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Last Updated: Wednesday, 3 May 2006, 20:16 GMT 21:16 UK
Barca retain Spanish league title
Ronaldinho embraces team-mate Giovanni van Bronckhorst after learning Barcelona have become Spanish champions for the second successive year
Ronaldinho and Van Bronckhorst celebrate Barca's success
Barcelona were confirmed as Spanish league champions for the second successive year after Valencia were beaten 2-1 at Real Mallorca.

The Catalan club started celebrating at half-time of their 1-0 win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday after the loss of their nearest rivals.

Barcelona, who later won their match against Celta Vigo 1-0, have now been crowned La Liga champions 18 times.

They take on Arsenal in the Champions League final in Paris on 17 May.

"It's a prize for spectacle, work and consistency. We're all very happy, it's a reward for hard work and I want to congratulate all the players and staff," said Barcelona president Joan Laporta.

Barcelona, coached by former Dutch great Frank Rijkaard, have enjoyed a turnaround in fortunes since the arrival of World Player of the Year Ronaldinho.

The Brazilian playmaker has scored 17 goals this season, including a double against arch-rivals Real Madrid, and he has been the key figure in their success so far this season.

Striker Samuel Eto'o, who scored the only goal against Celta Vigo, has also been a pivotal figure and contributed 25 goals this season.

Barcelona, who now have an unassailable 11-point lead, are the first team to successfully defend the title since they won back-to-back titles under Dutch coach Louis van Gaal.


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