Hundreds of Barcelona fans celebrate their team's 22nd La Liga title at Canaletes square.
BARCELONA, SPAIN (MAY 11, 2013) (REUTERS) - Hundreds of Barcelona fans celebrated their team's 22nd La Liga title at the central Canaletes square when second-placed Real Madrid drew 1-1 at Espanyol on Saturday (May 11) to leave Tito Vilanova's side with an unassailable lead at the top.
Vilanova wrestled the title back from their arch-rivals in his first season since replacing Pep Guardiola at the helm, making it four league trophies in the last five years for the Catalans.
Barca were top from the opening day of the campaign, and are only the second side to have led a 20-team league from beginning to end after Real completed the same feat in 1987-88.
"I am very happy now because Barca is the champion. Messi, Messi, Messi," Justin, from the Philipines, told Reuters.
Barca have 88 points from 34 games and if they win their remaining four matches they could surpass Pep Guardiola's club record tally of 99 when they triumphed in 2009 and match Real's league record of 100 points from last term.
With Real coach Mourinho publicly writing off his side's chances of overhaulingBarcelona as early as the beginning of the year, they have been keen to stress that winning the title was not as easy as it might have appeared.
"I am stunned. Barca is the best team in the world. Real Madrid has shown it is a club that works only through pay checks while Barca is a real team. Real Madridbet on Mourinho, who has no idea of playing football. My grandad could do better, but we (and they start singing Barca anthem)," Barcelona fan Miquel said.
"(We deserved it) because we started at top level and Real MAdrid has not been able to overshadow us. The result is completely fair and the only shame is to have lost at Bayern Munich in the Champions League semifinals," David, from the Canary Islands, added.
"I am very happy, Barca deserves it, as well as Tito Vilanova. And not Mourinho, who is a jerk," Hilari stated.
In setting a La Liga best of 100 points in the 2011-12 campaign, Real also broke the league's scoring record of 107 goals set by the Whites in 1989-90 by finding the net 121 times.
Barca have scored 105 goals so far this season, and their leading scorer Lionel Messi, who netted a record 50 league goals last term, has notched 46 so far in this campaign.