Friday, 4 May 2012

Soccer - Real Madrid win BBVA League

Real stars savour Liga triumph

Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo savoured his team's La Liga success on Thursday evening, claiming the title was fully deserved for their performances this season.

The capital club clinched their first La Liga crown since 2008 last night with a 3-0 victory at Athletic Bilbao. Coach Jose Mourinho and his players celebrated in customary fashion this evening by the Cibeles fountain, where thousands of Real Madrid fans were waiting to greet them after their open-top bus ride from the Bernabeu.

Ronaldo said: "I feel incredibly happy. This is my first Spanish league title and I'm delighted about it. We've had a spectacular season and the fans deserve this. The team also deserves the title because we've played phenomenally well. I am very happy.

"I wish to thank everyone here. We're having a lot of fun and we want to win again next year to return. There are two games left in the championship and we've achieved our objective of winning the league. I'm not too worried about not winning the Pichichi (top scorer in La Liga) this year. We'll see what happens in the end."

Real Madrid's success ended a run of three straight titles for bitter rivals Barça, and striker Karim Benzema now wants Mourinho's men to embark on a streak of their own. "This is a dream come true for me and we will keep up the good work to win many more titles," the French international said. "We thank the fans for this."

Full-back Marcelo added: "I am very happy. This is an incredible team. Our fans are also extraordinary and we want to enjoy this with them. The atmosphere in the squad is marvellous. We all help each other and that helps us grow constantly."

More success for Mourinho
The title was a seventh domestic crown for Mourinho, and the Portuguese earlier insisted it was the toughest of his career. Mourinho has now won titles in four different countries following previous successes with Porto in his native Portugal, Chelsea in England and Inter Milan in Italy. But the 49-year-old believes holding off the threat of Barcelona lends extra weight to the achievement.

He told RealMadridTV: "I won the league title in Portugal, Italy and England, but this one has been the toughest. I've won seven league titles overall and I know what it feels like. Barcelona won all their games, as befits the great team that they are. They've been winning to the very last day. They are a club with great tradition that knows we deserved to win this title."

Real visit Granada this weekend before completing their league programme at home to Real Mallorca. Mourinho added: "We have to celebrate this championship (but then) we have to continue working after tomorrow because next season will also be tough and we have games to play still in this campaign. This team deserves even more emotion and affection, and I expect the Bernabeu to give it to them in our match against Mallorca."

Midfielder Xabi Alonso was another who felt edging out Barça was a significant achievement. The Spanish 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." @