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Messi fires Barca to eighth La Liga title in 11 years

Madrid:   Lionel Messi clinched an eighth La Liga title for Barcelona in 11 seasons on Saturday as he scored the only goal in a 1-0 win at home to Levante.

The Argentine star struck his league-leading 34th goal of the campaign after coming off the bench for the second half to help Barca wrap up the title with three games remaining.

Barca hold a nine-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid, but the Catalans cannot be overtaken thanks to their superior head-to-head record. It is Barca 26th league title and nudges them closer to Real Madrid record of 33 in Spain.

“To win the title with a distance and gap is difficult with the rivals we have. We done it two years in a row,” Barca coach Ernesto Valverde told Movistar. “We happy and to see people enjoying it makes us proud. But we still have challenges ahead.”

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