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Real Madrid win record-extending 36th La Liga title after Barcelona lose against Girona


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Real Madrid asserted their dominance in Spanish football by clinching the league title with four games to spare, dashing the hopes of their closest rivals, Barcelona, in a season where silverware had eluded the Catalan giants. Madrid’s comprehensive 3-0 victory over relegation-threatened Cadiz, even with a lineup predominantly of bench players, was enough to secure the title as Barcelona stumble to a 4-2 defeat against Girona.

Real Madrid’s Spanish forward #14 Joselu (L) celebrates scoring his team’s third goal, with Real Madrid’s Spanish defender #06 Nacho Fernandez vs Cadiz(AFP)

Barcelona trail Real Madrid by an insurmountable 14 points now, thus sealing the latter’s league title. With Girona leapfrogging Barcelona into second place, Madrid’s coronation as La Liga champions for the 36th time was confirmed, marking another chapter in the club’s illustrious history.

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With the league title secured, Real Madrid now shift their focus to the prestigious Champions League, where they aim to add to their unparalleled tally of 14 European Cups. The upcoming semifinal clash against Bayern Munich holds immense significance as Madrid strive to continue their quest for continental supremacy. The first-leg draw in Germany sets the stage for a thrilling encounter at the Santiago Bernabéu, with both teams locked in a tense battle for a spot in the final.

The club said that it will hold off on the traditional celebration of titles in downtown Madrid until next Saturday, with its important game against Bayern coming first.

“We deserved this league title in every way,” Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said after guiding his team to the second league title and 12th trophy overall in his two stints with Madrid.

“We would like to celebrate with all the fans, but they understand because on Wednesday we have a very important challenge. We want to prepare well to make the fans happy, and we will celebrate the title together on Saturday.”

Interestingly, at the start of their campaign, it seemed Barcelona were the favourites, with Real Madrid losing their star forward Karim Benzema. Additioanlly, goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defenders David Alaba and Eder Militao also sustained serious leg injuries. However, youngster Jude Bellingham stepped up with consistent performances for the side; his goals and leadership in the midfield, complimented brilliantly by Vinicius Junior, put Real Madrid ahead of the rest of the sides.

Madrid has only lost once in 34 rounds so far, beat Barcelona in both league “clasico” matches, and dealt Girona a pair of lopsided losses in their two meetings.


Ancelotti overhauled his lineup ahead of the decider against Bayern. Center-back Nacho Fernández was the only starter from the first leg against Bayern to begin against Cadiz.

Brahim Díaz broke through Cadiz’s defence in the 51st minute at the Santiago Bernabeu on Saturday when the forward rifled a shot from the edge of the box into the top corner.

Season standout Bellingham tapped in a second goal in the 68th, moments after going on as a substitute to put the result beyond doubt with his 18th league goal of the campaign. Joselu Mato added a third in injury time.


Xavi’s team suffered the double blow of watching Madrid claim the title because of its loss while at the same time falling behind Girona in a second big loss in the Catalan derby this season. Girona pushed Barcelona into third place at 14 points behind Madrid.

Girona locked up a top-four finish and Champions League berth after opening a 13-point gap over Athletic Bilbao in fifth.

Girona is now on track to create an issue for UEFA, which has rules designed to protect the Champions League from having two or more clubs in the same ownership group. Girona and Manchester City are both part of the City Football Group, backed by the Abu Dhabi royal family.

Girona can also deprive Barcelona of a lucrative spot in the Spanish Super Cup if it holds onto second place.

“We had the game under control and then gave it away, and that is a summary of our season,” Xavi said. “The same thing happened in the two games against Madrid and in the other game against Girona, and it is very tough to compete like that. We have to change many things if we want to compete next season.”

(With inputs from AP)

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