Thursday, May 31, 2007

Hos Geldiniz, Kasimpasa!

Hos Geldiniz, Kasimpasa!
By Nathan L. Redd

The final spot in the 2007-2008 Turkcell Super Lig was claimed in thrilling fashion on Wednesday, as Istanbul squad Kasimpasa defeated Altay on penalty kicks. Regulation ended with a 2-2 tie, and Altay struck first in extra time in the 96th minute. However, in the last minute of extra time, Kasimpasa found the back of the net, and went on to win 4-3 on penalty kicks.

The promotion of Kasimpasa now gives Istanbul five teams in the Turkcell Super Lig for next season, with the recent promotion of Istanbul BB Spor joining Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, and Besiktas.

Despite being founded in 1921, Kasimpasa is making their first-ever trip to the headlining Super Lig. They play their games at Recep Tayyip Erdogan Stadium, with a capacity of only 13,500. Manager Akif Basaran will have his hands full with his newly-promoted team, but his side is to be commended for their tremendous work in 2007. Tebrikler ve hos geldiniz, Kasimpasa!

Serkan Balci to Trabzonspor?

Serkan Balci to Trabzonspor?

According to, Fenerbahce midfielder Serkan Balci may be on his way to joining Turkish rivals Trabzonspor on a transfer. The 23-year-old Turkish national has been with Fenerbahce since 2004, when he came over from Genclerbirligi. More to come as further details become available.

Tumer Metin Out of National Camp With Injury

According to and the Turkish Futbol Federation, Fenerbahce star Tumer Metin is out of Turkiye's National Team camp prior to the upcoming games with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Brazil. In addition to Tumer, Emre Belozoglu, Gokhan Unal, Mehmet Topuz, and Ugur Kavuk are all suffering from injuries prior to the games. No word yet on the severity of the injuries, or how long each player will be out.

Italian Press Reporting Tuncay Has Signed With AC Milan

Italian Press Reporting Tuncay Has Signed With AC Milan
By Nathan L. Redd
According to various Italian media outlets including weekly magazine "Control Campo" and Turkish news outlet "Sabah," Tuncay Sanli has inked a deal with AC Milan for 2 Million Euros per year (approximately $2.7 Million per year). Fenerbahce has not confirmed any rumors surrounding Tuncay, and all Italian media reports are coming from news outlets owned by Silvio Berlusconi - also the owner of AC Milan.
An article was published on the official UEFA website today stating that Tuncay does in fact want to play abroad next season. Tuncay told that "A transfer is not my priority now so soon after I have lifted the championship trophy, and we have a tough game with the national squad. After the Bosnia-Herzegovina game I will be more relaxed and able to decide properly about my future. However, I have to admit that, yes, I want to play abroad. This is what I want."

Tuncay went on to say "If you play abroad you can develop your game, learn a new language and experience different cultures. It is difficult to explain because I am not playing in Europe yet. I will face with these challenges when I get there - if I get there."
You can read the entire article by visiting their site at
Some content also provided by Ugur Pembecioglu. You can visit Ugur's website at

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Is Wederson Close to Joining Fenerbahce?

Is Wederson Close to Joining Fenerbahce?
By Nathan L. Redd

Rumors have been circulating recently that BB Ankaraspor's Wederson Luiz de Silva Medeiros may be taking his talents to the Sari Lacivert next season, and it appears now that those rumors may have some substance to them. The club has yet to confirm any transfer of Wederson, but several other media outlets, including CNN Turkiye and Milliyet are reporting a deal is nearly complete.

Wederson, who was born in Brazil, has Turkish citizenship and goes by the name Gokcek Vederson on his passport. The 25-year-old defender would likely fill the void left by Umit Ozat, who recently signed with FC Koln of Germany.

More to come on Wederson once the club confirms the validity of the rumors.

Fener Announces New Deal With Deniz Baris

Fener Announces New Deal With Deniz Baris
By Nathan L. Redd

Deniz Baris has signed a new contract with Fenerbahce that will keep him in Kadikoy for three more years, according to a statement released by the club. The 29-year-old defender came to Fenerbahce from Genclerbirligi in 2004 as one of Genclerbirligi's record transfer fees.
Baris played a pivotal role in Genclerbirligi's UEFA Cup run and has participated in both the UEFA Cup and UEFA Champions League with Fenerbahce. Baris was a valuable reserve for Fener before gaining a starting spot.
Terms of the deal have not yet been released by the club, other than the length of the contract being three years. For more information, log onto and check back with Fenerbahce Worldwide as more details become available.

Have Alex de Souza and Fener Reached an Agreement?

Have Alex de Souza and Fener Reached an Agreement?
By Nathan L. Redd
The on-again, off-again relationship between Fenerbahce and star Alex de Souza could be on again...for two more years. Various media outlets out of Istanbul are reporting that Alex's agent, Juan Figer, and the club have agreed to a deal to keep Alex in Kadikoy. The deal reportedly will be for two years, with an option for a third year. The deal will reportedly pay Alex $2.2 million during the first year of the agreement.
Alex's representatives and Fener appeared close to a new deal earlier in the season, but it was reported that talks broke down last week. Afterwards, it appeared that Alex may be close to an agreement with rivals Besiktas, but nothing was ever officially confirmed.
This agreement has not confirmed by the club yet, so it is therefore unofficial until stated otherwise. Keep checking Fenerbahce Worldwide for more on this development.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Turkiye Slips Two Spots in Latest FIFA World Ranking

Turkiye Slips Two Spots in Latest FIFA World Ranking
By Nathan L. Redd

With only a few days remaining until Turkiye's Milli Takim takes the pitch once again, the team has slipped two spots to #19 in the latest FIFA world rankings released last week. Poland jumped three spots to leap-frog ahead of Turkiye into the 18th spot in the rankings. Italy, Brazil, Argentina, France, and Germany round out the top five. Spots 6-10 belong to Netherlands, Portugal, England, Spain, and Czech Republic. Ukraine, Croatia, Cameroon, Scotland, and Romania claim spots 11-15. Greece, despite being thrashed by Turkiye earlier this year, remains at #16, while Russia drops a spot to #17. After Turkiye at #19 is 20th-ranked Mexico.

The biggest mover in the new rankings is Congo DR, who jumped 23 spots up to settle in at #61. The full FIFA world rankings list is available at,2548,All-May-2007,00.html.

Edu Dracena Named to Brasil National Team

Fenerbahce star Edu Dracena has been named to the Brasilian National Team for their upcoming games in the Copa America Tournament. The preliminary squad, named by Coach Dunga on Monday, will not feature Brasilian stars Kaka and Ronaldhino.

Brasil, who won the cup last year, will attempt to defend their title in this year's Copa America held June 26 - July 15 in Venezuela. The 34-man squad will eventually be cut down to 22 footballers. Kaka and Ronaldhino both asked to be excused from this year's competition.

Brasil will open their play against Mexico on June 27 in Group B play. Dracena joined Fenerbahce after being transferred for approximately 5.7 Million Euros from Cruzeiro Esporte Clube in 2006. Dracena has made several appearances wearing the Brasil national shirt before, and he was a pivotal member of Brasil's U-20 and U-23 national teams.

Tebrikler, Edu Dracena!

Monday, May 28, 2007

Alex Wins Turkcell Super Lig Scoring Title

Despite being held scoreless against Ankaragucu, Fenerbahce star Alex de Souza claimed the Turkcell Super Lig scoring title for the season, finishing one goal ahead of Galatasaray's Umit Karan. The title is Alex's first, and the first for Fenerbahce since the 1994-1995 season.
Alex scored 19 goals on the season and despite this being the lowest winning total in 8 years, it was enough to stay ahead of the competition. He becomes the third foreign-born player to win the award, and the first for Fenerbahce.
Galatasaray's Karan was trailing by only a goal going into the final weekend. He was confident about his chances of surpassing Alex when speaking to the media earlier in the week, but Galatasaray was held scoreless in a 2-0 season-ending defeat on Saturday.
Only time will tell if Alex's last goal on the season was also his last in the yellow and navy blue stripes.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

2007-2008 Turkcell Super Lig Taking Shape

As Fenerbahce put the finishing touches on a glorious championship campaign, the other three of the "big four" did not find the winning column on the league's final day, and we now know which teams will be making the relegation drop from the Super Lig.

