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Valencia coach Rafa Benitez highlighted the discipline and commitment of his players as the key ingredients of their Spanish title triumph.

“The team has shown themselves to have a really strong mental attitude,” Benitez said after watching his side clinch the title with a 2-0 victory at Sevilla.

“The players have always concentrated on the next match and have never spent time looking at the standings.

“Over a month ago we were eight points down on Real Madrid, but we never lost hope and just kept working hard.”

Valencia went to the top of the table on April 11 after Real Madrid and while Madrid have continued to falter in recent weeks, Valencia have demonstrated admirable consistency to wrap up the title with two games to spare.

“No one expected us to win it so quickly,” said midfielder Ruben Baraja, the scorer of Valencia’s second goal against Sevilla and arguably the team’s most impressive performer this season.

“It just seems that Real weren’t able to stay with the pace and suffered for the effort they made earlier in the season. To win the league ahead of an all-powerful team like Real makes this triumph even more valuable.

“Tonight’s game was a reflection of our whole season. We worked really hard but always stayed calm and had faith in our ability to win.

“This victory is a reward for all of us and now we are going to focus on the UEFA Cup and try and win an historic double,” he added.

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