Valdes: Our toughest title yet

Valdes: Our toughest title yet

Published May. 12, 2011 3:21 p.m. ET

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes has ranked this season's Primera Division success as the toughest of all of his five title wins.

Barca were crowned Spanish champions for the 21st time in their history after picking up the point they needed against Levante to ensure they could not be pipped by second-placed Real Madrid in the last two games of the season.

The title win was Barca's third in succession and fifth since 2005, but while they ultimately managed it with room to spare, Valdes insists it was not easy.

"It has been very hard. I would say that this league has been the hardest of all (that I have won)," said Valdes, who made his first-team debut nine seasons ago.


On the pitch, Barca, who boast eight players who won the World Cup with Spain last summer, have seen their squad stretched to the limit in recent months with the likes of Carles Puyol, Gabriel Milito, Bojan Krkic and Adriano all being sidelined with injuries.

Defender Eric Abidal also underwent undergo surgery to remove a tumour from his liver while coach Pep Guardiola also spent several nights in hospital in March suffering from a herniated disc.

Barca have also lived an intense and highly-publicised rivalry with Real Madrid, losing to Jose Mourinho's men in the Copa del Rey final but defeating the capital club in the Champions League semi-finals and pipping them to the league title.

Amid all that Barca found themselves under attack with insinuations they received favourable treatment from UEFA, accusations of simulation from their players and also allegations fo racism against midfielder Sergio Busquets.

"We have fought as hard as we can and we deserve it," said Valdes on his club's website. "It has been a very difficult year and the fans know that. Today we can celebrate to the maximum. It has been a hard-fought title and now it's time to celebrate it.

"It has been very tough in terms of the media, but we have managed to isolate ourselves very well. Now we can celebrate in Barcelona.

"We dedicate this to our fans, who have always been by our side," he added in Sport.

Barca also have the Champions League final against Manchester United to come as they look to conquer Europe for the third time in six years.

Valdes said: "The league is already won, now for the final at Wembley!"