Written off as genuine title contenders for much of the Danish season, Aalborg BK proved their doubters wrong once and for all on Thursday by clinching the Superligaen title with two matches to spare.
AaB began the spring campaign with a two-point lead over FC KÃƒÂ¸benhavn, yet few believed they would have staying power to fend off the inevitable challenge from the defending champions. Indeed in March one Danish newspaper even featured a picture of KÃƒÂ¸benhavn goalkeeper Jesper Christiansen clutching his championship medal from last year accompanied by the caption: “In May, he'll have another one”.
Importantly, however, Erik HamrÃƒÂ©n's men never stopped believing. The North Jutland side had shown their quality by reaching the UEFA Cup group stage earlier in the season and, despite losing top scorer Rade Prica to Sunderland AFC in January, continued to go from strength to strength. Leading second-placed FC Midtjylland by nine points with four games to go, AaB failed to clinch the title on Monday when they lost 4-0 to KÃƒÂ¸benhavn, but the champagne was only on ice for three more days as a 2-0 success against BrÃƒÂ¸ndby IF sealed the club's third league triumph.
AaB will enter the 2008/09 UEFA Champions League in the second qualifying round, although they will be without the architect of this year's wonderful campaign, their coach HamrÃƒÂ©n, who has agreed to move to Norwegian club Rosenborg BK.
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