wolfsburg: deutscher meister

Going into the last round of fixtures, Wolfsburg simply needed a point to win the title. Carrying a two point lead over 2nd placed Bayern Munich, and a superior goal difference, only a home defeat and a Bayern win would see the championship slip through Wolfsburg's fingers.

However, despite Bayern winning their fixture, the Wolves won the title in style recording a thumping 5-1 victory over UEFA Cup runners up Werder Bremen to bring a first title to their jubilant fans.

Since being formed way back in the thirties as a team for the Volkswagon car manufacturers, Wolfsburg had never won a major trophy before their recent Bundesliga success.

The closest they came was back in 1995 when they reached the German Cup final. On that day they were beaten 3-0 by Bor. Monchengladbach and had since never really looked like challenging for any major honours.

Going into the 2008/09 season, many pundits were predicting that Bayern Munich would not just defend their Bundesliga crown from the previous season, but start a new era of dominance in Germany. Little did they know that the Wolves from the lower Saxony region would completely overpower the reigning champions in every area of the pitch.

The proof of Wolfsburg's power came in April, at the Volkswagon Arena, when the two teams collided in an important top of the table clash. With Bayern struggling for form after the winter break, Wolfsburg were wracking up successive victories and came into the game on top form.

The end result was a whopping 5-1 victory for Wolfsburg, highlighting Bayern's defensive frailties and shyness in front of goal, and proving Wolfsburg's front pairing of Edin Dzeko and Grafite to be the deadliest in the division.

Both sides can look at this as the pivotal moment of their season, as Bayern lost ground in the title race and crashed out of the Champions League in similarly emphatic fashion just a week later, while Wolfsburg had finally given themselves the confidence to go all the way.

The undoubted stars of Wolfsburg's season are the strike partnership of Edin Dzeko and Grafite. Dzeko's 26 goals, added to Grafite's 28, gave the Wolves a significant edge over their rivals as their goal difference went through the roof. Opposition defences simply couldn't handle the pace, power and all round movement of Europe's deadliest combo.

The biggest challenge for Wolfsburg over the summer will be keeping their dynamic duo at the club. There is already big interest in the pair from a multitude of English and Spanish clubs, and there is no doubt that Wolfsburg would be seriously weakened if they lost them.

One change that has already been confirmed is the management position at Wolfsburg. Current boss, Felix Magath, announced he will be leaving the club on July 1st to become the new manager at Bundesliga rivals Schalke. Wolfsburg have acted fast however, as they announced that Armin Veh will take over the reigns in the summer. Veh is no stranger to success himself, as he guided his previous club, Stuttgart, to the Bundesliga title in 2007. Despite Veh coming in to a championship winning side, he will still find his predecessor a hard act to follow. Magath joined the club after a poor season almost saw them relegated, but changed their fortunes to guide them to 5th and 1st in his two seasons.



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