Europa League

The day Galatasaray put Turkey on football map

Sixteen years on since Galatasaray AŞ became the first Turkish club to lift an European trophy, looks back on the night they defeated Arsenal FC on penalties.

1. Capone
A regular in the Galatasaray defence at right-back or in the centre that season, the Brazilian is remembered most prominently by fans for the impression he left in attack, scoring a vital goal against Leeds United AFC in the semi-final first leg. The former São Paulo FC man served the Istanbul giants from 1999 to 2002 before a brief spell at Kocaelispor brought his time in Turkey to an end.

Returned to his homeland with Clube Atlético Paranaense in 2003 and called time on his career a year later after turning out for Grêmio Foot-ball Porto Alegrense. Dodged a bullet in the final as he was the next man up to take a penalty if the shoot-out had gone to the next kick.

2. Ümit Davala

The German-born right-winger converted the third penalty against Arsenal, with victory proving a high point of his five-year spell with the Cimbom. Spent time with both Milan giants immediately following his 2001 departure before a two-season spell with SV Werder Bremen, but his post-Gala career was plagued by a recurring groin injury and forced retirement in 2005 aged 33.

Capped 41 times by Turkey and scoring twice in the country’s run to third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, Ümit has enjoyed a diverse post-playing career. Releasing a rap album, captaining Turkey’s futsal side, becoming the country’s Under-21 coach and assisting Michael Skibbe and Fatih Terim at Galatasaray have been just some of his roles.

3. Hakan Ünsal
The long-serving left-back played for Galatasaray between 1994 and 2005 – barring a brief 2002 spell at Blackburn Rovers FC – and made over 200 league appearances for the Istanbul giants. Capped 33 times for Turkey, he appeared four times at the 2002 World Cup and twice at UEFA EURO 2000. He now works as a television pundit and columnist.

4. Bülent Korkmaz

One of the most celebrated ‘one-club’ men in the Turkish game, Bülent is nothing short of a legend at Galatasaray. Joined the club’s youth system in 1979 and ended his association as captain in 2005. The final with Arsenal helped cement his hero status, the defender continuing on with a dislocated shoulder with the three substitutes already used.

Played over 400 league games for the club and is one of just three players to have won more than 100 caps for Turkey. He moved into coaching after his playing days ended and had a brief spell with the club in 2009. Most recently worked at Kayseri Erciyesspor earlier this season.

5. Ahmet Yıldırım
Equally adept in central defence or as a defensive midfielder, he was renowned for his accurate long-range passing. Came off the bench during extra time in the UEFA Cup final, and his nerveless character helped ten-man Galatasaray see the game to penalties. One of the few players in Turkish football to have played for the country’s big three – Fenerbahçe SK, Beşiktaş JK and Galatasaray – he is now coaching third-tier outfit Pendikspor who are chasing promotion this term.

6. Ergün Penbe
Nicknamed The Bone and The Iceman during his 1994 to 2007 career at Galatasaray due to his tough style and unflappable character, the left-winger converted the first penalty in the shoot-out against Arsenal. Known for his numerous assists and accurate crossing, Fatih Terim’s arrival at the club in 1996 changed the fortunes of Ergün, who went from a squad player to an indispensable member of the team which won four consecutive league titles and the UEFA Cup between 1996 and 2000. After briefly working as a television pundit, he moved into coaching in 2008 and has worked at several lower division clubs in Turkey.

7. Hasan Şaş
The pacey winger joined from capital club MKE Ankaragücü in 1998 and made his name as an intelligent ball player high on technique and aggression over an 11-year span with the Cimbom. A stand-out star of Turkey’s 2002 World Cup campaign, his goal in the competition opener to go ahead against Brazil is remembered fondly by all football fans in the country. Served as an assistant to coach Fatih Terim at Galatasaray in 2011 and is now working as a television pundit.

8. Gheorghe Popescu
Perceived as a force field for the Galatasaray defence, Popescu’s skill and experience made a huge contribution in the 2000 victory. Remembered as the man who scored the penalty which secured the trophy, he was already a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup winner with FC Barcelona in 1997 – he had previously enjoyed spells with PSV Eindhoven and Tottenham Hotspur FC – before joining the Turkish club. He went on to represent US Lecce, FC Dinamo Bucureşti and Hannover 96 before hanging up his boots in 2003.

Popescu played at three World Cups and two EUROs and has worked as an agent as well as running for the presidency of the Romanian Football Federation [FRF] since retiring as a player.

9. Hakan Şükür
Arguably the most successful Turkish player ever. Nicknamed The Bull of Bosphorus by the European media thanks to his strong physique, he scored six goals in the UEFA Cup winning run. The second most-capped Turkish footballer of all time [112 caps], he is the all-time top scorer with 51 goals and holds the record for scoring the fastest goal in a World Cup game when notching after 11 seconds against South Korea in 2002.

Had three seperate goal-laden spells with Galatasaray as well as representing Torino FC, FC Internazionale Milano, Parma FC and Blackburn Rovers FC. Following his 2008 retirement the forward worked as a television pundit before going into politics, being elected as a member of parliament in 2011 and is set to stand again in upcoming 2015 elections.


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