Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Turkey Greatest All-time 23 member team

Turkey World Cup 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.
World Cup 1954
GK:  Rustu Recber
Rustu Rüştü had gotten 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. Turkey also reached the semifinal of Euro 2008. He is Turkey's record appearance holder, having earned 120 caps between 1994 and 2012.  During his professional career, he played as a goalkeeper for Antalyaspor, Fenerbahçe, Barcelona and Beşiktaş.
Rustu Recber
GK:  Turgay Seren
Turgay Seren played his entire career with Galatasaray between 1947 and 1966 .  He  was the starting keepers for 15 seasons. He held the most appearance record for the club. He was capped 52 times for Turkey between 1950 and 1966.  He was nicknamed "Berlin Panther" after Turkey upset West Germany 2-1 in in Berlin 1951.  He went to the World Cup Finals in 1954 and played two matches there.

GK:  Özcan Arkoç
Özcan Arkoç began his football career with Vefa in 1955.  He transferred to Fenerbahçe in 1958 and to Beşiktaş in 1962. He also played for Austria Wien between 1964 and 1967. He joined Hamburger SV in 1967 and played nine seasons for them. He played in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in 1968 losing 2–0 to AC Milan.

RB: Ümit Davala 
Born in Germany, Ümit Davala played mainly in Turkey before joining Galatasaray in 1996. He was a part of their UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup winning team in 2000.  He also had stints with both AC Milan and Inter Milan, but never played a single game for Inter Milan.  He was capped 41 times for Turkey between 1996 and 2004, scoring 4 goals. He was also in the squad of European Championship in 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Ümit Davala 
CB: Bülent Korkmaz
Bülent Korkmaz 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.  He went to the 2002 World Cup Finals.

CB:  Alpay Özalan
Alpay Özalan 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 World Cup 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 
Basri Dirimlili played 23 times for Turkey. He was a member of Turkey's World Cup team in 1954, the first ever World Cup Finals for Turkey.  He also went to the 1952 Olympic Games. He was regarded among the greatest Turkish defender. Dirimlili began playing football for Eskişehir Demirspor. He transferred to Fenerbahçe in 1951, where he played until 1953.

Fatih Terim played for Turkey 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. In 1969, Terim began his career with Adana Demirspor. He joined Galatasaray in 1974 and ended his playing career in 1985.  He was also their captain, but he never won the league title.  Today, he is better for being the greatest coach ever from Turkey, winning the UEFA Cup with Galatasaray.
Fatih Terim
LB/LW: Abdullah Ercan
Abdullah Ercan was remembered for his career with Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe.  With Trabzonspor, he played 9 seasons and won 5 titles. He also played briefly with Galatasaray.  He earned 68 caps between 1993 and 2003, the most glorious perid of Turkish football.  He went to the European Championship in 1996 and 2000, and the 2002 World Cup Finals.

DM: Emre Belozoglu
In Turkey, Emre Belozoglu 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 2000 with Galatasaray.  With Inter Milan, he was their player of the year for 2002-2003 season, but his later career with them was affected by injuries. He played with Turkey that went to the semi-finals at the 2002 World Cup and at Euro 2008.
Emre Belozoglu
CM: Yıldıray Baştürk
Yıldıray Baştürk was 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. He also played  Wattenscheid 09, VfL Bochum, Hertha BSC, VfB Stuttgart and English club Blackburn Rovers.
CM: Tugay Kerimoglu
Tugay Kerimoglu was a part of Turkey's Golden Generation in 2000's.  He was capped 94 times between 1992 and 2006.  He went to the European Championship in 1996 and 2000, and the 2002 World Cup.  He was a deep-lying midfielder who played with Galatasaray between 1987 and 1999, and Blackburn Rovers between 2001 and 2009.  He had a brief stint with Rangers in Scotland in between. He was the youngest ever captain at Galatasaray.
Tugay Kerimoglu
RW/RB: Rıza Çalımbay
Rıza Çalımbay spent his entire career with Beşiktaş between 1980 and 1996.  He is considered one of their greatest players. He was once their captain.  Nicknamed "Atom Ant", he is the club appearance record holder. He was capped 38 times by Turkey between 1981 and 1992. His only international was scored against Ireland in 1991.

RM/CM:  Hamit Altıntop
Born in Germany, Hamit Altıntop is a versatile player who can play in various positions.  He made a name with Schalke 04 between 2003 and 2007.  He later played for Bayern Munich, Real Madrid and Galatasaray.  He had 82 caps between 2004 and 2014.  He helped Turkey to reach the semifinal at the European Championship in 2008, where he was voted into the all-tournament team. His twin brother Halil was also capped over 30 times for Turkey.
Hamit Altıntop
LW/RW/AM: Arda Turan
At the time of writing, Arda Turan 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. Turan transfered to Barcelona in 2015, despite Barcelona had a transfer ban. He also won Turkey's Player of the Year 3 times.
AM/LW: Can Bartu
Can Bartu 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
Hasan Şas had 40 caps for Turkey between 1998 and 2006.  He was best remembered as a member of Turkey's Golden Generation that finished 3rd at the World Cup  Finals in 2002. He scored a goal against Brazil. He was voted into the team of the tournament.  At the club level, Hasan began his club career with Ankaragücü in 1995, but he played mainly with Galatasaray, where he won the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup in 2000.  He never played outside of Turkey. He retired in 2009.
Hasan Şaş
Sergen Yalçın 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 World Cup finals in 1954. He should have been a main part of the Turkish national team at the European Champion in 1996. 

