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Hello and welcome back to the SoccerNation Report!  In this edition, we will wrap-up the Scottish, English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Portugese Leagues as we head to the summer break.  We also will look at the German, English League, FA, Scottish, French, Italian, Spanish, and UEFA Cups.





I. English Premier League


Having already wrapped up the title, Manchester United had a very important match on Sunday, as did a lot of teams.  They took on Hull City, who were looking to escape relegation and United decided to throw out almost all of the youngsters with Fletcher and Nani.  In the first half, United's Gibson scored a brilliant goal that withstood, but on this day Hull City would be safe.


Relegated Teams: West Bromwich Albion, Middlesbrough, Newcastle

Europa League: Everton, Aston Villa, Fulham

Champions League: Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal

Promoted Teams: Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Burnley

League Cup Winner: Manchester United

FA Cup: Chelsea

Golden Boot: Nicolas Anelka (Chelsea)- 19 Goals




II. Scottish Premier League


Coming into Sunday, two teams had the dream as always.  Rangers and Celtic were once again the sides that looked to win the SPL title.  For once, Rangers were in a position to win it as long as they didn't falter.  And on that day, Rangers did not falter.  Actually, Celtic were the ones to falter.  Rangers won 3-0 while Celtic drew 0-0 and went down with a whimper.  Rangers will be in the UCL this year, so don't fear them being knocked out by some nobody.


Relegated Team: Inverness

Europa League:  Hearts, Aberdeen

Champions League: Rangers, Celtic

Promoted Team:  St. Johnstone

Scottish Cup: Rangers

Golden Boot: Kris Boyd (Rangers)- 27 Goals


 See full size image




III. German Bundesliga


Coming into Saturday, the German League had three sides that could win the title.  Wolfsburg would win as long as they matched whatever Bayern Munich and Stuttgart would do.  Wolfsburg were playing Werder Bremen, a pretty good side, and Bayern had Stuttgart.  Wolfsburg cruised to a 5-1 win with the help of Grafite and Dzeko over Diego's boys and won the "plate" in style.  Bayern won and sowed up automatic qualification in the Champions League.  Now Stuttgart will have to fight a big boy like Celtic or Arsenal.


Relegated Teams: Arminia Bielefeld, Karlsruhe, Energie Cottbus

Europa League: Hertha Berlin, Hamburg SV

Champions League: Wolfsburg, Bayern Munich, Stuttgart

Promoted Teams: SC Freiburg, Mainz, Nurnberg (Won 5-0 over Cottbus to gain promotion)

German Cup: Werder Bremen 

Golden Boot: Grafite (Wolfsburg)- 28 Goals




IV. Italian Serie A

Coming into last week's matches, everyone knew that AC Milan's Paolo Maldini would be retiring and that the match between AC Milan and Roma would be a great one celebrating the career of that man (and that Inter had already won the league).  Well, Roma didn't quite let it turn out that way.  The underachieving side under Spalletti finally played the football that they are capable of and won a thriller in the San Siro thanks to a brilliant free-kick goal from Totti.  It ended 3-2 and even saw a stretch of 3 goals in about 5 minutes.  That match could really end up hurting AC Milan now. Now I will get to the scenarios.


Relegated Teams: Reggina, Lecce, Torino

Europa League: Genoa, AS Roma

Champions League: Inter Milan, Juventus, AC Milan, Fiorentina

Promoted Teams: Bari, Parma, Livorno

Coppa Italia Winner: Lazio

Golden Boot: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Inter)- 25 Goals





V. Spanish La Liga

Coming into last week, only a few sides had something to play for.  But that didn't make the league any more boring.  This week, we have a ton of things up for grabs.  Deportivo, Valenica, Villareal, and Atletico Madrid can all end up in the Europa League next term.  Villareal and Atletico Madrid will fight to join the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Sevilla in the Champions League next fall.  Sevilla could still fall into fourth place and possibly go on to play one of the big dogs of Europe in the Champions League.  So, let's recap.


Relegated Teams: Recreativo Huelva, Numancia, Real Betis

Europa League: Valenica, Villareal

Champions League: Barcelona, Real Madrid, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid

Promoted Teams: Xerez, Tenerife, Real Zaragoza

King's Cup Winner: Barcelona

Golden Boot: Diego Forlan (Atletico Madrid)- 32 Goals





VI. French Ligue 1

Coming into last week's fixtures, Lyon were sitting on the outside looking into the champions race.  But they knew that they had played their part in the league in a big way.  Sitting in a stagnant third-place, Lyon had the opportunity to throw the balance of Ligue 1.  And they did just that.  Lyon took on title-contenders Olympique Marseille while their title rivals Bordeaux took on Le Mans and won 3-2.  Thanks to Lyon's win a couple of weeks ago, Bordeaux has it in their reach and only need a draw.  But with a Bordeaux loss and a win, Marseille can win the title and reach the glory that Lyon has monopolized in recent years.  No doubt about it, the French will have something to say this weekend and you don't want to miss it.


