Karim Benzema fired Real Madrid to a first LaLiga title in three years as Zinedine Zidane’s men claimed the Spanish crown for the 34th time with a 10th successive victory.
Benzema fired the home side into a 29th-minute lead and then converted a second-half penalty to take his tally for the season to 21 and secure a 2-1 win over Villarreal at the Alfredo Di Stefano Stadium.
However, Real would have been crowned champions anyway after Barcelona, who had won the league for the last two seasons, surprisingly lost 2-1 at home to Osasuna.
And, in a scathing interview, skipper Lionel Messi suggested the blaugrana will lose their Champions League tie with Napoli if they continue to play as poorly as they did at Camp Nou on Thursday evening.
He said: “Roma, Liverpool… the fans are running out of patience because we’re not giving them anything. If we want to fight for the Champions League, a lot has to change. Like this, we will lose to Napoli.”
“We have to be self-critical, starting with the players, but across the whole club.”
Zidane and his players were left to celebrate at an empty stadium as the Frenchman delivered on his promise to target the league title – just the club’s third in the last decade – on his return in March last year.
Madrid dominated the game, but had to wait until the 29th minute for Benzema to break the deadlock when he ran on to Luka Modric’s beautifully-weighted pass and fired past keeper Sergio Asenjo.
He wrapped up the points with a twice-taken spot-kick with 15 minutes remaining after Sergio Ramos had rolled the first attempt into his path only for the strike to be ruled out for encroachment, although substitute Vicente Iborra pulled one back for the visitors late on to spark a frantic conclusion.
“It has been a strange season but our objective was very clear once the league restarted,” said Ramos afterwards. “We wanted to win every game.”