Antalyaspor, Erciyesspor, and Sakaryaspor will be leaving the Turkcell Super Lig. Sakaryaspor had clinched relegation previously, but Kayseri Erciyesspor fell 2-1 to Sivasspor today, and Antalyaspor fell 3-1 to Genclerbirligi to receive the drop. Denizlispor and Caykur Rizespor each earned one point on the day, securing their inclusion in the Turkcell Super Lig for next season.

Two of the three promoted spots from Lig A have been determined, and the third will be earned in an upcoming playoff.

Fenerbahce was the only one of the "big four" who earned points on the last day. Besiktas continued their late-season meltdown with a 3-0 thrashing at Kayserispor. Galatasaray did the same, dropping 2-0 at Bursaspor. Trabzonspor, who are reportedly pursuing Fener goalkeeper Rustu Recber, also fell, losing 2-1 at Ankaraspor.

The final results sees Fener close the season with 70 points, nine points clear of second-place finishers Besiktas with 61 points. Galatasaray finishes third with 56 points, followed by Trabzonspor with 52, and Kayserispor with 51. At the bottom of the table, Caykur Rizespor survives relegation by a single point, finishing with 40.

En Buyuk Fener!!!

As Fenerbahce put the finishing touches on a 2006-2007 Championship campaign, 55,000 fans cheered on the champions of each club branch and saw Fener futbol put away Ankaragucu 3-1.

Each club branch was recognized and presented their trophies, and a "Legends of FB" futbol game was played featuring iconic Fenerbahce stars of the past. Serkan Acar, Metin Diyadin, Samuel Johnson, and Oguz Cetin were just some of stars who came back to Sukru Saracoglu to honor the club and participate. Finally, prior to the start of the game, Turkish Futbol Federation President Haluk Ulusoy put a cap on the centennial celebration by giving the trophy to Fener.

The game saw Fener playing superb futbol at times, obviously on a high from the day's festivities. The game got off on a sour note, however, as Ankaragucu struck first on a goal from Anilet in the 36th minute. Fener would trail 1-0 going into halftime, but the second half would be a different story. Mateja Kezman added two more goals to his resume in the 62nd and 81st minutes. It was an emotional day for captain Umit Ozat, who yesterday finalized his deal to join FC Koln and former Fener manager Christop Daum for next season. Ozat put his mark on the season and in the record books of Fenerbahce with Fener's equalizing goal in the 55th minute. Ozat, who was visibly in tears prior to the game, received a thunderous ovation when his goal found the back of the net. Prior to the game, Ozat was recognized and hoisted onto the shoulders of his teammates.

After losing his spot earlier this year, Zico substituted Volkan Demirel in goal for Serdar Kulbilge in the 39th minute. Volkan took care of business, giving a clean sheet to Fener after the first goal allowed by Serdar. Umit Ozat left the game four minutes after his goal to a rousing applause, replaced by Ugur Boral. Deivid de Souza also relieved Tumer Metin in the game. Diego Lugano did not play, nor did Stephen Appiah, who is recovering from knee surgery.
More news and notes on today's game coming soon. Photo courtesy of You can access a full photo gallery from today's celebration by visiting

Friday, May 25, 2007

Umit Ozat Signs With FC Koln

Former Fenerbahce captain and versatile player Umit Ozat has officially signed with German side FC Koln. Ozat with reunite with former Fener manager Christoph Daum in Cologne. The deal is reportedly a three-year contract. FC Koln currently sits in ninth place in the German Bundesliga 2 Standings.

Alex Leading All Scorers Going Into Final Game

With the Turkcell Super Lig Championship in hand, Fenerbahce is looking to add one more accomplishment to their 2007 resume this weekend. Brazilian star Alex de Souza is leading all scorers going into the final weekend with 18 goals, and he could become the first Yellow Canary to win the league's scoring title since the 1994-1995 season.
Alex currently has 19 goals on the season, only one ahead of Galatasaray's Umit Karan. According to the Turkish Daily News, Alex would become only the third foreign-born player to win the scoring title and the first non-Turk to win it for Fenerbahce. Aykut Kocaman was the last Fenerbahce player to win the award with his astounding 27-goal season twelve years ago.
Should Alex win the title with 19 goals, it will be the fewest goals for a scoring title since Hakan Sukur won the title in 1999 with 19 goals. Adding to the drama is the fact that Alex and Fener have reportedly hit a wall in their contract negotiations, with both sides unable to reach an agreement. Rumors have been circulating that Alex will cross the Bosphorous and sign with Besiktas, but Fener does not seem resigned to losing their top scorer just yet.

Terim Announces National Squad for Brazil Match

Fatih Terim announced on Thursday his national side for the upcoming matches vs. Bosnia Herzegovina and Brazil, as Turkiye gets ready for more Euro 2008 qualifiers. Newly-fit Rustu Recber and veteran Hakan Sukur were both named, while goalkeeper Volkan Demirel was left off the squad in place of goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge. Here is Terim's announced squad (courtesy of the TFF):

1- Rüştü Reçber (Fenerbahçe)
2- Tuncay Şanlı (Fenerbahçe)
3- Tümer Metin (Fenerbahçe)
4- Mehmet Aurelio (Fenerbahçe)
5- Serdar Kulbilge (Fenerbahçe)
6- Hakan Şükür (Galatasaray A.Ş.)
7- Ümit Karan (Galatasaray A.Ş.)
8- Arda Turan (Galatasaray A.Ş.)
9- Emre Aşık (Galatasaray A.Ş.)
10- Sabri Sarıoğlu (Galatasaray A.Ş.)
11- İbrahim Üzülmez (Beşiktaş A.Ş.)
12- İbrahim Toraman (Beşiktaş A.Ş.)
13- Gökhan Zan (Beşiktaş A.Ş.)
14- Serdar Kurtuluş (Beşiktaş A.Ş.)
15- Hüseyin Çimşir (Trabzon A.Ş.)
16- Gökdeniz Karadeniz (Trabzon A.Ş.)
17- Umut Bulut (Trabzon A.Ş.)
18- Mehmet Topuz (Kayserispor)
19- Gökhan Ünal (Kayserispor)
20- Volkan Yaman (Antalyaspor)
21- Uğur Kavruk (Antalyaspor)
22- Servet Çetin (Sivasspor)
23- Orkun Usak (Kayseri Erciyesspor)
24- Hakan Arıkan (Ankaraspor)
25- Hamit Altıntop (Schalke 04)
26- Nuri Şahin (Borussia Dortmund)
27- Yıldıray Baştürk (Hertha Berlin)
28- Emre Belözoğlu (New Castle)
29- Colin Kazım Richards (Sheffield United)

Turkiye will play Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 2nd in Euro 2008 preliminary qualifying, and play Brazil in a friendly in Dortmund, Germany on June 5th. Check back with for more news on the Milli Takim. You can also check out for up-to-the-minute news on the Turkcell Super Lig and the national team.

Rustu Recber, Umit Ozat Leaving Fenerbahce?

According to various media reports surfacing on Thursday and Friday, Fenerbahce goalkeeper Rustu Recber and DF Umit Ozat will leave the club at the end of the year. According to, Rustu is set to join Turkish rivals Trabzonspor, while Umit Ozat will join former Fener manager Christoph Daum at FC Koln in Germany.

