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 Around Europe - this seasons titles in the major European leagues

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Rob of the Rovers

Rob of the Rovers

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PostSubject: Around Europe - this seasons titles in the major European leagues   Sat May 23, 2009 8:57 pm

Spain

Barcelona clinched their 19th Spanish league title without kicking a ball after title-rivals Real Madrid lost 3-2 at Villarreal on Saturday.

It left Pep Guardiola's side with an unassailable lead ahead of their match at Mallorca on Sunday.

On Wednesday Barcelona won the Copa del Rey when beating Athletic Bilbao 4-1.

Barca could become the first Spanish side in history to win the treble if they beat Manchester United in the Champions League final on 27 May.

The Catalan club's title triumph was their first in three years and is their first domestic double for 11 seasons.

Their Copa del Rey victory was the first time they had won the cup since 1998 and was their first piece of silverware in two seasons.

Barcelona currently have 86 points and a goal difference of plus 72 with three games left, while Madrid have 78 points with two to play.

Their triumph came on the same day that their Champions League rivals United claimed their third successive English Premier League title with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal.

The pair meet in Rome with United looking to defend their European title.

Barcelona's success this year has vindicated their decision to part company with long-standing coach Frank Rijkaard at the end of last season and appoint former player Guardiola as manager.

For 38-year-old Guardiola, a Catalonian by birth, this week's triumphs are his first as manager of the club he spent 11 years playing for.


Italy

Jose Mourinho celebrated winning the league title in a third country as Inter Milan retained their Serie A crown with three games still to play.

The Nerazzurri lifted the title after city rivals AC Milan put in a weak performance to lose 2-1 at Udinese.

Inter's triumph, in Mourinho's first season, is their fourth Italian title in a row and their 17th overall.

The champions, who host Siena on Sunday, have a seven-point lead with AC Milan only having two games left.

AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini, who is retiring at the end of the season, had a night to forget on his 900th appearance for the Rossoneri.

The 40-year-old pulled down Antonio Floro Flores on 31 minutes to allow Gaetano D'Agostino to fire home a penalty and then failed to clear a corner before Cristian Zapata slammed the ball in at the far post early in the second half.

Massimo Ambrosini headed a consolation for Milan in stoppage time.

The first title in Inter's run of four came after Juventus were stripped of the 2006 title in Italy's match-fixing scandal.

Inter's second Scudetto - which the title is often refereed to as, and literally means small shield - was a stroll given Juve were in Serie B and AC Milan had suffered a points deduction.

Last season Juventus - who sacked Claudio Ranieri as manager on Monday - were rebuilding in their first season back in the top flight.

Inter duly won their third title but coach Roberto Mancini was sacked at the end of the campaign after falling out with Inter Milan president Massimo Moratti.

The Inter chief then turned to Mourinho, who won two Premier League titles with Chelsea, and he has ensured the Nerazzurri's dominance in Italy continues.


Germany


Wolfsburg clinched their first Bundesliga title in convincing fashion with a 5-1 victory over Werder Bremen.

Felix Magath's side finished two points ahead of Bayern Munich, who claimed the second automatic Champions League spot after a 2-1 win over Stuttgart.

Stuttgart, coached by former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel, finished third to secure a place in the Champions League qualifiers for next season.

Hertha Berlin and Hamburg SV will play in the new Europa Cup.

Arminia Bielfeld and Karlsruhe were relegated while Energie Cottbus will play a relegation play-off with the second division's third best team.

Wolfsburg were 3-0 up after only 26 minutes with goals from Zvjezdan Misimovic, Grafite and an own goal from Sebastian Proedl.

Werder pulled one back through Diego before Grafite and Edin Dzeko sealed the title with two second-half goals.

Grafite finished the season as the Bundesliga's top scorer on 28 goals, with Dzeko in second place on 26 goals as Wolfsburg became the first team in the history of the German league to have two strikers scoring 20 goals or more in one season.

Wolfsburg's coach Felix Magath will not have the chance to guide his side in the Champions League next season as he is leaving for Schalke.


BBC Sport

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