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 emergence of Turkey's Golden Generation in the late 1990s, the country was primarily associated with its participation in the same group as the finalist West Germany and Hungary at the 1954 World Cup Finals. However, Turkish football began to garner global attention in the late 1990s with their qualification for Euro 1996. The turning point came in 2000 when Galatasaray, a Turkish club, achieved a historic milestone by winning the UEFA Cup, marking the first-ever European trophy won by a Turkish team.

During this period, the Turkish national team was further strengthened by the inclusion of several German-born Turkish players who chose to represent Turkey. This infusion of talent had a significant impact on the team's performance. At Euro 2000, Turkey's impressive display saw them defeat the host nation Belgium and advance to the quarterfinals.

Building on this success, Turkey made a remarkable run in the 2002 World Cup. They navigated through the tournament until the semifinals, where they faced Brazil, ultimately finishing in third place. This achievement solidified Turkey's reputation as a formidable force in international football.

Continuing their upward trajectory, Turkey once again reached the semifinals of Euro 2008, showcasing their consistency and ability to compete against Europe's elite national teams.

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. The first Turkish professional to feature in the Bundesliga. 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: 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 1963.  He was a big idol over there.  He was given the nickname "Mehmetçik".

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
CB:  Alpay Özalan
Alpay Özalan earned 90 caps for Turkey between 1995 and 2005.  He went to the Euro 1996, Euro 2000, 2002 World Cup, and the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup during Turkey's Golden period. He made the all-tournament at the World Cup Finals in 2002 as Turkey finished 3rd. He started with Atlay in 1992.  He played for Beşiktaş between 1993 and 1999.  He had stints with Aston Villa and Fenerbahçe.  He also played in Germany, Korea and Japan.

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, where Turkey finished third..  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
AM/SS/RWF: Rıdvan Dilmen 
During his career, Rıdvan Dilmen was given the nickname "Şeytan Rıdvan" ("Rıdvan the Devil") and was one of the most talented of his generation.  He played for Muğlaspor, Boluspor and Sarıyer before signing for Fenerbahçe. Dilmen made 24 appearances for the Turkey national football team from 1984 to 1992.  His career was limited by constant injuries and the lack of exposure outside Turkey. He could have been among the greatest Turkish players.

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.
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. 

Nihat Kahveci started with Besiktas in Turkey and joined Real Sociedad in 2002.  He formed a famous partnership with Darko Kovacevic there.  However, his club career was limited by an injury.  He also played with Villarreal. He earned 69 caps for Turkey between 2000 and 2010.  He was only used once at the WC Finals in 2002.  However, he was the hero of Turkey during the Euro 2008. He scored two goals in a dramatic win over the Czech Republic.

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
Yasin Özdenak, Volkan Demirel, Cihat Arman,  Ali Artuner, Şükrü Ersoy, Şenol Gunes, Bülent Eken, Nihat Bekdik, Erhan Önal, Alpaslan Eratlı, Ergün Penbe, Çağlar Söyüncü, Servet Çetin, Naci Erdem, Ogün Temizkanoğlu, Fatih Akyel, Gökhan Gönül, Emre Asikm, Nuri Şahin, Oğuz Çetin, Hasan Şas, Rıza Çalımbay, Okan Buruk, Metin Tekin, Burak Yılmaz, Tuncay Şanlı, Yusuf Yazıcı, Nihat Bekdik, Gökdeniz Karadeniz, Cemil Turan, Suat Mamat, Hami Mandıralı, Şükrü Gülesin, Alaattin Baydar, Şeref Görkey, Vahap Özaltay, Ali Sami Yen.

