Real Madrid clinch LaLiga title after Girona beat Barcelona

Real Madrid won the LaLiga title on Saturday, beating Cádiz before rivals Barcelona lost at Girona and gave Madrid an insurmountable lead at the top.

Madrid’s comfortable 3-0 win over Cádiz at the Bernabéu means they’ve taken 87 points from 34 games. Girona beat Barça 4-2 at Montilivi on Saturday to move into second place, 13 points behind Madrid with just four games to play.

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The Spanish giants could still make it a LaLiga and Champions League double this season, as they prepare to face Bayern Munich in their Champions League semifinal second leg on Wednesday. The sides tied 2-2 in the first leg.

The 2023-24 league title is Madrid’s 36th, the most of any LaLiga team. It comes despite a season marred by long-term injuries to key players.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defenders Éder Militão and David Alaba all suffered ACL tears, with Courtois and Militão only returning to action this month.

Madrid have led LaLiga for much of the campaign, with their closest challengers being surprise contenders Girona, rather than eternal rivals Barcelona.

Their title charge has been powered by goals from England midfielder Jude Bellingham — who has scored 18 times so far in his debut LaLiga season — and Brazil international Vinícius Júnior, with 13 goals.

It has also been built on defensive solidity, personified by centre-back Antonio Rüdiger, with the team conceding just 22 league goals.

Madrid made a flying start to the season winning their first five league games, before suffering their only league defeat so far, a 3-1 loss to Atlético Madrid in the derby on Sept. 24.

Bellingham’s impact was greatest in the first half of the season, scoring a record 13 goals in his first 13 Madrid appearances — more than club legends Cristiano Ronaldo and Alfredo Di Stéfano — after signing from Borussia Dortmund last summer.

He played a crucial role in two Clásico victories over Barcelona.

Bellingham scored twice in a 2-1 comeback win for Madrid at Montjuic on Oct. 28 and then grabbed an added time winner in a 3-2 victory at the Bernabeu on April 21, which ended any prospect of a late Barça title bid.

Before that, Girona’s title challenge ended in a 4-0 thrashing at the Bernabéu on Feb. 10, with Bellingham scoring twice.

The league title is Madrid’s second since Carlo Ancelotti returned to the club as coach in 2021. Ancelotti has now lifted six league titles in five countries: Italy, England, France, Germany and Spain.

It also means veterans Luka Modric and Nacho Fernandez have won 25 trophies with Madrid, equalling the club record held by Karim Benzema and Marcelo.