Real Madrid falls to Villareal, 2-3 at El Madrigal. It snuffs out their slim chances of overtaking Barca.
Barca are now La Liga champions, two days after being crowned Copa Del Rey champions and on May 27th fight Man Utd for the title of the best team in Europe in the CL final. A chance for a triple crown.
Marca documents the 12 step recovery program.
Messi, Eto’o, and Henry are duly mentioned but the most intriguing entry is on Joan Laporta (link in Spanish).
Laporta must be the most reviled and at the same time most resurrected man in the history of Barcelona because in the beginning of the season, he lost a popular censure vote by a whopping enough margin but since it did not cross the 66% threshold for new elections, he did not tender his resignation. Barca was coming off a disastrous season under Frank Rijkaard. Ronaldinho had grown heavy and complacent. Henry was only operating sub-optimally. Eto’o had spent almost a whole season out with injuries. The laissez-faire attitude extended to training and physical fitness.
But Laporta managed to survive, withstanding the subsequent pressure of the board of the directors who tried to force him out. When he did not resign, eight of them left in protest. His failure to energize the club’s fortunes was complicated by his use of the club to espouse his passionate advocacy of Catalonian independence. The media was not amused by his volatile mix of politics and sports. In short, Laporta cut a polarizing figure.
However he did one thing right, he brought in Pep Guardiola, a local man and kept his faith in him. It was Laporta’s only move but it turned out to be the right one.