Squad Explanation
-- The origin team was created in 2014.  I did a big review on April, 2022.  I dropped Rıza Çalımbay and Hasan Şas for Rıdvan Dilmen and Nihat Kahveci.  
--  I do not know who was Turkey's greatest footballers.Lefter Küçükandonyadis, Hakan Şükür, and Metin Oktay are widely considered as Turkey's greatest footballers. 
Metin Oktay
-- 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, Rustu Rüştü, Ümit Davala, Bülent Korkmaz, Alpay Özalan, Abdullah Ercan, Emre Belozoglu,Yıldıray Baştürk, Tugay Kerimoglu and Nihat Kahveci.  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.  Hasan Şas was on my original team, but I dropped him after my review in 2022. 
-- I attended Turkey's quarter-final victory over Senegal in Japan.
-- The Euro 1996 team was very similar to their WC 2002 team.  The tournament was Turkey's first major tournament since 1954.  Oğuz Çetin was their captain.   He made honorable mention.  From that team, I selected Hakan Sukur, Rustu Rüştü, Bülent Korkmaz, Alpay Özalan, Tugay Kerimoglu and Sergen Yalçın.
Euro 1996
-- Turkey again reached the semi-final of Euro 2008.  The Euro 2008 team was very different from the one playing six years earlier in the World Cup Finals.  From that team, I selected Rüştü Reçber, Emre Belözoğlu, Nihat Kahveci and Hamit Altıntop, but Emre Belözoğlu was the only regular starter for both tournaments. Nihat Kahveci only made two substitute appearance in 2002, but became their key player by 2008.  Rüştü Reçber started off as the backup goalkeeper in 2008, but he took over his starting position for the semi and quarter final after starting goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was suspended.  Emre Aşık was the only other player who went to both tournaments.  He had some actions in both occasions.  He is not on my honourable mention.
-- Turkey withdrew from the 1950 World Cup Finals in Brazil because of financial issues.  Four years later, they participated in their first ever World Cup Finals.  I selected three players from that team.  They were Lefter Küçükandonyadis, Turgay Şeren and Basri Dirimlili.  Turkey's biggest achievements in that generation came from two friendly matches.  In 1950, Turkey beat West Germany in Berlin with Turgay Seren and  Lefter Küçükandonyadis.  Fritz Walter was the German captain that day. In 1956, they beat Mighty Magyars featuring Ferenc Puskás, Jozsef Bozsik, Nándor Hidegkuti and Zoltan Czibor.  Lefter Küçükandonyadis scored two goals in the 3-1 victory and Metin Oktay scored the other goal.  Goalkeeper Turgay Seren also played in the game. All three players are on this team.  I also seriously considered defender Naci Erdem.
-- Several of my players were German-Turks. Ümit Davala, Hamit Altıntop and Yıldıray Baştürk were born in Germany, but chose to play for Turkey.  
-- Rustu Rüştü is considered to be the number one keeper in the history of Turkey. The other two keepers I selected were 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.  He was capped 46 times in which he captained the team 35 times, a record. Özcan Arkoç spent 9 seasons with Hamburger SV, playing in the 1968 Cup Winners' Cup Final.  He was also the youngest starting goalkeeper to have won the Turkish league with Fenerbahçe in 1959.
Turgay Şeren
-- During my assessment of the team in 2022, I found myself reconsidering my choice for the third goalkeeper position. It seems that Şenol Güneş may be a better option than Özcan Arkoç. Notably, Trabzonspor's home stadium is named after him, which speaks to his significant contributions to Turkish football. Additionally, a Turkish source ranked him as the 7th greatest Turkish footballer
-- I concluded that Cihat Arman's era was too distant to be included in the selection. In my evaluation process, I extensively studied Volkan Demirel's career. Notably, he served as the starting goalkeeper for Turkey during Euro 2008. Unfortunately, a suspension prevented him from participating in the quarterfinals and semifinals of that tournament. I also looked into Ali Artuner and Şükrü Ersoy. 
-- 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.
-- Most of the sources pointed out that Alpay Özalan, Bülent Korkmaz, Fatih Terim and Basri Dirimlili as the four greatest central defenders from Turkey.  Alpaslan Eradlı who was a sweeper from the 1980's probably ranked fifth.  