Rustu, who just turned 34 two weeks ago, first joined Fener in 1994 after coming over from Antalyaspor. He has been with Fenerbahce for the majority of his career, with a brief stint for Barcelona as well. He has been the national team goalkeeper since 1993, but missed most of the 2006-2007 season with Fener and the Milli Takim due to a knee injury suffered against Italy in the fall. Rustu has been in rehab for the knee for most of the year, and is finally nearing fitness again. The loss of Rustu would leave Fener will the often-criticized Volkan Demirel and third-string-turned-starting goalkeeper Serdar Kulbilge, who took over the starting spot in early 2007. Despite Fenerbahce winning the Turkcell Super Lig title, the goalkeeper spot has been one of great debate and concern since Rustu was injured.

Umit Ozat is reportedly going to sign a 3-year deal with FC Koln. The 30-year-old wingback earned a spot with the national team due to his versatility on the pitch. He has played various positions over the years, and is known to be a tremendous asset in defense and in the midfield. He has also been a crucial part of Fenerbahce's success on set pieces for his crossing ability.

With many contracts ending after the weekend, the club will have its hands full with personnel decisions in the coming weeks.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Once More, With Feeling: Fener vs. Ankaragucu

With the end of the Turkcell Super Lig 2006-2007 season upon us, Fenerbahce will wrap up their 17th championship campaign this weekend as they welcome Ankaragucu to town. The Yellow Canaries will officially hoist the trophy at Sukru Saracoglu and celebrate their league-leading 17th Super Lig title. Despite the title already being claimed, Kadikoy will no doubt be rocking on Saturday, and on a personal note, I only wish I could be there to celebrate with each one of you.

Friday will feature three games in the TSL, including Kayserispor vs. Besiktas, Ankaraspor vs. Trabzonspor, and Bursaspor vs. Galatasaray. Saturday features a full slate of games, culminating in the finale of Fenerbahce vs. Ankaragucu at 20:30 (8:30 PM EST in the U.S.).

Appiah Undergoes Successful Knee Surgery

Fenerbahce and Ghana star Stephen Appiah is recovering from a successful knee surgery that is expected to sideline him for approximately six weeks. The surgery stems from an injury he suffered in January, but with Fenerbahce clinching the Turkcell Super Lig title, Appiah decided to have the surgery now to give him ample time to regain his fitness.

"Now that my club have won the Turkish title, I think it is the appropriate time for me to attend to this long-standing knee injury," Appiah told BBC Sport. The 26-year-old star has been linked to various transfer rumors, including one that would send him back to his former club, Italian side Juventus. However, nothing has been determined and Appiah indicated that he is hoping to be 100% fit before the start of the 2007-2008 campaign, as well as the 2008 Nations Cup. Appiah's native Ghana will host the Nations Cup in January.

"The most important thing for me is to be fully fit to play for my country at the Nations Cup. My country is hosting the event next year and I am doing everything possible to keep myself fully fit and in shape for tournament. That is the ultimate goal."

Tesekkur Ederim

I want to thank each of you that has visited my site as a result of the Hurriyet articles and other links. It is a great honor for me to be included in this elite group of fans known as the Fenerbahce Cumhuriyeti. As the attention and publicity grows, my only hope and desire is that it will bring more glory and recognition to Fenerbahce Spor Kulubu.

To each of you that has e-mailed, thank you so much. I want you to know that I am going to personally respond to each e-mail as soon as I possibly can. I am flattered that you would take the time to e-mail, and I'm looking forward to speaking with each of you.

Thanks, and hopefully I'll have even bigger news to share soon....:)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dear Galatasaray and Besiktas Fans...

I knew it would only be a matter of time before the hate mail from Galatasaray and Besiktas fans began to pour in, and I was correct. However, if you are a fan of either of those teams, or a fan of Trabzonspor, Genclerbirligi, or any other Turkish team, first of all - welcome. I really mean that. I hope you'll look around, because what you'll find may surprise you. This is a website dedicated to Fenerbahce, but it is not a site dedicated to bad-mouthing or trash-talking Galatasaray, Besiktas, or any other Turkish teams.

I am going to say something that may not sit well with a lot of Fenerli's, but it is true: I don't hate GS or BJK. Yes, we have fantastic rivalries and I think we are part of the world's best derbies, but I don't hate your clubs. You need us and we need you. Turkish futbol is not just Fenerbahce or Galatasaray or Besiktas. We need you, Kayserispor. We need you, Genclerbirligi. We need all of us because Turkish futbol is not on the international stage it should be....and can be. If there is anything that rivals my passion for Fenerbahce, it is my desire for the success of Turkish futbol. I want to see each of us do well in European competition. I want to see the Milli Takim win Euro 2008 and show the world that World Cup 2002 was not a fluke. I want to see the best Turkish players in the world turn down offers from other European clubs to play in Turkiye.

For this to happen, it is going to take all of us. Denizli fans, go support Denizlispor by going to a game. Ankaragucu fans, wear your team shirt proudly as if your team was as big as any club in Europe. We need you. We Fenerbahce fans don't just want a Turkcell Super Lig title. We want a UEFA Champions League title. But for us to do that, we need Galatasaray, Besiktas, Trabzonspor, and each team to maximize their potential.

The travesty that happened last weekend at Ali Sami Yen was tragic, to say the least. As I wrote in a previous article, it's easy for us to point fingers. But we all have crazy fans that go way over the line. Inonu has them and unfortunately, so does Sukru Saracoglu. I fell in love with Fenerbahce for many reasons, one of the biggest being the passion and intensity of the Fenerli's. But the fact is that ALL of us need to stop throwing objects at players and focus on making our clubs bigger and better. Throwing rocks, batteries, and chairs onto the pitch during play doesn't scream "Come to Turkiye and play for us" to the best players in Europe.

So Galatasaray and Besiktas fans, thanks for visiting my website. I became a Fenerbahce fan because I love this club, not because I hate BJK or GS. You may not want to admit it and we don't like to say it either, but we need each other. Those of you that know me know that my career field is sport management, and I hope, Insallah, to be working in Turkiye within a few years. I hope one day when I am there Turkish futbol grabs headlines around the world for our play and our passionate fans, rather than what the world saw last weekend. We need a united Turkcell Super Lig for that to happen, and it starts with us - the fans.

Hurriyet Publishes "Fenerbahce Worldwide"

My wonderful friend Emre and the great people at Hurriyet have published another article about Fenerbahce Worldwide. It's essentially an edited translation of my story that I wrote on Monday about how I became a Fenerbahce fan. You can read the article, in its entirety, by visiting
Cok tesekkurler, tekrar, Emre ve Hurriyet!

More Publicity From Hurriyet?

I am so thankful and appreciative for my good friend Emre, and the fine people at Hurriyet who published the article about Fenerbahce Worldwide last Saturday. I've been informed that the article I wrote titled "The American Fenerbahce Fan: My Story" has also been submitted for online publishing in Hurriyet. I'm not sure when this article will be posted on, but I'll post the link as soon as I find out.
I've obviously noticed a tremendous increase in traffic to this website since the article was published. As a result, I have received countless messages here, at,, and in e-mails. I am extremely flattered and thankful. My hope is that it will only bring more attention to Fenerbahce and the fantastic fans that I am honored to be a part of.
Also, please take a moment and visit the links I have posted to the right. There are some fantastic other sites written by some very good friends of mine, and I hope to do a feature on many of them very soon. Thanks everyone, for your kind words and support!

Is Fenerbahce Chasing Darko Kovacevic?

With the season winding down and the summer transfer window just weeks away, the rumor mill is starting to heat up in Turkish futbol and especially for the champs, Fenerbahce. Fener appears resigned to possibly losing one or more of its foreign players, and a number of names have popped up as potential Fenerbahce targets. The latest is Darko Kovacevic, the Serbian-born striker for Real Sociedad.

