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Thursday, May 3, 2012

Worthy Champions Real Madrid Dethrone Barcelona to La Liga Crown

If there was any club that was ever going to end Barcelona’s three-year reign as La Liga Champions, it could only be one; their greatest rivals, Real Madrid.

And the team from the Spanish capital did just that Wednesday night when they overcame a tricky Athletic Bilbao side 3-0 to secure the trophy with two games to spare. Gonzalo Higuian, Mesut Ozil and Cristiano Ronaldo were all on target for the Los Blancos as they ended three seasons of playing second fiddle to Barcelona.

Bernd Schuster, Juande Ramos and Manuel Pellegrini were all brought in by the club’s Presidents Ramon Calderon and then Florentino Perez but they all failed to topple Barcelona in the league. Then, in the summer of 2010, the self-christened ‘Special One’ Jose Mario Do Santos Mourinho Felix made his entry to the Bernabeu from a well-done Italian job with Inter Milan.

His aim? Dislodging a team that was described by many as the greatest on earth from the top. And so as they say, the rest is history. Mourinho failed in his first season in charge, winning only the Copa del Rey which is coincidentally the only cup Barca might get their hands on this season should they overcome Athletic Bilbao in the final. However, no one was ever going to deny the Portuguese, one of the best coaches the modern game has to offer, the Liga BBVA at the second time of asking.

All the doubts had been cast when Madrid saw their 10-point lead cut to just 4 points ahead of an El Clasico encounter on the enemy’s Camp Nou backyard. Real had tried in vain to beat Pep Guardiola’s side in La Liga over the past two seasons but Cristiano Ronaldo had the last laugh this night, scoring the winner as the game ended 2-1 in favour of the Los Merengues who stretched their lead to seven points with four games remaining. It was now a case of when, rather than if, the Mou Team will be crowned champions for the first time since 2008.

The visit to San Mames was preceded with the news that Barcelona had crashed Champions League chasing Malaga 4-1 with Lionel Messi hitting a hat-trick that not only took his goal tally to 68 this season but also made him the all-time European goalscorer in a single season.

But Madrid responded in a champion-esque fashion rolling past a team which has always been a tricky fixture for them. But not on this night. Two goals on the opening half from Ozil and Higuain had everyone lifting up their glasses and by the time CR7 added the third in the second half, the champagne was already popping up across the capital and beyond.

Madrid had claimed their first title since 2008 and 32nd overall, 11 ahead of their dethroned Catalunya rivals. A flood of goals made it all possible with Real smashing the 1989-90 La Liga goalscoring record of 107 goals having so far netted 115 times, and counting. At the center of this has been three musketeers, with Cristiano Ronaldo taking the leading role with 44 goals thus far and his perfect supporting act of Gonzalo Higuain and Karim Benzema banging in 22 and 20 goals respectively.

But none of these players’ achievements can eclipse that of the Mourinho who has become the first man to win league titles in Portugal (Porto), England (Chelsea), Italy (Inter Milan) and Spain (Real Madrid). It's seven league title in 10 years for the Special One. Only Jose Mourinho can do that.

And it’s not over yet. Madrid might as well become the first Spanish team to record the seemingly impossible 100 points in a season. To do that, they will have to win their remaining two fixtures, away to Granada and then weloming Real Mallorca at the Bernabeu.

2012 has been a success for the Los Blancos in spite of missing out on the Champions League final. 2012-13 season awaits. Until then, the whites can sit back and enjoy their 32nd league title.

And That's thesteifmastertake!!