Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Galatasaray Greatest All-Time Team

2000 UEFA Cup

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

This is my selection of a 25 member all-time team for the club.  The number 25 was chosen because it is the official squad size for the Champions' League.

Galatasaray is the most successful Turkish football club.  It is one of three teams to have participated in all seasons of the Süper Lig since 1959. Internationally, Galatasaray has won the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000, becoming the first and only Turkish team to win a major UEFA competition. In the 1999–2000 season, the club achieved the rare feat of completing a quadruple by winning the Süper Lig, the Turkish Cup, the UEFA Cup and the UEFA Super Cup in a single season. Galatasaray is also the only Turkish club to have been ranked first on the IFFHS World Rankings
2015 Super Lig
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.  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: Claudio Taffarel

Taffarel earned over 100 caps.  He was the starting goalkeeper for the WC 1994 winning team. During an 18-year career, he played professionally for six clubs, including Parma, Internacional, Atlético Mineiro and Galatasaray. He won an UEFA Cup with Galatasaray.

GK: Zoran Simovic (Yugoslavia)
In his professional career, Simović played for Napredak in Serbia, NK Hajduk Split in Croatia and Galatasaray in Turkey. He was named Yugoslav Footballer of the Year in 1983. He is best remembered as one of the most legendary goalkeepers of Galatasaray S.K., where he played between 1984-1990. He won two championships with Galatasaray in seasons of 1986-87 and 1987-88. 
 Zoran Simovic 
RB: Ümit Davala (Turkey)
Born in Germany, he 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. He was in the squad of Euro 2000 and the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

CB: Bülent Korkmaz (Turkey)
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.
Bülent Korkmaz 

CB: Gheorghe Popescu  (Romania)
He was perhaps the most famous Romanian defender and the second most important player during Romania's Golden Generation in the 1990's.  He was Romanian Player of the Year 6 times.  In 2000, he helped Galatasaray to win the UEFA Cup, the first time ever for a Turkish club. 

CB: Cüneyt Tanman (Turkey)
With the exception of the 1975-76 season where he was loaned to Giresunspor, Tanman played for Galatasaray S.K. during his entire football career. Between 1974 and 1991, he played 533 games for Galatasaray, most of them as the team captain. Capped 19 times.

CB: Capone (Brazil)
Capone played for a number of clubs in Brazil, Japan, Turkey and Israel.  Most of his spells did not last more than a year.   However, between 1999 and 2001, he played for Galatasaray in Turkey, where he won the UEFA Cup in 2000.

SW: Fatih Terim (Turkey)
He 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. 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.
Fatih Terim
LB: Ergün Penbe (Turkey)
Known for his "fair play" approach to the game, having gone through two seasons of football without a single booking. He also received the nickname Kemik (the bone), because of his calmness and ability to hold the team together. He spent most of his professional career with Galatasaray, winning a total of 12 titles. Ergün eared all 48 of his caps coming whilst he was at Galatasaray, in a 12-year span. He  played for Turkey at both UEFA Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup.

DM: Emre Belozoglu (Turkey)
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 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.

DM: Suat Kaya (Turkey)
His career was all but associated with Galatasaray, with which he won major titles including and the 2000 UEFA Cup. Over the course of 16 seasons, he amassed Süper Lig totals of 353 games and 44 goals.  Earned 15 caps.  He represented Turkey at Euro 2000.

CM: Tugay Kerimoglu (Turkey)

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

RM: Okan Buruk (Turkey)
Okan played for Galatasaray between 1991 and 2001, winning six Turkish Süper Lig titles and the 1999–2000 UEFA Cup. He was also named man of the match as Galatasary upset Real Madrid 2–1 to win the 2000 UEFA Super Cup. In 2001, he was signed by Intyer Milan. He also played for Beşiktaş and İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor.  Okay was capped 58 times, representing Turkey at Euro 2000 and the 2002 World Cup. 

LW: Xhevat Prekazi (Yugoslavia)
Of Kosovar Albanian descent, Prekazi started his career with Partizan Belgrade in 1976, but it was his career with Galatasaray that defined him.  He played for them between 1985 and 1991. He is considered one of the club's greatest player.  He led them to the semi-final of the European Cup in 1989.

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.

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 World Cup  Finals in 2002. H scored a goal against Brazil. He was voted into the team of the tournament.  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.

AM: Gheorghe Hagi (Romania)

Nicknamed "The Maradona of the Carpathians",  he was probably the best player in Romanian football history.  He was named Romanian Footballer of the Year seven times.  He led Romania to the quarter-final in the1994 World Cup Finals.  He scored one of the most memorable goals of that tournament.
Gheorghe Hagi

AM: Wesley Sneijder (Holland)
Sneijder emerged from the Ajax Academy before making to the first team in 2002.  He moved to Real Madrid in 2007, where he won a La Liga title in 2006-2007.  He also won a Champions' League title with Inter Milan in 2009-2010.  At the time of writing, he has 114 caps for Holland.  He was the star player for Holland as they reached the Final of South Africa 2010. He won the Silver Ball.  He moved to Galatasaray in 2013.

Wesley Sneijder 
FW: Gündüz Kılıç (Turkey)
He started his career in 1934 with Galatasaray and stayed there until 1953. He took a break from his career in 1938, moving to Germany for a university education. He represented Turkey 11 times.  He was known as the most influential coach in Turkish football's history.  His influence was known as the "Gündüz Kılıç Revolution".

FW: Suat Mamat (Turkey)
He played in Turkey for Ankara Demirspor, Galatasaray S.K., Beşiktaş J.K. and Vefa S.K. Mamat made 27 appearances for the full Turkey national football team, including appearing in two matches at the 1954 FIFA World Cup finals.  Against West Germany, he scored Turkey's first ever goal in WC history. 

FW: Gökmen Özdenak (Turkey)
He started with İstanbulspor. From 1967 to 1972, he played for Galatasaray. He won 4 league championship and 2 Turkish Cup.  Capped 9 times.

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.  
Metin Oktay
ST: Tanju Colak (Turkey)
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  (Turkey)

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
Faryd Mondragón, Reinhard Stumpf, Kubilay Türkyýlmaz, Ulrich van Gobbel, Mario Jardel, Bülent Eken, Cüneyt Tanman and Yusuf Altıntaş, Coşkun Özarı, Arif Erdem, Lincoln, Semih Yuvakuran, Hakan Ünsal, Emre Aşık, Arif Erdem.

Squad Explanation
-- Faryd Mondragón often got mentioned among the best ever keeper, but I went with Claudio Taffarel.  He was rewarded for the UEFA Cup in 2000.
-- Bülent Eken and Yusuf Altıntaş were all good centerbacks, but no space for them.
-- I decided to take 5 centerbacks.  Semih Yuvakuran who usually played left back was not selected.
-- Gündüz Kılıç was selected as a pioneer for the club.
-- I selected many players from the 2000 UEFA Cup winning team.


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