Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Champions Across Europe


Last weekend saw a number of European football clubs crowned champions of their domestic leagues, securing historic titles and Champions League football for next season.

While the English and German title races ended long ago, there was still much to play for across the continent heading into the weekend. Here is a brief round-up of who those champions are:

Serie A – Juventus
It wasn’t the prettiest of games but Juventus did enough against Palermo to scrape to a 29th Italian title and defend the trophy won last season. Arturo Vidal’s disputed penalty conversion was enough to see off Palermo and, with little competition for the Serie A title this season, fans placing a bet on football saw few rivals to Juve in the Italian league.

Juventus now have 11 more Italian league titles than any other club and look set to strengthen this summer.

Eredivisie – Ajax
A third successive Dutch title was secured at the weekend as Ajax punished Willem II Tilburg 5-0 to stay four points clear of PSV with one game remaining. In winning the title, boss, Frank de Boer, becomes the first manager to claim three successive Dutch championships.

It was Ajax’s 32nd Eredivisie success and PSV need to find a gem or two in their youth set-up to challenge next season.

Super Lig – Galatasaray
Boasting Didier Drogba, Wesley Sneijder, and Felipe Melo in their ranks, Galatasaray surprised few football betting news pundits by winning the Turkish league title; a 4-2 victory over Sivasspor in Istanbul earned them a 19th domestic championship.

Galatasaray impressed in the Champions League this season but are seeded in the third pot for the group stage in 2013/14, meaning they are likely to concentrate on winning the Super Lig again next term.

Superliga – FC Copenhagen
Copenhagen celebrated a 10th league title on Sunday despite their 0-0 draw with city rivals, Br√łndby. It was their third successive draw as they limped over the line with three games to spare after a spirited chase from FC Nordsj√¶lland added false excitement to this foregone conclusion.

Copenhagen qualify for the Champions League group stage next season and, while unlikely to qualify out of their group, are a good outside shout to push far in the Europa League.

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