The latest rumors indicate that Alex de Souza may be on his way out following an inability to come to terms with Fener on a new deal. Kovacevic is one scorer that Fener could look to for filling Alex's void. However, youth isn't on his side, as Kovacevic is 33 years old. He has experience throughout Europe, playing for Juventus, Red Star Belgrade, and Sheffield Wednesday before joining Real Sociedad. He also has 55 caps and nine goals for his national team.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Prayers for Ankara

My thoughts and prayers go out to Ankara and its wonderful people on this tragic day. As I sat here reading about the terrible disaster and the people who lives were claimed, I was reminded that futbol, while a great passion of ours, is a distraction from the often harsh realities of life. Unfortunately today, we were reminded of those harsh realities by the cowardous action of someone in Ankara.

My heart goes out to the victims of this tragedy, and to the other citizens of Ankara whose lives are affected by this. Ankara is half a world away from where I sit at my computer writing this, but hopefully they will know that there are some Americans thinking and praying for them.

Tebrikler, Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor!

It is my sincere desire to say tebrikler ve hos geldiniz to Istanbul Buyuksehir Belediyespor, the newest member of the Turkcell Super Lig. IBB claimed the second of three promotion spots over the weekend, joining Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor. The third spot will be determined through the playoff.

IBB becomes the fourth Istanbul club in the Turkcell Super Lig. The club was founded in 1990, and played in the third level of Turkish futbol before promotion to the second level. The club has been playing in this second level since 1996, but with last weekend's games they make their debut in the TSL for the 2007-2008 season.

The club's official website is

Is Emre a Target For Fenerbahce?

A published report in Tuesday's English news outlet "The Mirror" states that Newcastle United midfielder and Turkish national Emre wants to stay at St. James Park following their managerial change. The report also indicates that Emre is a potential target of two other high-profile clubs: Bayern Munich and Fenerbahce.
The 26-year-old Emre stated that he has three years remaining on his deal with Newcastle and intends to honor that deal. Earlier this season, Emre fought racism claims that proved to be unsubstantiated. The claims, brought upon by several players including American troublemaker Tim Howard, lead several sources to state that Emre may leave the English Premier League and possibly return to his home country to play in the Turkcell Super Lig. No direct contact between Emre and Fenerbahce has ever been confirmed, however.
With the claims behind him, it appears that Emre is determined to build the English club into a winner under their new leader.

Alex, Fener Reportedly Far From New Deal

According to a report in Tuesday's "Today's Zaman," Fenerbahce and Brazilian striker Alex de Souza have hit a wall in their negotiations for a new contract. The discrepancy between the two parties, according to the report, could lead Alex to leave Kadikoy at the end of this season.
The two sides have reportedly been in discussions through the season, and at times it appeared nearly a "done deal" that Alex would remain with the Canaries. "Today's Zaman" reports, however, that Alex is wanting a deal worth 2.5 million Euros and a three-year contract. Fenerbahce reportedly wants to ink Alex to a two-year deal for less money.
The two sides will continue to talk after the season as Fenerbahce evaluates the off-season transfer window.

Monday, May 21, 2007

The American Fenerbahce Fan: My Story

There is an old saying that says everyone has their 15 minutes of fame. I guess I am in the midst of mine right now, as I am amazed by the e-mails, messages here, on, and, etc. that I have received after the article was published about me in Hurriyet on Saturday. I am flattered beyond belief, but I'm also honored. Fenerbahce is more than just a team I support; it has become an innate part of me. Some of the closest friends in my life I have met because of my support of Fenerbahce and my travels to Turkiye. I am proud to say that I've met many new ones in the last few days as a result of the article. The messages I have received have only confirmed what I previously believed - Turks are the greatest people in the world. I am more sure of that today than ever before. Ofcourse, as I meet supporters from the around the world, people ask the same question - "why?" How did an American graduate student with little connection to Turkiye come to love Fenerbahce? This article will likely be quite lengthy, but hopefully it will answer this question.

I grew up in a small midwestern American town. Futbol (or soccer as it is called here) was not a part of my vernacular. I grew up the all-American kid, playing baseball all day, every day. I had one friend who played futbol, but he couldn't convince me of it. (NOTE: I refuse to call it "soccer" when 99.9% of the world calls it some variation of "football." It is and always will be "football" or "futbol" to me). In high school, I dated a girl for four years who played futbol. Her sisters played futbol. Her father is one of the most successful futbol coaches in my state. I attended many, many futbol games during these four years. However, it never clicked with me. I didn't understand it, nor did I want to. I was enthralled with baseball, basketball, and American football. I was ignorant about futbol, and too stubborn to learn about it.

I went to college, studied business, and after graduation, moved to Nashville, Tennessee to work in music business. While there, I met a girl named Kristen who captured my heart and my imagination. As we got to know each other, I learned that she had lived in Italy, Taiwan, and Izmir, Turkiye growing up while her dad was in the military. She spoke highly of each place, but it was obvious that Turkiye had a special place in her heart. I married that girl, and we later moved to Louisville, Kentucky so she and I could attend graduate school at the University of Louisville (I had also received my Bachelor's degree from this university). We talked a lot about traveling, and she had an aunt and uncle who had moved to Turkiye to start a business. We also had met some wonderful Turkish people in Louisville who became very close to us. The first one was a girl named Esen, from Ankara, who became like a sister to us. The second was a guy named Abdullah, who was passionate about a Turkish futbol team named Fenerbahce.

A few years after moving to Louisville, Kristen and I decided to take a trip to Istanbul to see her aunt and uncle and visit the country that she loved so much as a child. In April of 2005, I took my first trip to Turkiye.

In our lives, we tend to overuse the phrase "it changed my life." "Diet Coke changed my life." "The Subaru Outback changed my life." We overuse the phrase all the time for meaningless experiences. However, I can say without a doubt, my first trip to Turkiye changed my life. As soon as I arrived, I was home. I fell in love with Turkiye. The food, the culture, the scenery all enthralled me. Most of all, however, I fell in love with the people. I honestly felt like I was home when I was hanging out with other Turks. Everyone I met felt like family.

During my trip, I was near Beyazit and the Grand Bazaar and wandered into a place called "Fenerium." I knew it was a fan shop for a Turkish futbol team, but I didn't know much else. When I got back to my apartment, I e-mailed my friend Abdullah to ask if this yellow and blue team was "his" team and he said yes. A few days later, I was visiting a market with Kristen and her aunt and we drove past a huge stadium. The cab driver said "that is Sukru Saracoglu" with a proud smile. I quickly snapped a photo to show my friend Abdullah when I got home.

After a couple of weeks, we were ready to leave Turkiye, but instead of being homesick, I felt like I was leaving my home. Istanbul was amazingly comfortable for a city so large. I felt like Turkiye was a part of me when I left. I felt like I was leaving my home for another place, despite the fact that I had lived my entire life in America. Around this time, I started making a lot of friends (Turks and other nationalities) who were futbol fans. I had spent time traveling to Mexico, Turkiye, and Italy, and made friends from around the globe. Regardless of their ethnicity, religion, or nationality, I realized they all had one thing in common - futbol. It seemed that everyone with the exception of Americans loved this game. This must mean that the rest of the world saw something that I did not.