-- 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.  
-- Basri Dirimlili, a true legend at Fenerbahçe, showcased immense dedication and bravery during a memorable incident in 1955. In an intense Atatürk Cup match against Galatasaray, he sustained a head injury that required three stitches. Despite the injury, Basri chose to continue playing, ensuring that Fenerbahçe would not be left with only 10 players on the field. He then scored a goal with his head in the following minutes, started bleeding again and fainted.  But he completed the match earning the nickname "Mehmetçik". 
-- Bülent Korkmaz shared a similar moment.  His nickname was "Cengaver" (Warrior).  He refused to leave the field after dislocating his shoulder in the 2000 UEFA Cup Final against Arsenal.  With Gheorghe Hagi sent off and all three substitutes used, the team would be down to 10 men if he was taken off.  He helped the club to force a penalty shootout in which Galatasaray became the first Turkish club to win a major trophy in Europe.
Bülent Korkmaz
-- Alpay Özalan had a rocky relationship with Aston Villa's fans, but he had one solid season over there before his feud with manager Graham Taylor.  he was constantly linked with moves to bigger clubs. Besides, he was named in the Team of the Tournament at the 2002 World Cup Finals.  
-- Çağlar Söyüncü has emerged as a top centre-back in the English Premiership. He was named on the 2019-2020 PFA Team of the Year.  However, he is too young to be a serious consideration at this point.  At the time of writing (April, 2022), he is only 25 years old.  
-- Nihat Bekdik should have made the team for his historical role in Turkish football.  I also came upon Erhan Önal, Alpaslan Eratlı, Servet Çetin, Naci Erdem, Ogün Temizkanoğlu and Emre Asik during my research.  
-- In 2014, I selected Ümit Davala who was more of a right midfielder as my rightback.  Hamit Altıntop also operated over there.  In April, 2022, I did toy with the idea of selecting Fatih Akyel or Gökhan Gönül.  In the end, I stayed with Davala.
-- Most people suggested that Abdullah Ercan was Turkey's greatest leftback, but it seemed very inconclusive.  The leftback position seemed to be a question mark. Hakan Balta, Hakan Ünsal and Ergün Penbe were rated very highly rated while İbrahim Üzülmez, Hakan Ünsal and İsmail Köybaşı were mentioned.  I also did not have any backup.
-- I usually carried 7 or 8 defenders with most of my All-Time team.  This team only carried 5 natural defenders.  I included Ümit Davala and Hamit Altıntop who would provide cover for the rightback position.  My defensive unit might need another review in the future.  Çağlar Söyüncü might replace somebody in the future.
-- I first took Tugay Kerimoğlu, Emre Belozoglu and Hamit Altıntop for the holding midfielder position.
-- Emre Belozoglu was probably Turkey's best defensive midfielder while Tugay Kerimoğlu was a deep lying playmaker.  Emre was the only player who was the regular starter for both the 2002 World Cup Finals and the Euro 2008. Tugay was also one of the few Turkish footballers who did well playing outside of Turkey.
-- Hamit Altıntop could play in many different positions.  He was 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 could match that.  Furthermore, he was voted in the Team of the Tournament at Euro 2008, where Turkey reached the semifinal.
-- Can Bartu was on everybody's list of one of Turkey's greatest players. He also played basketball teams for Fenerbahçe.  He scored 23 points in the basketball match against Galatasaray and a goal in the football match on the same day. 
-- Yıldıray Baştürk helped Bayer Leverkusen to reach the Final of the 2002 Champions' League.  He was at that point a top midfielder in Europe.  I was surprised that his name did not come up much during my research.
-- Sergen Yalçın was often considered be one of most talented players in Turkey's history although he did not live up to his expectation.  He was often criticised for the lack of professionalism.  Turkey surpassed most people's expectations by finishing third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Little known to most was that they did this without their greatest ever footballer, Sergen Yalçın.
Sergen Yalçın
-- Arda Turan won the Turkish Player of the Year 4 times.  He had 100 caps.  He established himself in Atletico Madrid, but was less successful in Barcelona.  Nevertheless, not many Turkish players had done better than him at club football level.
