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Season review: Turkey

Published: Friday 24 June 2011, 13.26CET
Fenerbahçe SK fought back to win the Turkish Super League on goal difference and Beşiktaş JK won the Turkish Cup, but Istanbul rivals Galatasaray AŞ had a season to forget.
by Türker Tozar
from Istanbul
Season review: Turkey
Aykut Kocaman engineered an improbable title triumph for Fenerbahçe ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 24 June 2011, 13.26CET

Season review: Turkey

Fenerbahçe SK fought back to win the Turkish Super League on goal difference and Beşiktaş JK won the Turkish Cup, but Istanbul rivals Galatasaray AŞ had a season to forget.

Fenerbahçe SK edged out Trabzonspor AŞ on head-to-head record to reclaim the Turkish Super League crown from Bursaspor, who finished third. Istanbul rivals Galatasaray AŞ, meanwhile, suffered a disappointing campaign under three different coaches, climbing from a low of 14th to finish eighth.

Champions: Fenerbahçe SK
Fenerbahçe won a record 18th title thanks to a sensational second half of the season, winning 16 times and drawing once. Under the charge of former director of football Aykut Kocaman, they started slowly and were nine points adrift of Trabzonspor at one point. They eventually caught the long-time leaders, though, and prevailed after a crucial 4-3 success against Sivasspor on the final day.

Cup final: Beşiktaş JK 2-2 İstanbul BB SK (Beşiktaş win 4-3 on pens)
Out of title contention from the early stages, Beşiktaş replaced Bernd Schuster with Tayfur Havutçu and were ultimately able to take solace from their fourth Turkish Cup triumph in six years. They prevailed against showpiece debutants İstanbul on spot kicks, Cihan Haspolatlı and Metin Depe missing to allow Simão to convert the winning penalty.

European places
Fenerbahçe SK – UEFA Champions League group stage
Trabzonspor AŞ – UEFA Champions League third qualifying round
Beşiktaş JK – UEFA Europa League play-offs
Bursaspor – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
Gaziantepspor – UEFA Europa League second qualifying round

Player of the year: Alex (Fenerbahçe SK)
In his seventh season at the club, the 33-year-old Brazilian playmaker was perhaps more influential than ever. His 28 goals made him the leading scorer in the division, matching his feat of 2006/07, while 14 assists were further proof of his pivotal role in Fenerbahçe's title-winning campaign.

One to watch: Cenk Tosun (Gaziantepspor)
The 20-year-old striker only arrived back in his homeland from Eintracht Frankfurt II in January but still found time to register ten league goals for his new employers. His powerful shot and clinical finishing earned him a first national-team call-up, though he is yet to make his senior debut. He will have the opportunity to showcase his talents in next season's UEFA Europa League.

Surprise package: Gaziantepspor
Inspired by respected young coach Tolunay Kafkas, Gaziantepspor secured their highest finish in seven years and, with it, the chance to play European football in 2011/12. A fine blend of hard-working foreign players and local youngsters, they further demonstrated their prowess by reaching the Turkish Cup semi-finals.

Leading scorer: Alex, Fenerbahçe SK (28)

Number: 40
The number of different players used by relegated Bucaspor during the course of the season.

Relegated: Kasımpaşa SK, Konyaspor, Bucaspor

Promoted: Mersin İdmanyurdu, Samsunspor, Orduspor

Quote
"I don't remember any other season in my career more challenging than this one. We came from nine points behind to take the title and every game was like a final. This is a totally deserved victory for us." Fenerbahçe captain and talisman Alex reflects on a splendid title triumph.

Last updated: 13/07/11 16.06CET

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