I started watching the small amount of futbol that was on television in America, and decided to find out some information about this Fenerbahce team. I also started working on my Master's degree in Sport Management, and my first class was "International Sport." Our first guest speaker was an English former pro futbol player who talked about "the beautiful game." I found Fenerbahce's website and the schedule/fikstur, and began keeping up with them to see how they were. My friend Abdullah, the Fenerbahce fan, also invited me to his apartment in Louisville to watch THE Derby - Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray. I was hooked. I fell in love with futbol around the same time that I fell in love with Fenerbahce. I started realizing that most Americans supported teams like Chelsea, Arsenal, Barcelona, Real Madrid, or Manchester United. I watched a little of those teams and read about them, but none of them compared to what I was learning about Fenerbahce. It was like something clicked when I saw Fenerbahce. No other team mattered. I felt like a drug addict who couldn't get a fix, because I started looking for anything Fenerbahce I could find - DVDs, books, magazines, etc. I even bought an old Fener shirt on ebay. It was probably ten years old, but I didn't care - I wore it with pride.

Kristen thought I was living some sort of double life. My Saturday and Sunday afternoons were spent following this Turkish futbol team online. I met some other Fener fans and one even sent me a kit from Fenerium in Istanbul. I started getting a group of people together to play futbol each week, and I wore my Fener shorts each week. I couldn't get enough of Fenerbahce. I was reading about the team, but realized that very little content on Fener was in English. Through my travels and some language books, I was starting to learn a little Turkish. Finally I thought "there must be some other non-Turkish-speaking person out there who likes this team," so I started a blog - in English - about this team that I had grown to love so much. Fenerbahce Worldwide ( was launched in the summer of 2006.

I finally talked Kristen into letting me subscribe to Fox Soccer Channel last summer. Even though I knew I wouldn't likely see Fenerbahce, I couldn't get enough futbol. I had finally learned about this game and was absolutely in love with it. Each weekend I would watch Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, AC Milan, etc. I loved what I was seeing, but this wasn't Fenerbahce. None of these players or teams excited me like Tuncay Sanli, Stephen Appiah, or my beloved Fenerbahce. I started wondering why Americans were fans of these teams. As I learned about Fenerbahce, I realized the past successes of the club, the amazing facilities of Sukru Saracoglu, the leadership and charisma of Aziz Yildirim, and what I believe is the most passionate fan base of any club in the world. Americans would ask "why not support Arsenal or an English team?" My answer was simple: they aren't Fenerbahce. Don't get me wrong, the afore-mentioned clubs are fantastic. They are popular for many reasons. However, after studying why these clubs are so popular and successful (I am a graduate student, after all), I came to one hypothesis: One day, Fenerbahce will mentioned in the same sentence as all of those clubs. In fact, I believe one day Fenerbahce will be the world's greatest club.

The few American futbol fans I knew scoffed at me. They thought (and still think) I was crazy. But I knew something they did not. I had been to Turkiye, and we had something they didn't. We have the most incredible fans in the world. I can say this because I've been around fans of other teams. I've been to an Italian Serie A game. We have money, resources, facilities, and many other things those teams have. However, I saw pictures of Fenerbahce fans when we played in the tiny Faroe Islands last summer. I saw photos of Fener fans when we played in Syria early this season. I've seen Fener fans take to the streets of New York City, Holland, England, and around the globe. That is something that most clubs can only dream about.

So, here I am, nearly one year after starting this website. I've received attention for this site that I never dreamed of. I am so honored, but more earnestly, I am thrilled to see Fenerbahce receive the attention. I am only one member of the Fenerbahce Cumhuriyeti and no more important than any other fan. I am proud of my little blog and the attention it has received, but I am more proud to consider myself a Fenerbahceli, a supporter of this great team that has changed my life. As I finish my Master's degree in Sport Management next year, Kristen and I hope to move to Europe and eventually, to Turkiye. My dream is to one day work for this club that has changed my life, but that matters little. Regardless of where I live, I will be a Fenerli for life. One day, I will look back to my early days of being a Fenerbahce fan and remember what it was like to miss out on European glory. One day, it will seem strange that Fenerbahce had not won the UEFA Champions League. One day, it will seem strange that there were so few non-Turks who were Fenerbahce fans. One day I will remember when I used to say "bir gun herkes Fenerbahceli olacak." Then I will realize that one now.

Turkish Futbol's Black Eye

Saturday, May 19, was to be a special day in Turkish futbol, and futbol in general. One of the great sports rivalries on Earth, and arguably the World's Biggest Derby, was to take place at Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul. Turkcell Super Lig Champions Fenerbahce were visiting, and still up for grabs was a second-place Super Lig spot and a reservation for the UEFA Champions League next season. The pieces were in place for a great day of futbol. Instead, a riot occured overshadowing what could have been a great game.

The scene is becoming all too common, especially in Turkiye. For a nation that is still clamoring for respect on the European futbol landscape, these are not the headlines they were hoping for. My article is titled "Turkish futbol's black eye," but maybe I should have called it "Turkish futbol's bloody assault" instead.

What happened at Ali Sami Yen is appalling, to say the least. It was a freakshow in the stands, putting the lives of fans, polis, players, and managers at stake. Galatasaray should be ashamed. But don't get me wrong, this is not just a Galatasaray problem; this is a problem throughout the league. As many of you know, I am as passionate of a Fenerbahce fan as you will ever meet. However, we have these types of fans also. So does Besiktas. So does Trabzonspor. Even Ankaragucu, with their small contingency of fans, probably has at least one violent soul who would love to stick a knife into Fener or GS. It's time for us, the fans, to step up against this. To Galatasaray's defense, this type of behavior is being exhibited by a small minority of fans. Some of my closest friends are Galatasaray fans, and they are appalled by this.

So, what can be done? What can we do to stop this behavior? First, the Turkish Futbol Federation has to take swift and harsh action. Sure, playing without fans in the stadium hurts, but we've seen it before and obviously, it isn't working. Once the fans return, the small group of idiots do as well. The TFF must do something unprecedented that will grab everyone's attention. I don't know the answer, but that's up to Ulusoy to decide. Secondly, the clubs themselves have to step up. We, the fans, are loyal to our clubs. We hang on every word and command from our Club Presidents. It's time for the clubs to make eye-catching moves to curb this violence.

However, the real answer to this problem will not come from the Turkish Futbol Federation or the clubs. It will have to come from us, the fans. It's easy for us to say "that isn't me - I wasn't the one doing that." Especially for me, as I sat at a computer here in the United States watching the game. But when Fenerbahce wins, we talk of ourselves as being one with the club and one with other fans. We are the Fenerbahce Cumhuriyeti. The same must happen when we lose and when violence occurs. We must say "I am a fan and I'm tired of this." Do we report other fans? Do we step in ourselves? We must take responsibility and act to prevent this from happening again.

Some will read this and say "it wasn't us - it was the Galatasaray fans." Yes, you are absolutely an extent. But don't kid yourselves, we have those fans too. All of the clubs do. You may even know someone who has acted violently at a game. It's time to stop pointing fingers and claim responsibility for the sake and future of Turkish futbol.

I know that a large majority of GS fans don't act this way, despite what we Fener fans want to think. But that minority is stealing the attention from those of us who love good futbol and enjoy a great rivalry. As an American, I am constantly fighting for respect and attention for Turkish futbol. I'm tired of turning on Fox Soccer Channel to see English games with a little Italian Serie A thrown in. I want Turkish futbol to be seen as the great entity that it is. We have great fans, great teams, great players, and we play in what I believe to be the greatest nation in the world. We fans of Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, and Besiktas have fanbases and resources that many European teams only dream of. It's time to channel that energy from violent behavior into passionate (and safe) fan behavior. We can make the rest of the world see what we already know - that there is nothing quite like Turkish futbol.

The fact is that we are only hurting ourselves. After the game, Mateja Kezman said he was "shocked" and feared for his life. Is this how we are supposed to lure great players to Turkiye? Do you think guys like Roberto Carlos or Deco will see this and think "Man, I can't wait to play there!" We only have six foreign spots for our teams. Each foreign player we sign is crucial and valuable. Making them fear for their life is not the way to get big names to Turkiye. I want players to see tens of thousands of fans screaming and jumping up and down chanting their names without having to cover their heads on a throw-in because of fear.

