Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Turkey Greatest All-time 23 member team

Turkey 2002

Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.

GalatasarayFenerbahçe SKBeşiktaş

Before the Golden Generation of late 1990's, Turkey was probably remembered for playing in the same group as finalist West Germany and Hungary at the 1954 World Cup Finals.  However, the world started to take notice of Turkish football in the late 1990's, when they qualified for Euro 1996.  Then, in 2000, Galatasaray won the UEFA Cup, the first ever European trophy won by a Turkish club.  Meanwhile, the national team was reinforced by a number of German-born Turkish players who opted to play for Turkey.  In 2000, Turkey beat the host Belgium and reached the quarterfinal at Euro 2000.  In 2002, Turkey marched through the WC Finals before losing to Brazil in the semifinal and finished 3rd. In 2008, they again reached the semifinal of Euro 2008.

This is my 23-member All-time team for Turkey.  I did an all-time team for Southeastern Europe(Greece, Turkey and Albania) here.

GK:  Rustu Recber
Rüştü had got a key role in the success of the Turkish national squad, and it was at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, where Turkey finished third, that his performances saw him selected for the tournament's all-star team. He is Turkey's record appearance holder, having earned 120 caps.  During his professional career, he played as a goalkeeper for Antalyaspor, Fenerbahçe, Barcelona and Beşiktaş. 

Rustu Recber
GK:  Turgay Seren
He played ahis entire career with Galatasaray between 1947 and 1966 .  He was capped 52 times for Turkey.  He was nicknamed "Berlin Panther" after Turkey upset West Germany in 1951.  He went to the WC Finals in 1954.

GK:  Özcan Arkoç
He began his football career at Vefa in 1955. He later played for  Fenerbahçe and to Beşiktaş. He also played for Austria Wien between 1964 and 1967. He joined  Hamburger SV in 1967 and played for nine seasons. He played in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1968 losing 2–0 to AC Milan.

RB: Ümit Davala 
Born in Germany, he played mainly in Turkey before joining Galatasaray in 1996. He also had stints with both AC Milan and Inter Milan.  He was capped 41 times. He was in the squad of Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Ümit Davala 

CB: Bülent Korkmaz
He was an all-time great at Galatasaray.  He started his career in 1987 and the fans nicknamed him "Büyük Kaptan" (the Great Captain) there.  He won 29 trophies with the club.  During the 2000 UEFA Cup Final, he dislocated his shoulder, but he refused to leave the field as Galatasaray won the Cup. He is the first player from Turkey to earn 100 caps.

CB:  Alpay Özalan
He earned 87 caps for Turkey.  He went to the Euro 1996, Euro 2000, 2002 World Cup, and the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup nduring Turkey's Golden period. He made the all-tournament at the WC Finals in 2002 as Turkey finished 3rd.   He started with Beşiktaş and had stints with Aston Villa.  He also played in Germany, Korea and Japan.
CB: Basri Dirimlili 
He was a member of Turkey's WC team in 1954.  He was regarded among the greatest Turkish defender. Dirimlili began playing football for Eskişehir Demirspor. He transferred to Fenerbahçe in 1951. 

He played for theTurkey 51 times between 1974 and 1985 and was the national team captain for 35 international games, setting the national record in both categories at that time. He ended his playing career at Galatasaray in 1985.

LB/LW: Abdullah Ercan
He was remembered for his career with Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe.  He also played briefly with Galatasaray.  He earned 68 caps between 1993 and 2003.  He went to the Euro 1996, Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.

DM: Emre Belozoglu
In Turkey, he spent most of his career with Fenerbahçe and Galatasaray. His past clubs also included Inter Milan, Newcastle United and Atlético Madrid.  He won the UEFA Cup in 1999 with Galatasaray.  He played with Turkey that went to the semi-finals at the 2002 World Cup and at Euro 2008.

Emre Belozoglu

CM: Yıldıray Baştürk
Born in Germany of Turkish ancestry.   He is best remembered for his most successful years at Leverkusen. He was the playmaker of a great Leverkusen that finished second in the German league, the German Cup and the 2002 Champions League Final.  That same year, he led Turkey to the semi-final of the WC in Japan/Korea.
CM: Tugay Kerimoglu
He was a part of Turkey's Golden Generation.  He was capped 94 times between 1992 and 2006.  He went to the Euro 1996, Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.  He was a deep-lying midfielder who played mainly with Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers.  He had a brief stint with Rangers in Scotland. He was the youngest ever captain at Galatasaray.

