Barcelona entertain leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all match at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign.
If anybody said that the La Liga was all about the dominance oF Real Madrid and Barcelona alone, well, they will be proved wrong on Saturday evening when the Spanish league will enter one of its most thrilling finale’s as Barcelona entertain leaders Atletico Madrid in a winner-takes-all match at the Nou Camp on the final day of the campaign.
Only twice in the history of La Liga that the title been decided with a direct head-to-head clash on the last day as very few would have expected Atletico to be competing with vastly wealthier rivals Barca for the championship at this stage of the game.
Real Madrid, the world’s richest club by income ahead of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were pegged behind in the race as the Los Blancos will have to settle in for European glory. Real Madrid was well and truly beaten by a spirited Celta Vigo and now the heads roll to the red half of Madrid. Diego Simeone’s Atletico have never been in La Liga contention since they last won in 1996, tasting relegation at the start of this century, but the tide has turned and here they are now, in with a chance of claiming an historic La Liga and European double.
After 37 matches in the La Liga, Atletico lead the pack with 89 points and Barca are second with 86 and Real Madrid on 84. If Messi and co., chasing a fifth title in six years, beat Atletico on Saturday they will be crowned champions as they would have a better head-to-head record after the title rivals drew 0-0 at the Calderon in Madrid in January. But a draw would be enough for Atletico to become the first side other than Real and Barca to win La Liga since Valencia in 2004.
The last time the title was decided with a head-to-head clash was in 1950-51, when Atletico pipped Sevilla. Barcelona will receive a huge morale boost as their forward and starman Lionel Messi has signed a contract extension with the club. Argentine marksman needs to up his game if the Nou Camp side have to beat the Atletico side. Barcelona will know the test of this team when they were outplayed in the UEFA Champions League knockout stages.
As the world watches patiently to await the winner of the Spanish League, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have already entertained us this year. Even though the former has been disappointing, Simeone’s Atletico have been upto the mark till now. With the likes of Diego Costa, Koke and Diego lined up, Barca’s very own Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Messi himself have to bring the ‘A-game’ to the field when the two sides clash at the Nou Camp.
Result of the day: Atletico to win the La Liga. 2-1 the score.