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Bayern crowned league champions

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Bayern crowned league champions
An Italian celebrates Bavarian style. Photo: DPA
20:23 CEST+02:00
The beer flowed as Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga title on Sunday after a lacklustre 0-0 draw at VfL Wolfsburg gave them the precious point to be crowned German champions for the 21st time.

The stalemate in Wolfsburg puts Bayern on 67 points - ten more than second-placed Werder Bremen - and with only three games left this season, Munich can not be caught.

Bayern have now won the league, German Cup and German League Cup this season.

After the final whistle, celebrating Bayern players took turns soaking each other - and the management - with beer as chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was given a bath live on television from midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger.

"We have had an outstanding season and it bodes well for next season," said Rummenigge moments before his beer bath.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, who won his 25th title as a coach and leaves Bayern to take charge of the Switzerland team after this June's Euro 2008, was caught unaware by midfielder Mark van Bommel.

"It is something special to win the German league," said a soggy Hitzfeld. "The team didn't play very well today and were flat, but it has been a special season. The expectation on us was enormous and we had a lot of players here who didn't speak German so you never know what will happen."

In the comfort of the television studio, Bayern president Franz Beckenbauer stayed dry and added he was proud of the team. "The team earned their title, we led the table from the first weekend of the season, which doesn't always happen. It has been a very, very good season, the new players did well."

Bayern Munich were crowned Bundesliga champions after having dominated the league from the opening day to the last.

A €69 million spending spree ($100 million) in the summer of 2007 recruited a strike-force including top names Luca Toni, Miroslav Klose and Franck Ribery, leaving Bayern with a virtually untroubled run to the title.

The biggest pause on Bayern's journey to their 21st crown as German champions came on November 10 when they were humbled 3-1 at defending champions VfB Stuttgart after a poor performance. And a bad run into December's winter break with draws against strugglers Duisburg and mid-table Hertha Berlin meant they went into Christmas sharing the lead with Werder Bremen.

However, the only real blot on their league stats this year was a shock 2-0 defeat at Energie Cottbus on March 15 when the bottom of the table side beat the league leaders in a freak result just as Bayern was pulling away from the chasing pack.

Of course, it wasn't enough to deny them the title, which without a doubt was won with the 21 league goals scored by World Cup winner Toni in his debut season in Germany.

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