At the end of 90 minutes on the eve of Thursday, it was Real Madrid that the trophy went home with. And for Barcelona, it was just another sad evening since the resumption of the league in early June.
A 2-1 Barcelona loss to Osasuna in Camp Nou sealed it for the Blancos who secured their side of the bargain by ensuring a 2-1 win over Villareal.
The Spanish La Liga took a drastic turn at the resumption of the league in June. The coronavirus pandemic forced a pause in sports activities in March, when the league was still under Barcelona’s leadership. But Barcelona gave up their lead and eventually the hope of winning the 2019/20 league season through consistent draws and a loss. Real Madrid who had been following the league leaders, waiting for a slip up cashed in and held on to the top of the table.
It is the 34th league title of the Madrid side, and the second under the tutelage of the club’s legend, Zinedine Zidane, who attributed the win to his players’ resilience.
“La Liga is always the most difficult title. After three months at home, coming back hungry and having done this is incredible. I have no words. I’m happy for the players, because they are the ones who fight,” he said.
The league run was shaky in the beginning as Real Madrid struggled to stay on the top of the table. But things turned around for the galacticos after the second leg of el classico, when they beat Barcelona 2-0 to close the table gap.
Consequently, the players showed determination to dethrone Barcelona, by conceding fewer goals and scoring more. Midfielder Toni Kroos said it’s a sign of togetherness.
“The idea when we started the season was to win this league and we have done it. We have received few goals and that is a sign that we are all working together. I am very happy because we deserved this title,” Kroos said.
The outstanding display of commitment by each Madrid player, led by captain Sergio Ramos, paid off eventually, and they have themselves to thank for it.
“Winning La Liga is always a joy, because this trophy rewards regularity,” said Ramos.
“We have made an impressive League final winning ten games in row. I have been able to enjoy with my teammates and I am happy because I have achieved another League with this club,” Marco Asensio said.
The 2019/20 league season was marred by the pandemic, forcing players to play indoor and restricting fans from attending games. Moreover, the absence of goal machine, Cristiano Ronaldo, in Real Madrid was expected to hinder the team’s chances of winning any trophy for now.
But the players defied the odds to maintain a winning mentality, a fact the club president, Florentino Perez acknowledged, even though he has been accused of cheating his way to the top.
Perez has been accused of using his influence to decide matches. It is believed that the VAR technology and referees make decisions to favor Real Madrid in matches, as is seen in the number of controversial penalties that got awarded to them. But Perez said the players worked their way to the wins and deserve accolades.
“Although the fans were not in the stands, we felt them in our hearts. The players have had the mentality to return with the desire to win this title. The strength and energy they had is something that everyone has been able to see. This League will go down in the history of Real Madrid,” he said.
On the other side of Spain, Barcelona, it is quite cold between the players and supporters. The club had sacked their former coach, Ernesto Valverde, mid-season, in a bid to win the league. Unfortunately, the new coach, Quique Setien watched helplessly as the league slipped into the waiting hands of Real Madrid.
Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, who is leading La Liga goal scorers with 23 goals and 20 assists, said the club lost the league because the team has been playing badly.
He said: “If we want to win the Champions League, we need to change many things and get more serious. If we continue like this, we will lose against Napoli, and we will not win the Champions League.”
Barcelona is counting on the Champions League to take a trophy home this season. Messi who has been critical of the club’s president and board believes a lot of changes have to be made for that to happen.
However, the Catalonian giants have congratulated Real Madrid for winning the 2019/20 La Liga.