Barcelona 'lacked brilliance at times', admits coach Ernesto Valverde after title win

Ernesto Valverde was delighted with Barcelona's fighting spirit to come back and thrash Girona
Image: Ernesto Valverde admitted his Barcelona side have not always been at their best, but was pleased with their title win

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised the consistency of his title-winning side while acknowledging they have "lacked brilliance" at times.

A 4-2 victory at Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday featuring a hat-trick from Lionel Messi clinched the La Liga crown ahead of the two Madrid clubs with four matches to go.

It also completed a domestic double after the Copa del Rey success last weekend but the impact of Barca's shock Champions League loss to Roma continues to linger.

Valverde said: "When you chase it all season, you say 'finally'. The league is very long. It is not decided only in a match. From the beginning, we have been in the lead. In the end, we were the best. The hard part is winning and winning.

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Watch highlights of Barcelona's 4-2 win over Deportivo which sealed the La Liga title

"I have not invented anything, in the end these players have already won titles and leagues with other coaches. It's more of them than the coach.

"We have been a competitive, compact team and we have overcome many difficulties, and in moments I know it has lacked brilliance."

It has been an emotional week for veteran playmaker Andres Iniesta, who came off the bench for the final moments once Messi had secured victory to soak it all in. The 33-year-old will leave the club he first joined at the age of 12 at the end of the season.

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After winning his ninth league title, he said: "The team deserved it, with a good advantage over the second [team]. Each competition has its difficulty and its value and that is what we have to stay with. Great season and next year to try to improve what has not been done well.

"They are really indescribable sensations on a personal level and as an athlete when you receive so much affection from people. I have tried to be a good athlete and a great person, surrounding myself with unique people."

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