Galatasaray clinches Turkish Super League title
The club’s late season success comes after the return of Fatih Terim, a Turkish football icon dubbed the “Emperor,” for his fourth stint as coach in December 2017.
“Knock knock! Guess who is back??@ChampionsLeague,” Terim tweeted following the victory.
The Istanbul club beat İzmir side Göztepe 1-0 away from home to secure the crown after a goal from the penalty spot in the 66th minute by French striker Bafetimbi Gomis.
Galatasaray had not won the title since 2015 after Istanbul rival Beşiktaş won in 2016 and 2017.
It now claims Turkey’s sole automatic Champions League spot.
Galatasaray needed a win or a draw in the May 19 match to win the title, with Fenerbahçe and Başakşehir playing home games against Konyaspor and Kasompaşa respectively.
Fenerbahçe beat Konyaspor 3-2 while fellow city rivals Başakşehir beat Kasımpaşa 3-2.
Galatasaray won the league with 75 points, three ahead of both followers. Fenerbahçe secured second place in the league and the right to play in the UEFA Champions League qualification rounds, while Başakşehir managed to finish the league in third place and will participate in the UEFA Europa League qualification rounds.
Besiktas could only finish the league in fourth place, despite hammering Demir Grup Sivasspor 5-1 and it will also will play in Europa League qualification rounds.
Gomis made history by becoming the first foreign player to score the most goals - 29 - during one season. “I am very happy. I broke the goals record. But the championship we have achieved is much more important than my personal statistics,” Gomis was quoted as saying by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Gomis was brave enough to take the penalty despite missing two consecutive shots in previous games.
Thousands were on the streets across Istanbul celebrating the victory wearing the club’s red and yellow, and waving Galatasaray flags.
Galatasaray signed a one-and-a-half year contract with Terim for three million euros, and his deal also entitled him to 500,000 euros in bonuses for each season if he takes the league title. Former national team boss Terim, 64, replaced Croatia’s Igor Tudor who was sacked after just 10 months in charge.
It is Terim’s seventh title with the team after managing Galatasaray during previous stints between 1996-2000, 2002-2004 and 2011-2013.
“We are embracing this championship. I am so happy,” Terim told reporters.