Fans flock to see Barça bus parade
© AFP

Lionel Messi and his Barcelona team-mates, who clinched a third straight La Liga title on Wednesday, were treated to an enthusiastic reception by thousands of fans yesterday.

Supporters spilled out onto the streets of the Catalan capital to see the team paraded on an open-top bus, sporting a banner declaring "Champions 2010/2011".

"It's a very special day with youngsters celebrating with their parents and their grandparents, a Catalan party," said Barcelona director Jordi Cardoner.

Enjoy this league which is well deserved, they've attacked us from all sides and they will continue doing it, but we do what we do: play football.
Carles Puyol, Barcelona captain

"This is a team made up of friends and when friends play well this is the result," he added. The celebrations were set to climax with a rock concert at Barça's Camp Nou stadium.

Barcelona became the first team since 1993 to win three successive Spanish titles when they drew 1-1 at Levante on Wednesday.

Pep Guardiola's team, who were winning their 21st league title, face Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League final at Wembley on 28 May.

They have two remaining league games - including Deportivo La Coruna tomorrow - before the European showpiece against United.

Players look towards final
That match is already on the minds of Barça's players, with captain Carles Puyol, speaking after the parade had reached the Camp Nou, saying: "We want to thank the support that we've had all season.

"There is one last effort remaining for us, and have no doubt that we will give it everything to be here on the 29th celebrating the Champions League.

"Enjoy this league which is well deserved, they've attacked us from all sides and they will continue doing it, but we do what we do: play football."

Playmaker Messi, who has scored over 50 goals in all competitions this season and is now third in Barça's all-time list of record goalscorers, was quickly to the point in addressing the fans.

It's an enormous joy to be here again and celebrate the league, but I will save my words for the 29th. I will talk then.
Lionel Messi, Barcelona forward

The Argentinian said: "It's an enormous joy to be here again and celebrate the league, but I will save my words for the 29th. I will talk then."

Centre-back Gerard Pique, who will be facing his former club in the Champions League final having been at United from 2004 to 2008 before returning to Barça, said: "First I would like to give thanks to all the coaching staff for these three years.

"Second, to all you [fans] for being here every game, you deserved the league like us. And lastly, I want you to see you all here again on the 29th."