Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde says it's a shame that his side relegated Deportivo La Coruna in the same game that clinched the Catalans' La Liga title.
Valverde's charges beat Deportivo 4-2 at the Riazor thanks to a Lionel Messi hat-trick. Barca took a two-goal lead early in the clash, but the hosts fought back to 2-2 before Messi completed his hat-trick with a late double.
9️⃣La Liga titles🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆🏆
Lionel Messi seals his latest trophy in spectacular fashion. #LaLiga
What more can we say❓https://t.co/KmMMyGLHeH
— FOX Sports Asia (@FOXSportsAsia) April 30, 2018
Despite claiming the league title, Valverde was sad to see the contrasting emotions between the two sides at the end of the game, as Barca celebrated and Deportivo came to terms with their relegation.
"The relegation of Depor has made it a bit worse," Valverde told reporters, according to FourFourTwo. "The best thing is to win the title against someone who is competing with you, or someone who does not have anything to play for.
"But celebrating the title and the opponent goes to the second division, that really hurts. We would like to have done it in a different way, but that's the way it is."
Valverde was full of praise for his players after the clash, stating that they were more important in the race for the title than he was.
"The most complicated thing is to not tire of winning, to continue winning, to put yourself in a situation to win again," the former Athletic Bilbao boss added.
"As Valero Rivera [former Barcelona handball player] said, the difficult thing is not to win, but to win again, reactivate again, put yourself in the starting box again with the same ambition.
"The league is long. It is not decided in a moment, but in many. We are chasing it since the summer and when you finally get it you think, 'finally'.
"In August nobody thought that we could reach this moment like this, after losing the Supercopa [to Real Madrid] and in that match against Betis in which not everything seemed so good. The key is in the players more than in the coach."
Barca remains unbeaten in the league this season and has four games left to maintain their perfect record this campaign.