Galatasaray clinched their 19th Turkish league title with a 4-2 win over Sivasspor on Sunday, crowning a successful season in which they reached the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
Fans of the club filled the streets of Istanbul, sounding car horns, setting off flares and waving flags in the club’s red-and-yellow colours as they sang in the city’s squares.
With two weeks remaining in the season, Galatasaray eased to victory with two goals apiece from top goalscorer Burak Yilmaz and Selcuk Inan. They now have 68 points.
Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce, who have won the title 18 times, slumped to a 2-0 defeat at Buyuksehir Bld. Spor, leaving them 10 points adrift of the leaders and just three points ahead of Istanbul’s Besiktas.
Coach Fatih Terim, in his third spell in charge of Galatasaray, retained the title after strengthening his squad with the signings of Didier Drogba and Wesley Sneijder earlier this year.
Terim was forced to watch his team’s triumph from the stands as he is serving a nine-match ban following a spat with a referee during a league match last month.
“We are deserved champions with the way we played and fought. I thank the fans as well. I greet all the Galatasaray fans around the world,” he said.
It was the sixth time that Terim has led the club to success in the Turkish league.
Forward Burak Yilmaz, top scorer in the league, was key to Galatasaray’s success on the pitch this season, supported ably in attack by Umut Bulut.
But the eye-catching addition of Sneijder and Drogba, last season’s Champions League hero for Chelsea, fuelled the club’s passion in the latter part of the season.