I know that Galatasaray was obviously frustrated. They lost the championship to their bitter rivals, they were losing 2-0 at the break, and they were looking at possibly missing out on an $8 million payday and a spot in UEFA Champions League. I'm a sports fan who has endured years of frustration in America. But please....log on to your message boards and call in to radio shows. Write an e-mail to your club's board. Don't hurt the image of Turkiye and the game by becoming physically violent.

I look forward to the day that I open Hurriyet or another European paper and read about the classic game played at Sukru Saracoglu, Ali Sami Yen, or Inonu stadium rather than the violence that overshadowed the game. I anticipate one day taking my kids to Sukru Saracoglu and letting them fall in love with Fener, the way I did after watching Hooijdonk, Revivo, Tuncay, etc. I look forward to the day that they can jokingly remind their friends who are GS fans of the 6-0 drubbing Fener gave them not so long ago. But after what I saw on Saturday, it will be a long, long time before my kids can enjoy such a nonviolent atmosphere.

Fanatical About Footie in Turkiye

There is a fantastic article about the Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray Derby in today's Sun newspaper, an English news outlet. The article paints a venemous picture of the rivalry, especially after Saturday's violent outbursts. Except for the constant and inconsistent misspellings of "Fenerbahce," it's a solid article. You can read the article, in its entirety with photos, by visiting,,2001320029-2007230264,00.html

Today's Zaman: Media Coverage to Blame

The following article appears in Monday's edition of "Today's Zaman." Please visit their website at to read the article in its entirety.

Media coverage contributes to the problem
Soccer hooliganism is a highly visible phenomenon, as journalists and TV cameras are present at virtually every match.

Journalists are sent to soccer matches in Turkey as much to report on crowd behavior as on the game itself.

As a result media coverage of soccer-related disorders and violence is extensive, and the Turkish media devotes apparently unlimited column inches to any incident that occurs, complete with sensationalist headlines.

This sensationalism, without the slightest doubt, together with a "predictive" approach whereby violence at certain matches is anticipated by the media, has actually contributed to the problem. The local media refers to any Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe match as the "mother of all derbies." What on Earth makes it the "mother or father of all derbies"? Is it the high standard of play or the high standard of hooliganism?

Sahin Reprimands Turkish Futbol Federation

State Minister for Sports and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Sahin issued a verbal reprimand to the Turkish Futbol Federation following Saturday's fan debacle at Ali Sami Yen Stadium.
Sahin spoke to reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport and stated that he was deeply upset and appalled by the events during and after the Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray Derby at GS's home stadium. "I was watching the game on TV but felt compelled to stop after what I saw. Usually every Saturday evening I watch sports programs, but I couldn't bring myself to watch those last night, either."
Sahin is looking for answers from both the TFF and the fans involved, as the Derby events has once again given Turkish futbol a black eye. He recommended an inquiry into finding those specific fans responsible for the violence, as well as requesting answers from the TFF. He commented that the TFF is ultimately responsible, and action must be taken to prevent this violence from happening again. Sahin also offered to consult with the TFF to help them alleviate this problem.

Is Juventus Courting Appiah Again?

Several media reports, including, are reporting that newly-promoted Juventus may be in the hunt for their former star, Stephen Appiah. Appiah spent two seasons at Juventus before joining the Yellow Canaries in 2005. Appiah has seen a position change in the last few years, but reports are that Juventus would like him to be an integral part of their midfield as they rejoin Serie A for the 2007-2008 campaign. reports that Appiah's representatives traveled to Turin, Italy, to meet with Juventus officials, but the reports have yet to be confirmed. Appiah, who injured his knee, is set to have surgery on Wednesday of this week, and will miss Fenerbahce's final game against Ankaragucu this weekend in Kadikoy.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Fenerbahce Takes Derby 2-1

In a match marred by violence and stoppages, Fenerbahce took the World's Biggest Derby 2-1 at Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul. The win made Fener undefeated against their cross-town rivals Galatasaray on the season, and added three points to their championship total for the 2006-2007 season. Zico went with his typical starting lineup in the Derby, rather than resting any of the usual starters. Fener's starting eleven was Serdar Kulbilge, Ümit Özat, Mateja Kezman, Tuncay Şanlı, Tümer Metin, Önder Turacı, Mehmet Aurelio, Serkan Balcı, Deniz Barış, Diego Lugano, and Eduardo de Souza.

Fenerbahce's goals came from Diego Lugano in the 24th minute, and Edu Dracena in the 40th minute. After a lengthy stoppage time from the game being temporarily suspended, Galatasaray received a closing goal from Arda Turan in the 105th minute. Seven yellow cards were handed out in the match - four to Galatasaray's Cihan Haspolatli, Arda Turan, Orhan Ak, and Sabri Sarioglu. Serdar Kulbilge, Deniz Baris and Diego Lugano picked up yellow cards for Fenerbahce. The game had to be stopped for several minutes in the 82nd minute after moments of violence overshadowed the game on the pitch. Fans pelted the pitch with objects, hitting several Fener players with flying debris.

More to come on this black eye to Turkish futbol....

Fenerbahce Worldwide Receives Some Publicity

I was absolutely shocked to discover that there is an article in Saturday's edition of Hurriyet, the Turkish news outlet, about my site, Fenerbahce Worldwide. I was contacted by my friend Emre Kizilkaya, a journalist for Hurriyet, informing me of the article.

I am absolutely speechless about the attention. It's amazing, really....I am just an American guy who fell in love with Fenerbahce and decided to do a website about the club in English, since there was (and still is) very little content about this great club in English. My Turkish, as many of you know, is not very good, but I am actively studying the language and it's improving steadily. I decided last year that I could understand some Turkish enough to do some translating, and hence this website was formed.

The question I get most often in regards to my Fenerbahce obsession is "why?" I'll be writing an article very shortly about how a guy from a small town in the midwestern part of America came to love this Turkish futbol team; so much so that he would change careers and go to graduate school to study sport management, in hopes of one day moving to Turkiye to work for this great club. It's a crazy story, but it is my story. I hope to have that posted in the coming days.

Here is a link to Hurriyet's article: Thanks to all of the wonderful and amazing people I've met through this site and to the other Fenerbahce fans worldwide: "Bir gun herkes Fenerbahceli olacak." :)

Friday, May 18, 2007

Interview with Marco "Mehmet" Aurelio

The latest issue of Fenerbahce Magazine features an interview with Brazilian-born star Marco "Mehmet" Aurelio. The official Fenerbahce site has published an excerpt from this interview (in English). Please visit to read the interview with Aurelio in its entirety.

Tuncay Focused On Task At Hand

Fenerbahce star Tuncay Sanli spoke with FB TV after Thursday's training session and stated that despite transfer rumors, he is focused on Fenerbahce and the Derby against Galatasaray.

"We will be even happier after we defeat Galatasaray in their stadium. I am really excited that we won the title as we celebrate our 100th year. Although we have already been declared champions, we want to make our fans even happier by defeating Galatasaray. That is what our fans want."

Tuncay went on to say "The league is not over yet but we are the champions. Now there are lots of rumors about my transfer. I always tell you that my first priority is and will be Fenerbahce. I am a Fenerbahce fan. After the league officially ends, I will talk with our President."

(some content courtesy of

Much To Decide in Turkcell Super Lig This Weekend

Although the champions have been decided, this weekend offers many questions yet to be answered in the Turkcell Super Lig. With relegation and UEFA Champions League spots still left to be claimed, there is also a little game known globally as "The World's Biggest Derby." Fenerbahce is playing for pride, and Galatasaray is playing for the coveted #2 spot in the Turkcell Super Lig. At the opposite end of the table, Erciyesspor and Rizespor are fighting for their Super Lig lives, as relegation is hanging over them like a dark cloud headed into week #33.

