BERLIN May 27 It's been a long time since
one-time German powerhouse Nuremberg last won a title.
The long-suffering club beat Bundesliga champions Stuttgart
3-2 in an extra-time thriller to win the German Cup on Saturday.
It was the first silverware in two generations for the club
that was once a dominant force with nine German championships.
It was also a fitting conclusion to a season of surprises --
such as back-to-back double winners Bayern Munich falling to
From the first German championship in 1920 to the last in
1968, the side known across the country as "der Club" were
feared. Nuremberg had an incredible 104-match winning streak
from 1918 to 1922.
"It's a beautiful moment for all the 'Club' fans who had to
endure all the problems and dubious past performances for so
long," said Nuremberg coach Hans Meyer.
Nuremberg fell to the third division in 1996 after being
penalised six points for financial problems. They climbed back
to top flight but were relegated again in 1999 and 2003.
They bounced right back in 2004 but struggled to avoid
relegation until Meyer arrived in 2005.
"It's a wonderful resurrection for us," said president
Michael Roth. "It's mostly the older generation that remembers
the glory days we used to have. It's great to be back."
But Roth did not want to gloat when asked how it felt to win
more silverware this year than arch enemy Bayern Munich.
"I hope expectations won't now rise too high too fast."
Nuremberg qualified for the UEFA Cup this season after a
sixth place finish in the Bundesliga.
"It's a huge story for Nuremberg," said Stuttgart coach
Armin Veh. "But it would have been a huge story for us too."
Veh, who led his team to their first Bundesliga championship
in 15 years, said he was proud of his men for fighting from
behind desepite being down to 10 from the 31st minute -- Cacau
was sent off for punching a Nuremberg defender.