SS: Lefter Küçükandonyadis 
Lefter Küçükandonyadis  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 
Zeki Rıza Sporel 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. He began with the club in the 1915-1916 season as a 18 years old. In 19831, he scored 8 goals in a single match that remained the record for most goals in a single match.  His brother was at point the President of the club.
ST:  Metin Oktay
Metin Oktay 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 is the all-time leading scorer for the club.  In 1960, Oktay divorced his wife Oya Sarı because she wanted him to play for his old club İzmirspor.  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
Tanju Colak  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, the only Turkish player to win the award.  Galatasaray also reached the semi-final of the 1988-1989 European Cup. He also played for  Samsunspor, Fenerbahçe and İstanbulspor.  Capped 31 times.

ST: Hakan Sukur 
Nicknamed the "Bull of the Bosphorus", Hakan Sukur is the all-time leading scorer for Turkey.  He represented Turkey at UEFA Euro 1996, Euro 2000  and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.  In the 2002 World Cup, Turkey finished 3rd, their greatest achievement in international football. At the club level, 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, Nihat Kahveci, Yasin Özdenak, Arda Turan, Burak Yılmaz, Tuncay Şanlı, Nihat Bekdik, Hakkı Yeten.

Squad Explanation
-- The Gold Generation of the 2000s dominated this team.  They reached the semifinal of the World Cup in 2002.  I selected ten players from the team.  They are Hakan Sukur, Hasan Şas, Rustu Rüştü, Ümit Davala, Bülent Korkmaz, Alpay Özalan, Abdullah Ercan, Emre Belozoglu,Yıldıray Baştürk and Tugay Kerimoglu.  Sergen Yalçın missed the World Cup Finals due to an injury.
--  Rustu Rüştü, Alpay Özalan and Hasan Şas had a good World Cup in 2002.  They were voted into the Team of the Tournament.
-- Sergen Yalçın is often considered be one of most talented players in Turkey's history although he did not live up to his expectation.  He is often criticised for the lack of professionalism.
-- Rustu Rüştü is the number one keeper in Turkey. The other two keepers are Turgay Şeren and Özcan Arkoç.  Turgay Şeren helped Turkey to beat Germany in 1950.  He was nicknamed  "Berlin Panteri" (Panther of Berlin) for his performance in the game.  Özcan Arkoç spent 9 seasons with Hamburger SV, playing in the 1968 Cup Winners' Cup Final.  
-- Goalkeeper Yasin Özdenak got some name recognition due to the fact that he played with NY Cosmos in the 1970's alongside Pele and Franz Beckenbauer. He was also Turkish Football of the Year in 1969.  In NASL, he used the name Erol Yasin. I do not think he should be on the team.  So I only put him on honourable mention.
-- Lefter Küçükandonyadis is considered to be the greatest player from Turkey. He is one of the first Turkish players to play aboard. In 1956, he scored two goals in a 3-1 beating of the Mighty Magyars featuring Ferenc Puskás, Jozsef Bozsik and Zoltan Czibor.  Goalkeeper Turgay Seren also played in the game.  Metin Oktay scored the other goal.  All three players are on this team.
-- Yıldıray Baştürk helped Bayer Leverkusen to reach the Final of the 2002 Champions' League.  He was at that point a top midfielder in Europe.  
-- Fatih Terim is often listed among the greatest Turkish player, but people outside Turkey only remembered him as Turkey's greatest coach.  He held the cap record and record as the captain of the national team at the time of his retirement.
-- Hamit Altıntop can play in many diffeerent positions.  He is a useful player on a team.  Besides, he also played for the two of the biggest club in the world, namely Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.  No Turkish player can match that.  Furthermore, he was voted in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2008, where Turkey reached the semifinal.
-- I am a fan of Nihat Kahveci when he played in Spain, 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. He is also the all-time leading scorer for Turkey. Metin Oktay also once held the record.  Tanju Colak won the UEFA Golden Boot in the in 1987-1988 season.  Nihat Kahveci, on the other hand, did well in the Euro 2008, where Turkey reached the semifinal, but his club career was injury prone.
-- Zeki Rıza Sporel was the first idol of Turkish football.  He also scored the first ever international goal for Turkey.
-- Several of my players were German-Turks. Ümit Davala, Hamit Altıntop and Yıldıray Baştürk were born in Germany, but chose to play for Turkey.
-- Two old-timer Nihat Bekdik and Hakkı Yeten should be considered for the team.  I put them on honorable mention.

Starting lineup
Formation I: 4-3-3

Formation II: 4-4-1-1

1 comment:

  1. Wing backs should be hakan ünsal(L) and riza çalimbay(R). Big captain bulent korkmaz should be a rock at the center, while alpaslan eratli or basri dirimlili supports him as SW/CB.
    Emre belozoglu and tugay are good choices as CM, while oguz cetin is a good alternative for bench. Ünal karaman was a very good box to box and should be on the pitch. Sergen yalcin and ridvan dilmen are good picks for wings or/and FW's.
    The lone striker can be tanju colak, lefter, metin oktay or zeki riza sporel. No big difference.
    Turkey would play best with that 4-3-3 formation.