Barca Set for 25th Title Party as Iniesta Bids Nou Camp Goodbye 


B arcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said in February he was “in a hurry” to wrap up the Liga title and his side will almost certainly get to celebrate a 25th league crown at last when they play at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
Barca need a draw against Clarence Seedorf’s struggling side to clinch the title and the trophy could even be theirs before they kick off if Real Madrid fail to beat Leganes earlier today and Atletico Madrid are unable to win at Alaves four hours before Barca’s game starts.
The Catalans have led from the front this season, topping the table in week two, and no-one can begrudge them a title which they have looked certain to win since they beat Real Madrid 3-0 on 23 December, marching 14 points clear of their arch- rivals and nine ahead of Atletico.

Barca’s surprise draws against Getafe and Espanyol briefly offered Atletico hope of chasing down Valverde’s side when they closed the gap to five points ahead of a top-of-the-table clash in March, but a superb free kick from Lionel Messi gave Barca a 1-0 win to lift them eight points ahead.
They never looked back and are still unbeaten in the league, five games from becoming the first team since Real Madrid in 1932 to finish a La Liga campaign undefeated and the only side to do so since the league was expanded to more than 10 teams.
The title win would also complete the club’s seventh double after they hammered Sevilla 5-0 in the King’s Cup final on Saturday, an utterly dominant victory which went some way towards healing the wounds from their shock Champions League elimination by AS Roma.
While Barca are preparing for a title party at Riazor, Deportivo might end up feeling like they are at a funeral as the Galicians will be relegated back to Spain’s second tier for the first time since 2014 if they do not beat Barca and Levante win at Sevillaon Friday.

Andres Iniesta has announced he will be leaving Barcelona this summer after 22 years at the club.
The 33-year-old’s announcement came during a press conference at Barcelona’s training ground on Friday, bringing an end to a glittering career at the Nou Camp.
The midfielder was in tears during the announcement, which was attended by his Barcelona team-mates.
Iniesta, a World Cup winner with Spain, won eight La Liga titles, with a ninth set to be secured in the coming weeks, alongside four Champions League wins and six Copa del Rey crowns.
Iniesta is expected to move to Chinese Super League club Chongqing Dangdai Lifan, with their president Gong Daxing recently admitting they are in negotiations with the Barcelona midfielder.
“This is my last season here,” he said on Friday. “I have thought my decision through for a long time. For me, Barca is the best club in the world – this club has given me everything.
“I would like to thank my team-mates and everyone who accompanied me every day, they made me be better. It’s been a dream come true, lots of titles, important moments throughout my career. I am very happy to have played for this club. I am proud.”

Regarding his future, Iniesta said: “There are still things to work out, different things. I said I would never play against Barca, so it’s not going to be in Europe. We will know at the end of the season.
“I’m almost 34, I’ve left everything out on the field, I’ve given everything to the club, and if I couldn’t give everything up to now, I wouldn’t be happy. I want to be happy, like I have been here.”
Iniesta joined Barcelona’s youth academy when he was 12. He went on to become one of the best players in its history, helping the team win 31 titles, a club record he shares with Lionel Messi.