1 Ocak 2008
Hakan Şükür still towering in Turkey
To help mark UEFA's Jubilee, each national association was asked to nominate its most outstanding player of the past 50 years. As part of a series of articles looking at the Golden Player selected by the nations who have qualified for UEFA EURO 2008™, uefa.com reviews the career of Turkey's Hakan Şükür.
It is no accident that the rise of Turkish football in the early 1990s coincided with the emergence of the country's newest football star. Hakan Şükür has amply fulfilled that early promise, enjoying unprecedented success in domestic and international football and becoming Turkey's most recognisable player.
His country's top scorer in international football, Hakan Şükür holds Turkey's record for the most goals in European club competitions with 38 strikes, and has been a prolific scorerer in the Turkish league. In addition, he also had the honour of scoring the fastest goal in FIFA World Cup finals history when he struck after just eleven seconds of Turkey's third-place play-off match against the Korean Republic in the 2002 finals, a game his side went on to win 3-2.
Born in Sakarya on 1 September 1971, Hakan Şükür began his football career with local club Sakaryaspor AS and made his league debut shortly after his 17th birthday in 1988. Two seasons later he moved to Bursaspor and won his first cap in a friendly against Luxembourg in March 1992, scoring his first international goal in his next match against Denmark. He subsequently featured in all three of Turkey's appearances at major finals, EURO '96™, UEFA EURO 2000™ and the 2002 World Cup.
Inevitably his heading ability, which makes full use of his 1.91m stature, and all-round excellence soon drew the attention of bigger clubs, and a move to Galatasaray AS followed in summer 1992. "Galatasaray hesitated a lot before making an offer for me," Hakan Şükür remembered. "I was not doing wonderfully well at Bursaspor though I received my call-up to the national side while playing for them. But in the end I joined, and both Turkish football and Galatasaray benefited from this move."
The striker went on to spend eight seasons at the Istanbul club, with only a brief spell at Torino Calcio in 1994/95 interrupting a stay in which he recorded a spectacular return of 173 goals in 246 matches and was the Turkish league's top scorer on three occasions.
His time in Istanbul proved fruitful in more ways than one, with Galatasaray claiming six league titles and four Turkish Cups. In 1999/00, the last season of Hakan Şükür's first spell with the club, Galatasaray completed a domestic double for the second year in succession and added the UEFA Cup to the trophy cabinet, the first Turkish side to claim a European title.
Nicknamed 'The Bull of the Bosphorus' by the European media, Hakan Şükür opted for a return to Italy in 2002, trying his luck with first FC Internazionale Milano and then Parma FC. Neither move was successful however, and after scoring twice in nine games for English side Blackburn Rovers FC in 2002/03, he returned to Galatasaray, scoring 12 times in 28 league games in his first season back.
"I have never felt like I should necessarily go to Europe and play for a bigger team," Hakan Şükür said of his time abroad. "Galatasaray were big enough." Despite his lack of success outside his home land, his fine record for club and country, allied to an unselfish nature and a penchant for scoring crucial and memorable goals, such as a spectacular header against Belgium at EURO 2000™, has assured him of a special place in the hearts of Turkish football fans.
He won his 100th cap in the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Ukraine in September 2005 and by the end of 2007 his international record read an impressive 51 goals in 112 appearances.
Hakan Şükür'e UEFA'dan övgü
UEFA'nın internet sitesinde yer alan haberde, ''Hakan Şükür, emsalsiz başarısıyla yurt içi ve yurt dışında Türkiye'nin en tanınan futbolcusu oldu'' ifadesi kullanıldı.
Avrupa Futbol Federasyonları Birliği'nin (UEFA) internet sitesinde, UEFA Jübile Ödülleri için Türkiye'de son 50 yılın en fazla göze çarpan futbolcusu seçilen Hakan Şükür'e ilişkin bir haber yayımlandı.
Habere, ''Hakan Şükür hala Türkiye'nin en önde geleni'' başlığı atıldı.
Haberde, Türk futbolunun 1990'ların başındaki yükselişinin hiç de tesadüf olmadığı belirtilerek, bu yükselişin, ''yeni futbol yıldızı Hakan Şükür'ün ortaya çıkmasının bir sonucu'' olduğu kaydedildi. Şükür için, ''Emsalsiz başarısıyla yurt içi ve yurt dışında Türkiye'nin en tanınan futbolcusu oldu'' ifadesi kullanıldı.
''Uluslararası futbolda ülkesinin en skorer futbolcusu Hakan Şükür, Avrupa kulüp maçlarında attığı 38 golle Türkiye rekorunu elinde bulunduruyor'' denilen haberde, Şükür'ün Türk liginde de ''en üretken golcü'' olduğuna dikkat çekildi.
Haberde, 2002 FIFA Kupası finallerinde Türkiye'nin dünya üçüncülüğüne ulaştığı maçta, Şükür'ün en hızlı golü kaydetme onuruna da sahip olduğu ifade edilirken, yıldız futbolcunun Sakaryaspor'da başlayıp, bugüne dek uzanan futbol kariyeri anlatıldı.
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