While Fenerbahce and Galatasaray are duking it out at Ali Sami Yen on Saturday, Besiktas will be fighting to keep that second spot in the league when they face Ankaraspor. Also on Saturday, relegation-doomed Sakaryaspor will travel to face Genclerbirligi.

Sunday will be the battle to avoid relegation as Erciyesspor, currently sitting second from the bottom, desperately needs a win and some help as they host Antalyaspor. Also desperate to avoid the drop is Caykur Rizespor, who face a difficult game with Konyaspor in Rize. The Tea Men currently sit in 16th place in the TSL.

Lots of questions heading into the second-to-last weekend, but we'll have many answers by Sunday evening.

Terim Wants Foreign Player Limit Lifted

The following article appeared in Friday's edition of "Today's Zaman." You can read the article, in its entirety, by visiting their website at:

Terim: Lift the foreign player limit with alacrity

Turkish national coach Fatih Terim, while attending a discussion panel held by the Turkish Sports Writers Association in Ankara, said he was in favor of the foreign player limit currently applied to Turkcell Super League clubs to be lifted.

Fatih Terim The 54-year-old Adana native noted that this was not a new idea and that he made the same suggestion to Turkish Futbol Federation (TFF) President Haluk Ulusoy last year. The seasoned coach asserted that as long as teams continue to be limited by the foreign player quota, they will try alternative methods. "I think that this limit should be lifted, but the clubs shouldn't exaggerate either. During our [Galatasaray] journey to the UEFA Cup championship [in 2000], we faced opposing teams which had 13 to 14 foreigners on their squads. It's important that this limit be lifted so as to create a healthy competitive environment. It's something that will be eradicated anyway when we join the EU," he stated.

Terim noted that in Turkish soccer coaches are always blamed for team failures, adding: "There has been a surge in Turkish coaches recently. The concept of foreigner and domestic, though, is something that needs to be overcome. We [Turkey] are now very important competitors in the international arena. Coaches make soccer a more interesting game and I plan to work abroad in the near future."

The former AC Milan coach, commenting on the national team's upcoming Euro 2008 qualifying Group C game against Bosnia-Herzegovina on June 6, reminded everyone that Bosnia was one of the strongest squads in the group. Stressing that they were taking this match very seriously, Terim added: "The Bosnians demonstrated how solid they were in their away game at Norway. It's a very critical challenge for us."

Terim stated categorically that he would continue to remain apart from politics, when asked to comment on the surge in the number sportspeople now involved in politics, adding that he doesn't want to be an "incompetent" deputy.

The former Adana Demirspor and Galatasaray player drew attention to the fact that Fenerbahçe Brazilian-born midfielder Marco "Mehmet" Aurelio was performing excellently with the national team. "We needed Marco on our team and we brought him aboard the national team. This doesn't mean that we have an open invitation to every player who is granted Turkish citizenship. I don't need any [naturalized] player other than Marco right now," he said.
The national team coach said in general he was very pleased with the standard of play in the Turkcell Super League and congratulated the Fenerbahçe Yellow Canaries for winning the 2006-07 championship. Terim, stressing the importance of Fenerbahçe coach Zico's coaching tactics and game plan, said: "Zico is a very successful coach. He found the right formula to win very important games during the tough battle at the top."

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Champions Prepare for Galatasaray

With their 17th Turkcell Super Lig title behind them, Fenerbahce must now look ahead and prepare for arguably the world's biggest derby against their arch rivals across the Bosphorous. Speaking to the media on Wednesday, Zico assured them that Fenerbahce is seeking three points at Ali Sami Yen, regardless of their new status as champions.
"We are the champion but we will play against Galatasaray and it is really an important derby. We have to respect our job," stated Zico. "Fenerbahce starts every game with the intention of glory. So we will go there to win."
Kickoff is at 19:00 (12 Noon EST in the U.S.) on Saturday, May 19th.

Is Barcelona's Deco Heading to Kadikoy?

Yesterday we reported that Spanish giants Barcelona are in the race to sign Fener star Tuncay Sanli. Today, it seems that the deal could be a trade of sorts, as Fenerbahce has now been linked to landing Barca superstar Anderson Luis "Deco" de Souza.

Turkish media outlets Milliyet and Sabah are reporting that a deal to send Deco to Kadikoy to join Fenerbahce could indeed be in the works. If so, Deco would join a growing cast of Brazilian stars to wear the navy and yellow, as well as play for Brazilian legend Zico. Deco was born in Brazil, but plays nationally for the Portugese national team. The 29-year-old midfielder could fill a needed void for Fenerbahce.

Some of Deco's individual awards include:

Fifa World Club Cup Golden Ball: 2006; UEFA Champions League MVP: 2003/04; UEFA Best Midfielder Award: 2003/04 and 2005/06; European Silver Ball (Second position of the European Player of the Year Award): 2003-04; Portuguese Footballer of the Year: 2004; South American Sportsman of the Year : 2006.

What Others Have Said About Deco:

"Deco doesn't talk a lot but when he does everybody listens" - Lionel Messi on Deco.
"World class" - José Mourinho on Deco.
"I think one of my bigger mistakes when in Brazil was not signing Deco. Now that we are with Portugal, I am glad I did not." Scolari on not inviting Deco to the Selecao during his tenure as head Brazilian coach.
"My choice of Deco had to do with his technical and professional qualities and his strong determination in reaching the objectives," - Scolari on the inclusion of Deco into the Portuguese National Squad.
"Deco is the barometer of our season, when he is in form the quality of the game rises, when he is not so good the team as a whole performs less well" - Barça Coach Frank Rijkaard on Deco.
"He's a great player. It would be foolish to underestimate him" - Ex-Celtic coach Martin O'Neill on Deco during the 2002-03 UEFA Cup Final.

Real Madrid, Villareal Join Race for Tuncay Sanli

After leading Fenerbahce to their 17th Turkcell Super Lig Championship, it seems a foregone conclusion that superstar Tuncay Sanli will leave the club at the end of the season. He has reportedly rebuffed club officials who wanted to ink him to a new deal, and has no shortage of suitors interested in his skills. Yesterday I reported that Barcelona had joined the likes of AC Milan, Newcastle United, and others who are interested in Tuncay. Now you can add Barcelona rivals Real Madrid and Villareal to the mix.
According to, Real will send scouts to watch Tuncay this weekend against Galatasaray in the world's biggest derby. The club is expected to send Jose Antonio Reyes packing back to Arsenal at the end of the season, and Tuncay might be the player to fill his role. With an all-Spanish UEFA Cup final, the Spanish La Liga could stake their claim as being the world's greatest league at the moment, certainly an attractive selling point for Tuncay.
With two games remaining, Fenerbahce fans might be seeing the last appearances of Tuncay Sanli.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Barcelona Interested in Tuncay Sanli

According to various European media outlets including Hurriyet and, Spanish giants Barcelona are interested in Fenerbahce star Tuncay Sanli. Barcelona manager Frank Rikjaard recently praised Tuncay and "sees him as cover for Samuel Eto'o."
Tuncay had remained mum on transfer rumors throughout the season, but following Fener's championship-clinching victory on Sunday, he stated "My original goal has always been to win the championship with Fenerbahce. I have now achieved that.
So now I will consider all offers. I want to join a team that regularly plays in Europe."
Tuncay is one of many Fenerbahce players whose contract expires at the end of the season. Fenerbahce officials have stated that they wish to keep the core of the current team intact, but the only player who seems close to inking a new contract is Brazilian star Alex de Souza.
Barcelona is coming off a good but disappointing season in 2007, including an earlier-than-expected UEFA Champions League exit and a 4-0 La Liga thrashing last weekend.