-- Nuri Şahin started well with Borussia Dortmund as the youngest ever player in Bundesliga.  He started to fade away around 2011 when he was only 23 years old.  I only put him on honorable mention.  I also did not have a space for Oğuz Çetin who captained their Euro 1996 team.  His name appeared regularly during my research.  He was one of the last player dropped.
-- Both Ümit Davala and Rıza Çalımbay were on my team in 2014, but they were too similar.  Hamit Altıntop also filled the same role.  So I dropped Riza Çalımbay in 2022.  Instead, I selected Rıdvan Dilmen. 
He was relatively unknown outside Turkey due playing in the wrong period of Turkish football. His career was also cut short by a serious injury.  As compared to Rıza Çalımbay, his name appeared in many places.  Besides, Rıdvan Dilmen was more offensive and I needed someone to play on the right wing.  Both also played in the same era and Rıdvan Dilmen was the best player of his generation.
-- Vahap Özaltay was the first Turkish footballer to play aboard.   He played in France for 5 seasons for Racing Club. Due to his head-made goals, he was nicknamed "Le Tête de Turc" in France. He was also the first recognised professional player from Turkey.  I did not know how good he was.  He was largely a forgotten player as his name only showed up once in my research.
-- Lefter Küçükandonyadis, Hakan Sukur, Zeki Rıza Spore, Metin Oktay and Tanju Colak all had legendary status in Turkey.  They easily got onto team.
-- Lefter Küçükandonyadis was considered to be the greatest player from Turkey. He was one of the first Turkish players to play aboard.
-- Nicknamed the Taçsız Kral or "King without a crown", Metin Oktay was the all-time leading scorer for Galatasaray.  At one pint, he was Turkey's all-time leading goal scorer. During a Derby match against Galatasaray's archrivals Fenerbahçe in 1959, he hit the ball hard enough to open a hole in the opponents' goal net. 
-- Nicknamed the "Bull of the Bosphorus", Hakan Sukur is the all-time leading scorer for Turkey.  He was Turkey's selection for UEFA Jubilee Award Player.
-- Tanju Colak won the UEFA Golden Boot in the in 1987-1988 season.  
-- Zeki Rıza Sporel was the first idol of Turkish football.  He also scored the first ever international goal for Turkey.
-- Many people ranked Nihat Kahveci below the names I had just mentioned.  He was actually Turkey's most important player in Euro 2008, where Turkey reached the semifinal.  His two goals against the Czech Republic stood out as one of the greatest moments in Turkish football history.  While his club career was known to be injury prone, he did better than most Turkish player aboard. Nihat Kahveci won the Best Foreign Player award in La Liga while helping Real Sociedad to a second place finish in the 2002–03 La Liga season. He finished a joint top scorer in the league with Ronaldo.  No Turkish player has done better in a major European league.  In 2022, I decided to drop Hasan Şas who was on the 2002 World Cup Team of the Tournament for Nihat.
Nihat Kahveci
-- I nearly put Hakkı Yeten over Nihat Kahveci. He was considered one of the earliest idols of Beşiktaş.  He was listed as secondary striker.  I was also deciding between Hakkı Yeten and Rıdvan Dilmen. One source placed Hakki as a right winger, but I believed that he played more centrally than Rıdvan Dilmen.   Rıdvan Dilmen was described as an attack midfielder and right winger/wing forward. I needed a wide right player so I took him over Hakki (Please also see my comparison between  Rıdvan Dilmen and Rıza Çalımbay above).  However, Rıdvan Dilmen remained my biggest question mark on the team.
-- I put Şeref Görkey, Alaattin Baydar, Cemil Turan and Şükrü Gülesin on honorable mention.

Fatih Terim earned his starting position because of his importance to Turkish football.  I am happy to start with Alpay Özalan and Basri Dirimlili. Tugay would be the deep lying playmaker with Sergen Yalçın playing in a more advanced position.  


  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.

  2. No mention at all for Ridvan? 'Seytan Ridvan' - was a god when I lived in Turkey in the mid 80s - prodigiously talented but dogged by injury - the nearest thing to George Best I have seen abroad.