By Motlalepula Maduna
Despite ending the season poorly with only one win in their last six games, maximum points accumulated from the start of the season proved to be enough for Kaizer Chiefs to see them clinching their third league title since the inception of the Premier Soccer League (PSL).
The Amakhosi, as they are affectionately known, has to be said, were deserved winners as they topped the log throughout the 2012/2013 season under the guidance of former Bafana Bafana mentor, Stuart Baxter, who made history by becoming the first foreign coach to win a PSL title in his maiden season.
Chiefs were officially crowned the champions over the weekend despite their 1-0 lost to PSL rookies Amatuks, who impressively booked their place in the next season’s MTN 8 knockout competition; the main winners were, however, the boys from Naturena who won the coveted trophy for the first time since the 2004/2005 season.
Chiefs coach was visibly a delighted man, and paid tribute to his players, especially the captain, for fighting, showing hunger and dedication throughout the season http://www.kickoff.com/news/34495/kaizer-chiefs-coach-stuart-baxter-reflects-on-title-win.
Kaizer Chiefs this season under the catchphrase ‘Reclaiming The Glory’ arguably had their best stint in the PSL in a long time, considering that they can win a double having to play Supersport United in the Nedbank cup final this weekend, what makes it even more worth bragging and celebratory for the Amakhosi faithful’s is that they have ‘reclaimed their glory’ by dethroning bitter rivals Orlando Pirates who surrendered all their trophies won in the past two seasons and could only finish the league in a disappointing third spot, they would, however, find solace in their impressive CAF Champions League run.
Looking elsewhere, Stuart Baxter fellow countryman Sir Alex Ferguson ended his 27 years illustrious career on a high note when Manchester United overwhelmingly claimed their 20th English Premier League title with a provisional 10 points gap over defending champions Manchester City. Ferguson (71) who has been United’s manager since 1986, won 13 league titles, two Champions Leagues, the Cup Winners’ Cup, five FA Cups and four League Cups making him arguably the best and respected manager in modern football era http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/2013/may/08/alex-ferguson-retires-manchester-united. Joining the list of legends retiring from the game is Ferguson’s employee Paul Scholes (38) and former employee David Beckham (38) who also went out triumphantly, and became the only English player to win championships in four countries, after his French side Paris Saint German (PSV) became the sixth club to win ‘Ligue 1’ in the past six seasons http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/european/tears-and-cheers-as-david-beckham-ends-glittering-career-after-helping-psg-to-final-win-8622384.html.
In Spain, Barcelona, as expected, won the ‘La Liga’ title with three games to play following their unassailable ten points lead over Real Madrid who finished the season with no trophy to show for it. http://www.adelaidenow.com.au/sport/football/barcelona-stars-in-potential-bus-brawl-after-winning-la-liga-title/story-fnddhv0x-1226645750655.
This will go a long way in consoling the European giants after their disastrous semi-final exit in the UEFA champions league following their 7-0 aggregate humiliation suffered at the hands of Germany giants Bayern Munich, who on the other hand, claimed their 23rd title in the ‘Bundesliga’ with a whopping and record breaking 22 points gap over defending champions and Champions league finalist Borrusia Dortmund http://zeenews.india.com/sports/football/bayern-munich-win-23rd-german-bundesliga-title_761225.html. The finale however in German soccer proves to be the UEFA Champions League final which will see the German giants battling it out for the most prestigious club competition in the world.
Holistically, it was a very interesting season, however, it can be argued that it lacked some elements of competitiveness, Kaizer Chiefs officially claimed the league with a game to spare, and that is something South Africans are not really familiar with considering the thrilling climax evident in the past few seasons.
The points gap alluded above in the top European league sums up the one sided affair witnessed in the 2012/2013 season.
Perhaps one ne might argue that it was not necessarily a matter of lack of quality display from other clubs, but rather the champions were better prepared and more determined to win, especially bearing in mind the fact that all teams mentioned who have won the league in their respective countries had to dethrone their bitter rivals, which undoubtedly set for a thrilling 2013/2014. In the end, it is only fair to congratulate all the Champions as we anticipate the new season with high expectations.