Never-say-die Galatasaray defies all odds on road to championship

All hail the Lions, the champions of the Super League, with one week to the end of its rollercoaster season and the first team to get the fourth star on its jersey with the 20th title.
Just one day after defeating Istanbul rival Beiiktai 2-0 in a match befitting of championship contenders, Hamza Hamzaoiluand’s Galatasaray clinched the 2014-15 championship following Fenerbahandceand’s 2-2 draw with Istanbul Baiakiehir on Monday.
The title came with a determined six-match winning streak, during which no goals were conceded. The Lions also earned an automatic ticket to the European Champions League for the fourth consecutive season.
There have been many ups and downs during the season at Galatasaray, yet the Lions never gave up hope in the title race despite the odds. This was a team that witnessed three chairmen and two coaches in the same season.
The 2014-2015 Super League seasonand’s arrival was marked with talks of the fourth star and which of the two archrivals, Galatasaray or Fenerbahandce, would be the first team to succumb to this fate. But Beiiktai and Trabzonspor were also eager to end their championship droughts with star signings as proof of their intentions.
Cesare Prandelli was entrusted with the position of leading coach to replace fellow Italian Roberto Mancini at Galatasaray. Prandelli took over a team that was aspiring to the domestic title and success at the Champions League. The star-studded Istanbul side became one of the biggest flops in the topnotch European tournament, getting a single point in six matches with 19 goals conceded as opposed to four scored. Undaunted despite the downfall, the Italian coach drew the ire of the club and the fans with his remarks that the main goal of Galatasaray is domestic achievement.
The Istanbul club was still in the battle for the title and was trailing the leader by one point however, the Italian coach was constantly criticized for not understanding his players, the Turks in particular.
October was the time for the election of the next chairman. andunal Aysal, who was always under fire for the disappointing results of the football team and his controversial move to fire coach Fatih Terim the previous season, did not run for the position, and septuagenarian Duygun Yarsuvat won the election. One of his earliest acts was to send Prandelli packing and sign with current coach Hamzaoilu — a former Galatasaray player.
Hamzaoiluand’s arrival restored the peace on the football team, and lackluster stars such as captain Selandcuk inan and Burak Yilmaz got back on their feet, flourishing under the helm of the new coach. He proved his credentials with good guidance and choices en route to the championship as two other Istanbul powerhouses, Fenerbahandce and Beiiktai, were involved in the close race. Hamzaoiluand’s men were flawless in their last six outings, which they won without conceding a single goal thanks to very reliable goalkeeper Fernando Muslera.
A new page is now opened in the history of Galatasaray with the 20th title, and the new chairman Dursun andOzbek, who took over the post to replace Yarsuvat in smooth elections over the weekend, will soon roll up his sleeves to reach the cluband’s domestic and international targets.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman