Valverde wishes Barca title win had not relegated Deportivo
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde regrets that his side's clinching of the Spanish title ultimately resulted in the relegation of their hosts Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday.
The champions ran out 4-2 winners at the Riazor, with Lionel Messi grabbing the match by the scruff of the neck and scoring twice late on to complete a hat-trick.
Deportivo, who needed a win to stave off relegation for another weekend, battled back from 2-0 down before Messi took over in the last eight minutes.
The title victory for Barca caps a marvellous season for Valverde's side, who are still yet to suffer defeat in LaLiga and targeting an unbeaten domestic season.
But Valverde was left feeling "really hurt" by seeing the contrasting emotions between Barca and Depor players at full-time.
"The relegation of Depor has made it a bit worse," Valverde told reporters. "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."
There will be no looking back for Valverde now, however, as the coach considers next season, warning his team it is more difficult to win again than it is to do so the first time.
"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."