Roberto Carlos Deal Nearly Finished?

Less than three weeks ago, Fenerbahce administrators reiterated their lack of interest in signing Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos yet again. However, Spanish news outlet Marca is reporting that Roberto Carlos and his agent will meet with Fenerbahce officials this week to sign a two-year deal. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
According to the paper, "after all of the agreements in terms of principles last year in February, Fenerbahçe wants to have the Brazilian player sign the contract in order to not repeat last year's disappointment." Fenerbahce has yet to issue any statement denying or confirming the truth since their last declaration on the topic on April 27th. However, the signing of Roberto Carlos would mean that Fener is expecting to lose one of their six non-Turkish players. Defender Diego Lugano was earlier mentioned in a transfer swap of sorts to Real Madrid. Star scorer Tuncay Sanli has been linked to Newcastle United, AC Milan, and a number of other English and Italian teams. Tuncay has indicated he might like to leave Turkiye to experience the style of play in another European league. Defender/Midfielder Stephen Appiah has been linked to Glasgow Celtic as well.
Stay tuned to see if the worst-kept secret in Turkiye becomes a reality this time.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Appiah's Brilliance Clinches Title

The following article appeared in today's edition of "The Statesman" newspaper out of Ghana. For the full article, please visit

Appiah's brillance clinches title BBC , 15/05/2007

Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah spoke of his "fantastic feeling” after setting up the goal that sealed the Turkish league title for Fenerbahce.

Fenerbahce twice fought back from a goal down on Sunday and held Trabzonspor to a 2-2 draw to win their 17th title in their centenary year.

With two matches to go before the end of the season, Fenerbahce top the table with 64 points, six points ahead of arch-Istanbul rivals Besiktas, who lost 3-0 to Bursaspor.

Fenerbahce have the better record from matches between the two clubs this season.Even if they lose both of the remaining games and Besiktas win theirs, they would still be champions under the rules of the Turkish league.

But the Istanbul giants had to wait until the 85th minute when Appiah turned his marker inside out before clipping in a precision cross to Brazilian Deivid de Souza, who headed into the empty net.

Huseyin Cimsir's opener after just two minutes was cancelled out by Sanli Tuncay in the 5th minute before Guinean forward Ibrahim Yattara restored the visitors" lead.Appiah, who played through the pain barrier as he is yet to overcome a knee injury.

“It is a fantastic feeling. We thank God for giving us the title in our centenary year,” the Ghana captain told BBC Sport.“I really wanted to help the club win the title that’s why I agreed to play even with the injury.“Even though I can still feel the pain I think the risk has paid off and I am happy that the fans are happy.”

The result was a major relief for the new champions after Galatasaray snatched the title away from them in the final game of last season.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Tebrikler to Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor!

From a die-hard Fenerbahce fan, I'd like to say congratulations to Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor, the first team from Lig A (second division) to be promoted to the Turkcell Super Lig so far this season. Two more will earn a berth in the top flight, but have yet to be decided.

If you are unfamiliar with G.O., they are a peculiar team indeed. Here are some facts on the club courtesy of "Today's Zaman":

Ankara's Gençlerbirliği Oftaşspor is the former ASASSpor which played in League A between 1999 and 2001. It pulled out of this league because it was moved from Group 4 to Group 5, which is made up of mostly eastern and southeastern Anatolian teams. In 2003, ASASSpor suffered a serious financial crisis and so Genclerbirliği bought the club, changed its name to Gençlerbirliği ASASSpor and the emblem of the club was replaced with that of Gençlerbirliği. After OFTAŞ signed a sponsorship deal with Gençlerbirliği the club last year changed its name to Gençlerbirliği Oftaşspor. It is worthy to note that all the players in this club belong to Gençlerbirliği under a special contract. As a matter of fact, Gençlerbirliği Oftaş is Gençlerbirliği's reserve team and the average age of the players is 21. The Turkish Futbol Federation (TFF) had recently announced that there was no law banning Gençlerbirliği Oftaş from playing in topflight Turkish futbol if the team gained promotion.

Additionally, G.O. is Turkiye's answer to Castel Di Sangro, the Italian team made popular in the book "The Miracle of Castel di Sangro" that climbed from the depths of Italian calcio before nearly making Serie A. Genclerbirligi was not in League A, but League B just two seasons ago. Only one year after being promoted to League A, the side now finds itself playing against giants such as Fenerbahce, Galatasaray, Besiktas, and Trabzonspor.

The promotion of G.O. will give Ankara, Turkiye's capital city, four Super Lig teams, moving ahead of Istanbul's three.

Congratulations/Tebrikler to Genclerbirligi OFTASSpor and "hos geldiniz" to the Turkcell Super Lig!

Highlights from Fenerbahce vs. Trabzonspor

Watch highlights of the Fenerbahce vs. Trabzonspor Championship-clinching match here:

Back to Business: Fenerbahce vs. Galatasaray

As Fenerbahce fans will no doubt be celebrating for weeks to come, the team itself must get back down to business with two games remaining. Zico, however, is expected to give much of the first team a rest and get valuable playing time for many of the reserves this weekend at Ali Sami Yen and the season finale at home against Ankaragucu. The schedule for this weekend's Turkcell Super Lig games has been set. Here are dates and times:
Saturday May 19th:
19.00 Beşiktaş-Ankaraspor (BJK İnönü)
19.00 Gençlerbirliği-Sakaryaspor (Ankara 19 Mayıs)
19.00 Galatasaray-Fenerbahçe (Ali Sami Yen)
Sunday May 20th:
19.00 Ankaragücü-Sivasspor (Ankara)
19.00 Çaykur Rizespor-Konyaspor (Rize Atatürk)
19.00 Gaziantepspor-Vestel Manisaspor (Kamil Ocak)
19.00 Denizlispor-Kayserispor (Denizli Atatürk)
19.00 Trabzonspor-Bursaspor (Hüseyin Avni Aker)
19.00 Kayseri Erciyesspor-Antalyaspor (Büyükşehir Belediyesi Atatürk)
NOTE: 19:00 is 12:00 Noon EST in the United States.

Zico: "I Want To Stay With Fenerbahce"

After last night's championship, Zico and members of the team spoke to the media in Izmir. The players confirmed their thanks to the Fenerbahce fans, while Fener Manager Zico spoke for the first time about his desire to remain in Kadikoy, less than two weeks after he told an Italian media outlet that he didn't expect his stay in Turkiye to be a lengthy one.

"This year was very important for us because it is our centenary and it is my first year in Europe, so it means a lot to me too," said the coach. "The season was difficult for us, but it is time to have fun. I have a two-year contract and I want to stay with Fenerbahçe. I am going to meet with the president in the next few days and ask about staying in Turkiye."

Tuncay Sanli, who scored Fener's first goal in the fourth minute, stated "Because of what happened last year this title became very important for us. It wasn't an easy season but I am so happy to take get this reward for our efforts." Tuncay has been linked to transfers to various teams in England and Italy, but the club has stated that they will do everything to keep #10 in Kadikoy.

Umit Ozat thanked the fans for their unfailing support throughout the tumultuous season. "This title is a present for our supporters from us. They have supported us very well in every game and deserved this celebration."

Fenerbahce: Tesekkurler To Our Fans!

After yesterday's championship-clinching victory, the club issued this official statement to thank the Fenerbahce fans worldwide:

We thank our fans who never let us down and supported us during the whole season despite all the difficulties they faced.We always felt your support with us and it gives us a huge strength. We want to underline the fact that our fans had the biggest part in our 17th title that we won on Sunday against Trabzonspor in Izmir.
Thank you very much,

Fenerbahce Sport Club

Turkiye ve Fenerbahce Cumhuriyeti!

Pictures of Fenerbahce fans throughout Turkiye celebrating into the night on Sunday evening! All photos courtesy of