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Page last updated at 14:53 GMT, Sunday, 2 May 2010 15:53 UK

Steve McClaren's Twente win Dutch league title

Steve McClaren lifts the Eredivisie shield aloft
Steve McClaren lifts FC Twente's first Eredivisie trophy aloft

Former England boss Steve McClaren has led FC Twente to the first Dutch league title in their 45-year history.

McClaren, sacked as England manager in 2007, is the first English coach to win a major European league title since Sir Bobby Robson with Porto in 1996.

Twente went to NAC Breda on the final day of the season with a one-point lead over Martin Jol's Ajax.

And the Tukkers triumphed 2-0 against their 10-man opponents to render Ajax's 4-1 win over NEC meaningless.

Ajax finished the season with a remarkable goal difference of +86 and won their last 14 league games, but Twente were rewarded for a steady season in which they lost only two games.

"Last season, we finished second and they wrote a book about it called 'It's A Miracle'. We are champions and that's more than a miracle!" said McClaren.

"We are going back to Enschede to celebrate and let me tell you, they know how to party there.

"Winning a title in a foreign country with foreign players and coaches feels very special."


McClaren, who celebrates his 49th birthday on Monday, took charge at the club in June 2008, six months after he was sacked as England coach in the wake of the national team's failure to qualify for Euro 2008.

Talking about his time as England boss, McClaren said: "You need failures to make you stronger. I had a massive one.

"There's not a day goes by I don't think about it. I hope this draws a line under what's gone before."

Twente finished second in the Eredivisie in McClaren's first season, and were runners-up in the domestic cup final.

But they went one better this season, pipping in-form Ajax to the post, and earning themselves a place in the Champions League group stages for the first time.

Facing an NAC Breda side hoping to qualify for the Europa League play-offs, Bryan Ruiz - a £4.3m signing last summer - settled Twente's nerves with his 24th goal of the season.

That came seconds after NAC's Csaba Feher was sent off for a two-footed tackle on Theo Janssen.

On-loan Chelsea midfielder Miroslav Stoch sealed the win 16 minutes from time.

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see also
McClaren turns Dutch master
30 Apr 10 |  Europe
McClaren's FC Twente bus attacked
14 Apr 10 |  Europe
McClaren extends deal with Twente
27 Oct 09 |  Europe
Interview - Steve McClaren
05 Sep 09 |  Football Focus
McClaren haunted by England failure
08 Sep 09 |  Internationals
Man City 3-2 FC Twente
06 Nov 08 |  Europe
Arsenal 4-0 FC Twente (agg 6-0)
27 Aug 08 |  Europe
McClaren suffers Dutch Cup agony
17 May 09 |  Europe
McClaren relishes Dutch challenge
24 Jun 08 |  Europe
Dutch side name McClaren as boss
20 Jun 08 |  Europe
Sacked McClaren admits 'failure'
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
McClaren sacked as England coach
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
Where it went wrong for McClaren
22 Nov 07 |  Internationals
England 2-3 Croatia
21 Nov 07 |  Internationals

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