Tugay Kerimoglu
RW/RB: Rıza Çalımbay
He spent his entire career with Beşiktaş and is considered one of their greatest players. He was once their captain.  He was capped 51 times by Turkey.

RM/CM:  Hamit Altıntop
He is a versatile player who can play in various position.  He played for Schalke 04, Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and now Galatasaray.  He helped Turkey to reach the senifinal at the Euro 2008, where he was voted into the all-tournament team.

Hamit Altıntop
LW/RW/AM: Arda Turan
At the time of writing, he earned 78 caps for Turkey.  He started his career with Galatasaray and moved to Atletico Madrid in 2011.  He had a major role as Atletico Madrid won the La Liga title and reached the Champions' league Final in the 2013 to 2014 season. He also won Turkey's Player of the Year 3 times.
AM/LW: Can Bartu
He started his career with Fenerbahçe as a basketball player.  He moved to soccer in 1957.  In 1961, Bartu transferred to ACF Fiorentina in Italy. Later, he played for Venezia A.C. in 1962 and for S.S. Lazio in 1964. He is the first ever Turkish footballer, who played a final game in Europe with Fiorentina against Atlético Madrid in 1962. He represented Turkey in both basketball and football.
LW/FW: Hasan Şas
He had 40 caps.  He was best remembered as a member of Turkey's Golden Generation that finished 3rd at the WC  Finals in 2002. He was voted into the team of the tourament.  He played mainly with Galatasaray, where he won the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup in 2000. 
Hasan Şaş

He is considered to be one of Turkey's most talented players, but disagreements with coaches, injuries and other reasons limited his career.  He played the big four clubs in Turkey, but he spent the longest time with Beşiktaş. He was capped 37 times. He helped Turkey to qualify for Euro 1996, Turkey's first major tournament since the WC finals in 1954. He should have been a main part of the Turkish national team at the Euro 1996.

SS: Lefter Küçükandonyadis 
He is regarded as one of the greatest footballers to play for Fenerbahçe and Turkey. He was one of the first Turkish footballers to play abroad, playing during 1951–1953 for Fiorentina in Italy and OGC Nice in France. He scored 22 goals for the national team and was the top scorer for Turkey until overtaken by Hakan Şükür. He was the first Turkish football player to receive the "Golden Honor medal", from the Turkish Football Federation, for having played for the National Selection in 50 international matches.
Lefter Küçükandonyadis 

ST: Zeki Rıza Sporel 
He played and scored in the country's first international match against Romania in 1923. He spent his entire career at Fenerbahçe scoring over 470 goals for them.

ST:  Metin Oktay
He was an idol during his time.  He even starred himself in his own movie about his own life.  He was a prolific goal scorer.  He almost broke every single record in Turkish football during his career.  He was capped 36 times.  He spent most of his career with Galatasaray, but also spent the 1961-1962 season in Italy with Palermo.  

ST: Tanju Colak
He had a lifetime total of 240 goals and took over the title of top goal scorer in the Turkish Super League by breaking the legendary record of Metin Oktay.  With Galatasaray, he scored 37 goals in 1987-1988, winning the European Golden Boot.  He also played for  Samsunspor,  Fenerbahçe and İstanbulspor.  Capped 31 times.

ST: Hakan Sukur 
Nicknamed the "Bull of the Bosphorus". He is the all-time leading scorer for Turkey.  He represented Turkey at UEFA Euro 1996 , Euro 2000  and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  He helped Galatasaray to win the first European trophy for a Turkish club when it won the UEFA Cup in 1999. He also played for Inter Milan, Parma and Blackburn Rovers.

Hakan Sukur 

Honorable Mention
Şenol Gunes, Alpaslan Eratlı, Ergün Penbe, Okan Buruk and Nihat Kahveci.

Squad Explanation
-- The Gold Generation of the 2000s dominated this team.  
-- I took Sergen Yalçın because I considered him to be one of most talented players in Turkey's history although he did not live up to his talents.
-- Fatih Terim was well-known as a player, but people outside Turkey only remembered him as the coach.  He is often listed among the greatest Turkish player.
-- Lefter Küçükandonyadis is considered to be the greatest player from Turkey.
-- I rated Nihat Kahveci very high, but it is difficult to select him over Zeki Rıza Spore, Metin Oktay and Tanju Colak.  They all had a legendary status in Turkey while Hakan Sukur was the most famous of the Golden Generation.

Starting lineup
Formation I: 4-3-3

Formation II: 4-4-1-1

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