Lionel Messi scored to help Barcelona clinch the Spanish league title after beating Levante 1-0 at Camp Nou on Saturday, cementing its status as the dominant club in Spain for more than a decade.
After resting until halftime, Messi went on and finally put a shot past Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez in the 62nd minute to start the celebrations at the Camp Nou.
Messi’s league-leading 34th goal was his 46th in all competitions this season.
Barcelona’s win put it nine points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid with three rounds to play. Barcelona holds the tiebreaker with Atletico on head-to-head goals.
Atletico beat Valladolid 1-0 earlier, forcing Barcelona to need a victory to wrap up the title this weekend before it turns its attention to its upcoming European clash with Liverpool.
Barcelona won its second straight league title since Ernesto Valverde took over at the start of last season. It was also its eighth Liga crown in 11 years, a period during which Real Madrid has won two and Atletico one. Barcelona has 26 league titles, second only to Madrid’s 33.
Barcelona is trying to complete a rare sweep of all three major titles this season. It will host Liverpool on Wednesday in the opening match of their Champions League semifinal, and it can win a fifth consecutive Copa del Rey if it beats Valencia in the final on May 25.