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Season review: Luxembourg

Published: Wednesday 5 June 2013, 9.34CET
Seldom has the saying "good things come to those who wait" rang truer after CS Fola Esch won a first Luxembourger title since 1930, with cup glory going to neighbours AS Jeunesse Esch.
by Andreas Königl
Season review: Luxembourg
Luxembourgh international Stefano Bensi stood out this season ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 5 June 2013, 9.34CET

Season review: Luxembourg

Seldom has the saying "good things come to those who wait" rang truer after CS Fola Esch won a first Luxembourger title since 1930, with cup glory going to neighbours AS Jeunesse Esch.

F91 Dudelange made waves in the UEFA Champions League at the beginning of a season which culminated in CS Fola Esch scratching an 83-year title itch. AS Jeunesse Esch, Luxembourg's most decorated club, triumphed in the domestic cup.    

Champions: CS Fola Esch
The tone for Fola Esch's success was set with a 6-1 win at Union 05 Kayl-Tétange on the first day of term – the only time they did not occupy top spot was after a 1-1 draw with CS Grevenmacher six days later. The 2010/11 runners-up secured their sixth Division Nationale title, and first since 1930, in the penultimate round of matches, beating local rivals and 28-time champions AS Jeunesse Esch 5-1.

Cup final: AS Jeunesse Esch 2-1 FC Differdange 03
Having lost last year's final to Dudelange in extra time, Dan Theis's side went one better thanks to Sanel Ibrahimović's first-half double at the Josy Barthel Stadion. Though Geoffrey Franzoni halved Differdange's arrears with a penalty, Jeunesse Esch held on to collect their 13th Luxembourger Cup.

European places*
CS Fola Esch – UEFA Champions League, second qualifying round
F91 Dudelange – UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round
AS Jeunesse Esch – UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round
FC Differdange 03 – UEFA Europa League, first qualifying round

*Subject to final confirmation from UEFA

Player of the year: Stefano Bensi (CS Fola Esch)
After finishing runner-up behind Aurélien Joachim last year, Bensi ended this season top of the pile in Luxembourg, leaving Marc Oberweis and Thierry Steimetz in second and third respectively. Despite his 20 First Division goals, he was only the second-highest league scorer, yet the 24-year-old played a huge part in Fola Esch lifting the title in his first campaign with them.

One to watch: David Turpel (FC Etzella Ettelbruck)
The 20-year-old local talent was the promoted side's 15-goal leading marksman. The forward's role in keeping Patrick Grettnich's team in the division sparked transfer interest from Germany.

Surprise package: FC Wiltz 71
If you want to identify Luxembourg's yo-yo team of recent years, look no further than Wiltz. Since a club-best fifth place in the 2005/06 campaign, things have been up and down to say the least. This season was much the same, with Wiltz in the top five till late September when they suffered the first of five punishing losses – 6-2, 3-0, 4-0, 7-1 and 9-0 – in succession. Samir Kalabić's charges stabilised, however, ending up tenth in the 14-team championship, even boasting the division's top scorer.

Leading scorer: Edis Osmanović, FC Wiltz 71 (21)

Relegated: CS Pétange, Union 05 Kayl-Tétange

Promoted: FC Swift Hesper, US Rumelange

Number: 83
Fola Esch celebrated their title triumph with the slogan "good things come to those who wait". The side coached by former 1. FC Kaiserslautern and VfL Borussia Mönchengladach defender Jeff Strasser had not been crowned champions since 1930.

"It has long been a goal of mine to win a title, even if it has taken quite a while. I'm not a player any more, but to win this title after two years as a manager is great. It's the first of my career. What I was able to experience on the pitch is irreplaceable and incomparable. But I'm proud of this title. I missed out on reaching the UEFA Cup final in 2001 with Kaiserslautern. Now I will enjoy this as a manager."
Strasser revels in ending Fola Esch's long wait for domestic supremacy

Last updated: 05/06/13 9.35CET

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