Shocks and surprises are often the spice of football, and the 2008/09 campaign has been rife with unpredictable developments. While England and Spain's top flight threw up predictable champions in heavyweights Manchester United and Barcelona respectively, Germany saw unheralded Wolfsburg break the Bundesliga stranglehold of Bayern Munich. Die Wölfe took a bite out of Werder Bremen at the weekend to earn a first German title in the club's history.
Over in the Netherlands, the Eredivisie was not topped by Ajax, Feyenoord or PSV, but rather AZ Alkmaar, who picked up their first title since 1981. Coach Louis van Gaal masterminded the wonder campaign, only AZ's second-ever crown, and will now move on to try and revive Bayern Munich in Germany for the start of the next season. France's Ligue 1 has also thrown up some surprises, with Bordeaux and Marseille both vying to topple Lyon's seemingly endless string of title successes with one matchday to go.
Elsewhere, once humble Fulham Football Club, under outstanding coach Roy Hodgson, made waves in the English Premier League by wrapping up an all-time high seventh-place finish and a place in the new UEFA Europa League. On a sadder note, long-time top flight occupants Newcastle United, led by former icon Alan Shearer, are heading out of the English Premier League, along with Tyne-Tees rivals Middlesbrough. Underdogs, Hull City, however, hung on to survive and will play at least one more year in the English stratosphere.
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