Barcelona star Andres Iniesta insists regaining La Liga from Real Madrid this season is more important than the Champions League.
Tito Vilanova’s side are 13 points clear of their rivals at the top of the table with just seven games to play, meaning they are near-certainties to recapture the league crown from the Spanish capital.
Despite a mouth-watering Champions League semi-final tie against Bayern Munich approaching, the Spain international believes domestic glory is a bigger achievement for Barca.
“Last year we lost the league so this year we had it as our goal,” Iniesta told El Mundo Deportivo.
“If we do come back and win it back again, that will be four titles in this five-year cycle which will be hugely significant. It is a very difficult task to achieve that considering the rivals we are up against.
“I have no doubt the importance people give the league. I have always said it is the most important title for me. I like it because it is the result of hard work every day, every week and every year.
“The league is the most important, as it reflects consistency and the work you put in. The Champions League is very prestigious, but it’s a competition which is very tough, special and unique. People do value the league.
“Madrid are very powerful competitors who have shown they have great ability. So you have to give more value to winning the league back after losing it a season ago.”
The midfielder reflected on a campaign that has had some difficult moments for Barca, but said he was delighted with where they found themselves going into the final weeks of the season.
“Each season has its own story, its own highs and lows. In the present year there is no doubt there have been times where we have suffered and found it difficult,” Iniesta said.
“That can happen, but the important thing is we have shown we can stand up under pressure and recover.
“Today, we are in a position in our season that I wish we could be in every year at this time – close to winning the league title and one step from the Champions League final.
“We have been knocked out of the Copa del Rey, but we’re on course to win the league and just one step from the final in London.”