Guardiola: My team gave their all
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola praised his "exemplary" team after they bagged a second successive Primera Division title on Sunday.
And Guardiola claimed his side would not have achieved their record total of 99 points if not for being pushed all the way by Real Madrid. Barcelona needed a win to secure a seventh trophy in less than two years under Guardiola, regardless of Madrid's result in Malaga.
And the Catalans made sure as they brushed aside lowly Valladolid - now relegated - at the Nou Camp with another scintillating display of attacking football. Luis Prieto's own-goal gave Barcelona the lead and Pedro added an excellent second shortly afterwards before Lionel Messi's second-half brace.
Speaking about his team, Guardiola said: "They have been exemplary and I couldn't have asked for more, their effort and work has been outstanding. I (also) have to congratulate the coach and players of Real Madrid for an extraordinary campaign. Without them we would have not been able to get 99 points, they have pushed us all the way. They have dignified their profession and their club."
Barcelona lost just one league match all season - a 4-3 defeat at Atletico Madrid - and Guardiola admitted such a low margin for error made their triumph even more special. "We only lost once and we have needed to be at our best, what we have done has a lot of merit," he added.
Guardiola revealed the moment he knew his side would win the league was when his side came away with a point at Espanyol last month, even though many saw that as a poor result at the time. "Having got a point at Espanyol, that was when I thought we had done it, but we knew that we had to win all of our remaining games," he said.
Barcelona's squad now have a host of trophies between them, including numerous league titles, two UEFA Champions League titles and a FIFA Club World Cup, but Guardiola insists motivation will not be an issue next season. "They are footballers, that's what they do and they want to win," he said. "We have to try and improve always, but now will be have a rest and start thinking about the planning of the squad for next season."