FC Barcelona returned to its previous glorious league ways under the guidance of new coach Louis van Gaal. The highly rated coach, hired from Ajax Amsterdam, brought lethal striker Sonny Anderson and the attacing midfielder Rivaldo with him. But surprisedly Barcelona sold Ronaldo to Inter Milan just before season begin and thus handed Sonny Anderson as main striker. He introduced Barcelona to his marvelous 4-3-3 formation, in which Rivaldo was a perfect centre forward, scoring 20 goals in the league. Under van Gaal at helm on his first season, Barcelona won their 15th La Liga title, 2nd European Super Cup title as well as 24th Copa del Rey title (thus winning their domestic double) but Barcelona crashed out of the UEFA Champions League, following a lackluster performance in the First Group Phase. In fact, Barcelona ended up last in the group, and was not even qualifying for the remainder of the UEFA Cup, contributing only single victory, two draws and three defeats and thus denying Barcelona's first treble winner.
Barcelona had a marvelous second half of the season, in which it kept pace with La Liga championship leaders Real Madrid, then passing the Madrids when they had a couple of slips. In the end, a win in the 36th round was more than enough to clinch Barcelona's first league title for four years.