Madrid (AFP) – Lionel Messi revelled in Barcelona’s seventh La Liga title in 10 seasons on Sunday, saying his team were “far superior” to their domestic rivals during their double-winning campaign.
The Argentinian star scored a brilliant 30th La Liga hat-trick as Barca survived a scare to beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-2, wrapping up the club’s 25th league title with four matches to spare and keeping their hopes of an unbeaten season alive.
“We have been far superior to our rivals, we haven’t lost a match during the whole season,” Messi told Barcelona’s in-house television channel.
“It’s a very special Liga in that sense, because we haven’t lost a single match. We’ve had some tough times and we’ve overcome everything without losing, which is unbelievable.”
Regaining the top-flight crown from Real Madrid also secured Barcelona their third double in four years after thrashing Sevilla 5-0 in last weekend’s Copa del Rey final.
The only blemish on their season was a stunning Champions League quarter-final loss to Roma when they blew a 4-1 first-leg lead to be dumped out at the Stadio Olimpico.
“We lost just one in the Cup and disappointingly another in the Champions League,” added Messi, who leads the La Liga scoring charts with 32 goals this term.
“That was an unexpected result in view of our shape. But we take a lot of merit to win a title as difficult as this without losing a game.”
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner also paid tribute to captain Andres Iniesta.
The 33-year-old midfielder came off the bench in the 87th minute at Deportivo to make his 670th Barcelona appearance just two days after announcing that he will leave the club at the end of the season.
“It’s a shame for us and the club, but he deserved to go like that,” said Messi.
“We deplore what happened in the Champions League, it prevented him from going out with a treble, but he’s leaving in an impressive fashion.
“This double is more than deserved for Andres, for all he has given to this club. I am very happy for him and wish him all the best.”