Relegated Teams: Le Havre, Nantes, Caen

Europa League: Toulouse

Champions League: Bordeaux, Marseille, Lyon

Promoted Teams: Lens, Strasbourg, Montpellier

Coupe de la Ligue Winner: Metz

Coupe de France Winner:  Lille

Golden Boot: Andre-Pierre Gignac (Toulouse)- 24 Goals






VII. Dutch Eredivisie 

Relegated Team: Volendam

Relegation/Relegation Play-offs: Roda JC v. Cambuur, De Graafschap v. RKC

Europa League: Ajax, PSV, Heerenveen (KNVB Cup), NAC Breda (winner of Europa League Play-offs)

Champions League: AZ Alkmaar, Twente

KNVB (Dutch) Cup Winner: Heerenenveen

Promoted Team: VVV Venlo

Golden Boot: Mounir El Hamdoui (AZ)- 23 Goals





VIII. Portuguese Liga

Relegated Teams: Trofense, Belenenses

Europa League: Benfica, Nacional, Sporting Braga, Pacos de Ferreira (Runner-up in Portuguese Cup)

Champions League: FC Porto, Sporting Lisbon

Taca de Portugal Winner: Sporting Lisbon

Taca de Liga: Sporting Lisbon

Golden Boot: Nene (Nacional)- 20 Goals





IX. Greek Super League

Relegated Teams: Thrasyvolous, Panserraikos, OFI

Europa League: Panathinaikos, AEK Athens, PAOK, Larissa

Champions League: Olympiacos

Greek Cup Winner: Olympiacos (over AEK Athens 4-4.  15-14 on penalties.  Last penalty was converted by goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis)

Golden Boot: Ismael Blanco (AEK) and Luciano Galletti (Olympiacos)- 14 Goals




X. Russian Premier League (2008)

Relegated Teams: Luch-Energiya ,Shinnik Yarolslavl

Europa League: Amkar Perm, Zenit St. Petersburg, Krylia Sovetov

Champions League: Rubin Kazan, CSKA Moscow, Dynamo Moscow

Russian Cup Winner: CSKA Moscow

Golden Boot: Wagner Love (CSKA)- 20 Goals




XI. Turkish Super Lig

Relegated Teams: Hacettepe, Kocaelispor, Konyaspor

Europa League: Trabzonspor, Fenerbache, Galatasaray

Champions League: Besiktas, Silvasspor

Turkish Cup Winner: Besiktas

Golden Boot: Milan Baros (Galatasaray)- 20 Goals





Two Wednesday's ago was an historic day in football.  The last UEFA Cup was to be decided and it was contested between a hungry Shaktar Donestk and an underachieving Werder Bremen.  Shaktar came out and scored early on with but could not hold on to the lead.  A little over 10 minutes later, Naldo had equalised.  But Shaktar continued to press on and controlled the game with the brilliant play of Croatian captain and right-back Dario Srna.  Despite their controlling nature, Shaktar's Brazilian, Romanian, Croatian, and Ukrainian combination couldn't manage another goal until extra time.  But they did score in extra time to win the final UEFA Cup and became a European Champion for the first time in club history.


Golden Boot:  Vagner Love (CSKA Moscow)- 11 Goals






XIII. UEFA Champions League


Coming into Wednesday's Final, everyone was expecting a classic (even myself) between the English Champions United and La Liga's champ Barca.  Well everyone was wrong in that regard.  Barca completely shut down the odd tactics of Sir Alex Ferguson and took the Champions League title away from United like it was nothing.  Samuel Eto'o scored the first goal in the 10th minute and in the 70th Messi put it away with a brilliant header goal assisted by Xavi Hernandez.  Ronaldo, Rooney, and company were held in check by brilliant defence from Puyol, Pique, Toure, and Sylvinho.  Puyol was the driving force of the side and inspired his teammates to press on despite being up 2-0.  Congrats to Barca, and I'm already looking forward to next year's edition of the Champions League.  Hopefully we can get the title back to England next year.  In a world dominated by English football, Barca are the one exception to the rule.  With their beautiful play, the blaugrana have wrestled the title from England's best.  Three teams could have been Barca, but Barca took care of one and Chelsea took care of the other.  Barca are the champions of Europe and in impressive fashion.


Golden Boot: Lionel Messi (Barcelona)- 9 Goals


 Barcelona lift the Champions League trophy
















Well, I hoped you liked it.  It's been Keeper and I'm out.


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