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TURKISH TEAM

World Cup Homepage | View Group Tables | Week 1 | Week 2



Goalkeepers
1-Rustu Recber (Fenerbahce) Born: 10.5.73

Turkey's best keeper and a first choice if fit. Rustu's agility and good positional sense have saved Turkish blushes on many occasions. He says he is ready to move abroad now after years at Fenerbahce and the World Cup could be his chance to shine.

12-Omer Catkic (Gaziantepspor) Born: 15.10.74
Bald and bearded, fans dub Omer "Barthez" for his likeness to the Manchester United and France keeper. He too can be erratic, and made a schoolboy error in the UEFA Cup this season.

23-Zafer Ozgultekin (Ankaragucu) Born: 10.3.75
A great season for club Ankaragucu who finished fourth this year, just behind the three big Istanbul clubs, has earned Zafer his place as Turkey's third keeper.

Defenders
16-Umit Ozat (Fenerbahce) Born: 30.10.76
Strong central defender with erratic form who made some hair-raising errors for Fenerbahce in their miserable Champions League campaign this season.

3-Bulent Korkmaz (Galatasaray) Born: 24.11.68
Keystone of a successful club side defence and a tireless national team player, Bulent has matched wits with the best strikers in the world for years in Europe with Galatasaray.

5-Alpay Ozalan (Aston Villa) Born 29.5.73
Once hot-headed and unreliable, most agree that Alpay has matured into a classy central defender after stints at Fenerbahce and now Villa. A strong header of the ball, who can score goals. First-team choice if he can shake off injuries.
 
4-Fatih Akyel (Fenerbahce) Born 26.12.77
Right-sided defender happy to roam up the touch line and able to place dangerous crosses.

2-Emre Asik (Galatasaray) Born: 13.12.73
Emre, famed for his top model girlfriend, has moved into the Galatasaray first team with ease and confidence this season. Fast and combative, he can sometimes deliver shocking tackles.

Midfielders
19-Abdullah Ercan (Fenerbahce) Born: 8.12.71 STRONG>
The distinctive blonde hair is now thinning but the left-footed Abdullah can still challenge Hakan Unsal for a place running Turkey's left flank.

20-Hakan Unsal (Blackburn Rovers) Born: 14.5.73
Fast, bustling left-footed defensive midfielder whose infrequent raids forward can create chances. Short of match experience after a drawn-out transfer to Blackburn.

22-Umit Davala (AC Milan) Born 30.7.73
Versatile German-born midfielder who can play in defence or attack. Had a knack of scoring crucial goals for Galatasaray where he even played as a striker once or twice.

14-Tayfur Havutcu (Besiktas) Born: 23.4.70
Central midfield tackler and ball-winner. Can pass but rarely moves forward.

7-Okan Buruk (Inter Milan) Born: 19.10.73
Short and muscular hard-running midfielder now in Italy after years of success with Galatasaray.

21-Emre Belozoglu (Inter Milan) Born: 7.9.80
Crown prince of Turkish football's new generation, Emre's left foot has been compared to that of his Galatasaray mentor Gheorghe Hagi. Like Hagi, Emre is short but powerful enough to hold his own in midfield and has an instinctive eye for goal.

8-Tugay Kerimoglu (Blackburn Rovers) Born: 24.8.70
Likely to be the heart of the Turkish midfield, Tugay has the talent needed to provide the vital link between defence and attack. Enjoying good form and popularity at Blackburn.

10-Yildiray Basturk (Bayer Leverkusen) Born: 24.12.78
Exciting new prospect for Turkey, Yildiray has already shown he can link well with striker Hakan Sukur. His close control and pace have electrified Turkey in the last two matches he has played.

18-Ergun Penbe (Galatasaray) Born: 17.5.72
Calm and collected, Ergun has provided unassuming class and commitment for Galatasaray for years. Can play in defence or midfield. Prefers left side.

13-Muzzy Izzet (Leicester City) Born: 31.10.74 Caps: 7 Goals: 0.
He chose Turkey over England but London-born Muzzy will have to fight hard to win a place in midfield. His Turkish is still weak and injury has hampered his form over the last year.

Forwards
9-Hakan Sukur (Parma) Born: 1.9.71

Tall, quick and deadly in front of goal, Hakan is Turkey's all-time top scorer, averaging a goal every two games. Says he is enjoying his soccer again after joining Parma from Inter Milan where he was frozen out of the side. Called "The King" in Turkey.

6-Arif Erdem (Galatasaray) Born: 2.1.72
Still knocking the goals in for Galatasaray after an unhappy and short stint in Spain, Arif likes to run at defences from midfield and has built a long-standing partnership with Hakan Sukur.

11-Hasan Sas (Galatasaray) Born 1.8.76
Bald, scurrying Hasan is right-footed but loves to charge down the left flank. Fiercely hard-working, Hasan will hustle and bustle all night but may not stretch world-class defences.

15-Nihat Kahveci (Real Sociedad) Born: 23.11.79
Young Nihat has pace and a pile-driver right foot. Spotted at Besiktas by John Toshack, he is now with him in Spain. Originally a flying right winger, he now plays more in the middle.

17-Ilhan Mansiz (Besiktas) Born: 10.8.75
Leading goalscorer in the league this season for Besiktas, floppy-haired Ilhan is tall and agile in the box.