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Watch: Lionel Messi scores the winner as Barcelona clinch the La Liga title

Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the winning goal for Barcelona
Lionel Messi celebrates scoring the winning goal for Barcelona

Lionel Messi scored the only goal as Barcelona clinched the La Liga title by defeating Levante on Saturday night.

Fittingly it was the Argentina international who came off the bench to seal their glory with three games to spare and he now becomes a La Liga winner for the 10th occasion in his incredible career - the most ever for a Barcelona player, eclipsing the great Andreas Iniesta by one.

The Catalan giants can now celebrate becoming Spanish champions for the 26th time in their history and for the eighth season out of the last 11, although amazingly it was the first since 2010 they had clinched it at the Nou Camp.

Barcelona hold a nine point lead over Atletico Madrid with a vastly superior goal difference while their fierce rivals Real Madrid are a further nine behind.

They remain on track for a third treble since 2009 with the Copa del Rey final against Valencia next month.

It was far from straightforward against opponents who belied their position just three points clear of the relegation zone with a bold display which could, and probably should, have earned them a point.

But Messi, rested for the first half as coach Ernesto Valverde had one eye on next week's Champions League semi-final first leg against Liverpool, scored his 34th league goal of the season - and his 598th in his 682nd Barcelona game, to get the party started.

He is now two behind his great rival Cristiano Ronaldo in terms of club goals after the former Real Madrid star got his 600th in his 801st game earlier in the evening, but it won't be too long before he too reaches that staggering milestone.

Lionel Messi's club honours

  • La Liga titles: 10
  • Copa del Rey: 6
  • Spanish Supercup: 7
  • Champions League: 4
  • UEFA Super Cup: 3
  • FIFA Club World Cup: 3

Lionel Messi's club goals record

  • Games: 682
  • Goals: 598
  • League: 416
  • Champions League: 110
  • Other cups: 71
  • Hat-Tricks: 45
  • Penalties: 70
  • Assists: 231

Lionel Messi's goals record including internationals

  • Games: 811 (682 club)
  • Goals: 663 (578 club)
  • Assists: 271 (231 club)
  • Hat-Tricks: 51 (45 club)
  • Penalties: 83 (70 club)

Lionel Messi's international honours

  • Fifa U-20 World Cup: 1 (2005) 
  • Olympic Gold Medal: 1 (2008)

Lionel Messi major awards

  • Ballon d’Or: 5 (2015, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009) 
  • Golden Shoe: 5 (2009-10, 2011-12, 2012-13, 2016-17, 2017-18)

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Most Read Football

Get all the latest football gossip from the day's back pages1

Paper Talk: Pogba 500k a week

Tuesday's Paper Talk rounds up all of the day's football gossip, including Manchester United's huge pay offer to Paul Pogba.

Michel Platini was UEFA president between 2007 and 20152

Platini arrested over Qatar World Cup

Michel Platini has been 'detained' as part of an investigation into alleged corruption relating to the Qatar World Cup.

Lee Bowyer has signed a one-year contract extension with Charlton Ahtletic3

Bowyer signs Charlton extension

Less than 24 hours after announcing Lee Bowyer was leaving Charlton, the club have now confirmed he has signed a new deal.

Denis Suarez and Peter Crouch completed moves on deadline day4

Transfer Window: Done Deals

Get all the complete signings in the January transfer window from the Premier League, Sky Bet EFL and Europe.

Roma legend Francesco Totti5

'Leaving Roma is like dying'

Francesco Totti said "I feel like it'd be better if I died" after ending a 30-year association with Roma .

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