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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 May, 2005, 21:49 GMT 22:49 UK
Barca secure Spanish championship
Ronaldinho celebrates Barcelona's La Liga victory
Barcelona's Ronaldinho celebrates winning the Spanish league title
Barcelona were crowned Spanish champions on Saturday after securing a 1-1 draw away at lowly Levante.

Barca just needed to match nearest rivals Real Madrid's result to win the league crown, and Real could only manage a 2-2 draw away at Sevilla.

Barcelona had gone 1-0 down in the first half, but Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o levelled after the break.

Frank Rijkaard's side picked up their 17th La Liga title, but their first major trophy of any kind since 1999.

What the Barcelona players have done this season has been absolutely magnificent
Barcelona president
Joan Laporta

"I'm delighted, incredibly happy," said Rijkaard.

"I said from the start that we'd have to fight hard for the league title and we had to suffer to earn this draw but we did it in the end."

Thousands of Barcelona fans celebrated Barca's victory with flares, flags and firecrackers in the Catalan city.

While the 11,000 supporters who had travelled down the coast to Levante heralded the team on their lap of honour.

"What the Barcelona players have done this season has been absolutely magnificent," said club president Joan Laporta.

"They have played some brilliant football and have won people over with the way they have approached the game."

The celebrations are set to continue in Barcelona on Sunday when the team will tour the city in an open-top bus.

Barcelona won their first La Liga crown in 1929 and enjoyed a golden period under Dutch coach Johan Cruyff when they won the title four straight times between 1991 and 1994.

In fact, Barca's last seven league victories have all come under the guidance of Dutch coaches with Louis van Gaal enjoying success between Cruyff and Rijkaard.





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