Real Madrid clinch first La Liga title in four years | inside World Soccer

Real Madrid secured the La Liga title for the first time in four years - and a record 32nd time overall - after winning 3-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday.

Real Madrid players celebrate after winning the Spanish La Liga title
Real Madrid players celebrate after winning the Spanish La Liga title

Photo: Getty Images

Los Blancos entered the clash on a 20-match unbeaten run and they had little problems extending that against the Europa League finalists at the San Mamés.

Cristiano Ronaldo should have put Madrid ahead on 12 minutes but he spurned his chance from the penalty spot.

But the visitors did not have long to wait as just four minutes later Gonzalo Higuaín scored a terrific goal to open the scoring.

Mesut Özil doubled the lead in the 20th minute before Ronaldo sealed the victory just after the break with his 44th La Liga goal this season.

The win kept Los Merengues seven points ahead of Barcelona, whose 4-1 win over Málaga earlier merely delayed Madrid's celebrations by a matter of hours.

Real Madrid players toss coach José Mourinho after winning the Spanish La Liga title
Real Madrid players toss coach José Mourinho after winning the Spanish La Liga title

Photo: AP

The success also meant Madrid coach José Mourinho has now won the league title in four different countries following his triumphs with FC Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan.

Nevertheless, Mourinho sees the Liga title as the most difficult domestic trophy to win.

He told the club's website: "I have previously won titles in Portugal, England and Italy, but this one in Spain is the hardest title so far.

"We have played football of the highest quality. It's time to celebrate now. These players deserve it. The entire country has seen it and nobody will argue that we don't deserve the title.

"I dedicate this title to anyone who has helped us achieve this, and who has suffered."

Midfielder Xabi Alonso also feels the calibre of Madrid's opponent in the race for the league title makes this achievement even more special.

The Spain international said: "We finally managed to win La Liga. It's been a long season and there's a lot of merit in winning the title with two games left in the championship. We have to enjoy it now.

"We competed all season with a great opponent like Barcelona, and that's why there's so much merit in winning the title before the campaign ends. We've had a great run.

"We've been regular and consistent. I dedicate this to my family, friends and all Madridistas."



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