It was close, it was exciting, but we can now say there is a new champion that conquered La Liga. For the first time in a decade, a team not named Barcelona or Real Madrid has won the La Liga title.
Spoiler alert, in case you haven’t heard, ATLETICO MADRID is the new La Liga Champions!
The red-and-whites secured a draw against Barcelona to finish the season with 90 points, good enough to crown themselves champions and claim the La Liga title for the first time since 1996.
The match began with Atletico Madrid creating so many scoring chances that it was a question of when, not if, Atletico would find the net. Unfortunately for Atletico, it was not the case as a brilliant strike from Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez sailed into the goal just before half-time.
If it could hold its one-point lead, Barcelona, not Atletico, would have emerged as champions of La Liga. Such was not the case however, as Atletico’s Diego Godin netted the equalizer after halftime to force the draw that gave Atletico the title.
Despite emerging as champions, Atletico has some reasons for concern as injuries continue to mount just a week before its Champions League final match against Real Madrid.
Diego Costa aggravated his lingering hamstring injury which leaves him questionable for the Champions League final. Arda Turan also left the pitch after colliding with Barcelona’s Cesc Fabregas. Turan and Costa watched the remainder of the game in tears, knowing that their injuries may cause them to miss next week’s game against Real.
Coach Diego Simeone can still be proud of what his team his team accomplished, considering Atletico emerged from the shadows of the two biggest teams in Spain to shock everyone.
Win or lose next week, Atletico Madrid has changed the Spanish League, and has shown everyone that they are also willing to fight for a spot at the top.
As for Barcelona, Coach Gerardo Martino tweaked the starting lineup by leaving Xavi Hernandez on the bench. Martino also left out Brazilian sensation Neymar, inserting Pedro Rodriguez instead. Sergio Busquets also left due to injury.
Barcelona ends its season trophy-less with no Champions League cup, no King’s Cup, no Liga title, causing Martino to resign, claiming the move was a mutual decision between him and Barcelona. They can take solace with a World Cup less than a month away in which most of the players will be with their national teams.
(Over 90,000 fans attended the title deciding match, and they stayed and applauded the winning squad, Atletico Madrid. A beautiful sight for a beautiful game.)
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