcelona have won La Liga for the first time in four years, securing the Spanish crown with a 4-2 win against Espanyol on Sunday.
A Robert Lewandowski double and first Barca goals from Alejandro Balde and Jules Kounde saw the Catalan side wrap up the victory in the Catalan derby and put them 14 points clear of Real Madrid with four games left to play.
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Barca have been dominant on the domestic front, sitting top of the table since matchday 13 to win the title in club legend Xavi’s debut season as coach. The Catalan side have been almost impenetrable in La Liga, conceding just 13 times in 34 matches to hold the best defensive record in Europe’s top five leagues.
Despite their excellent league performances, the season has hardly been smooth for the Camp Nou club. They failed miserably in Europe, crashing out of the Champions League at the group stage and then being eliminated from the Europa League at the knockout play-off round by Manchester United.
With the title in their hands, the club can start preparing for next season. However, the team that will attempt to defend their crown could look much different from this season’s champions. Barca icon Lionel Messi has been linked with a return back to Camp Nou, but he may still be too expensive for them to sign and they face competition from MLS side Inter Miami and Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.
Meanwhile, Messi’s old team-mate Sergio Busquets is on his way out after a glittering career in Catalunya and may end up at MLS after his contract expires this summer. Brazilian winger Raphinha may also be sold as the club look to raise funds, with Newcastle said to be willing to pay big money for the ex-Leeds star.
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They are also said to be willing to part ways with academy graduate Ansu Fati as they look to bring in Ruben Neves from Wolves.
In the background, director of football Mateu Alemany will depart but only after he helps conduct some of their transfer business before the 2023-24 campaign gets underway.
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Photo Credit: Getty