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Season review: Germany

Published: Thursday 23 June 2011, 11.07CET
Borussia Dortmund's young side surprised the Bundesliga by claiming their first title since 2002 at a canter while FC Schalke 04 ended a bizarre season with a fifth German Cup triumph.
by Steffen Potter
from Frankfurt
Season review: Germany
Roman Weidenfeller lifts Borussia Dortmund's seventh Bundesliga crown ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 23 June 2011, 11.07CET

Season review: Germany

Borussia Dortmund's young side surprised the Bundesliga by claiming their first title since 2002 at a canter while FC Schalke 04 ended a bizarre season with a fifth German Cup triumph.

Borussia Dortmund claimed their seventh Bundesliga crown while FC Schalke 04 papered over a disappointing league campaign with their first German Cup win since 2002. There were fourth and fifth-place finishes for Hannover 96 and 1. FSV Mainz 05 respectively, finishing just behind stuttering 22-time champions FC Bayern München.

Champions: Borussia Dortmund
With Bayern bidding for back-to-back titles, few predicted Dortmund would mount a serious challenge. However, Jürgen Klopp's youthful team, spearheaded by the prolific Lucas Barrios and propelled by Nuri Şahin and Sven Bender in midfield, never looked back after moving a point clear at the summit on 31 October. Dortmund won 14 of their first 16 league matches and, despite a late dip in form, secured their seventh league title and first since 2002. "We had so many problems a few years ago," said Dortmund left-back Dede. "Nobody believed we would be back on the top. I can't find the right words."

Cup final: MSV Duisburg 0-5 FC Schalke 04
Schalke's disappointing 14th-placed finish in the league was masked by a UEFA Champions League semi-final berth and German Cup joy, the fifth in the club's history. Goals from Julian Draxler, Klaas Jan-Huntelaar (2), Benedikt Höwedes and José Manuel Jurado sealed it for Schalke against second division Duisburg, earning a return to the European stage in next season's UEFA Europa League.

European places
Borussia Dortmund – UEFA Champions League group stage
Bayer 04 Leverkusen – UEFA Champions League group stage
FC Bayern München – UEFA Champions League play-offs
FC Schalke 04 – UEFA Europa League play-offs
Hannover 96 – UEFA Europa League play-offs
1. FSV Mainz 05 – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round

One to watch: Mario Götze (Borussia Dortmund)
Mario Götze, 19, made 33 league appearances, scored six goals and contributed 15 assists in his breakthrough season in the Bundesliga. Götze's pace, control and ability to run at players earned him his first senior cap for Germany against Sweden in November and praise from the likes of Matthias Sammer, who described him as "one of the biggest talents we have ever had [in Germany]."

Surprise package: 1. FSV Mainz 05
A fifth-placed finish represented Mainz's highest in over a decade and earned a UEFA Europa League qualifying place. Thomas Tuchel's side were tipped for relegation in pre-season but forced doubters to eat their words as they began the campaign with seven straight wins. The club also have one eye on the future, and move to a new 33,500 capacity arena in July. "Our top priority is still to permanently establish Mainz in the Bundesliga," said general manager Christian Heidel. "We have to be pleased with finishing 12th or 13th as well. Our goal next season is to avoid relegation."

Player of the year: Nuri Şahin (Borussia Dortmund)
The Turkey midfielder faced a difficult time in the early stages of his career at Dortmund and was loaned out to Feyenoord in 2007/08. However, last season he was at the heart of Dortmund's title-winning side. The 22-year-old was voted player of the year by over 46% of his Bundesliga colleagues, before departing for Real Madrid CF on a six-year deal.

Top scorer: Mario Gomez, FC Bayern München (28)

Number: 73
Eintracht Frankfurt's Giorgios Tzavellas scored from 73 metres in his side's 2-1 defeat by Schalke to break the Bundesliga record for long-distance strikes.

Promoted: Hertha BSC Berlin, FC Augsburg

Relegated: Eintracht Frankfurt, FC St Pauli


Quote
"I have scored three goals in 150 games. How am I supposed to give him good advice?"
Christoph Metzelder suggests he is not the man to help Schalke team-mate Huntelaar end his goal drought

Last updated: 08/07/11 16.53CET

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