Turkish Super Lig: My Team of the Season

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Fernando Muslera 

Taken from Futbolingo

Muslera won’t be forgetting his debut season at Galatasaray in a hurry. Nando managed to concede the fewest goals in the league [30 in 37 games] and keep 19 clean sheets, a new club record. He played an integral role in helping the Lions lift the league title and even managed to score a goal. 


The 6ft 2 keeper has been in outstanding form for Galatasaray, he commands the defense, deals well with aerial balls, is a brilliant close range shot stopper and has wonderful reflexes. 


Ranked as the 6th best keeper in the world by the IFFHS, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him break into the top 5.




Semih Kaya

Taken from National Turk

 Semih the ‘Rock’ Kaya, it may sound cheesy but it’s not a pun, his surname does actually mean Kaya. Semih has had a brilliant breakthrough season at Galatasaray, relatively unknown last year he’s now a house hold name and deservedly so. 


The Rock has shown the composure of a defender 10 years his senior, under his mentor Ujfalusi he has developed into one of the brightest prospects in Turkish football.




Tomas Ujfalusi

Taken from Sulekha

 Ujfalusi has been instrumental at transforming what was one of last season’s worst defences into the strongest back found in all the land. Ufo is adored by the Galatasaray faithful, the famous, ‘injury’ incident pretty much sums up why. 


In what will go down in Galatasaray folklore, during a training session in Germany, Ujfalusi picked up a slight knock and was given permission to take the day off. 


Training resumed the following day, however, to the manager’s amazement Ufo also turned up, Fatih Terim asked him, “Why did you turn up for training, I thought you would rest?”


Ujfalusi responded by saying, “I have to be an example to the others. If I miss training every time I pick up an injury I would have disrespected my friends and my profession, so I ask for your permission to let me train.” 


Terim reportedly replied with, “This is the type of player I want in my team”.




Emmanuel Eboue

Taken from Since 1905

Eboue has also played a vital role in establishing Galatasaray as the league’s strongest defense. The right back position had been a place of pain and misery for years, however, that all changed with the Ivory Coast international. 


The ex-Arsenal player brought all his on and off the field talents with him. Eboue has been fantastic for the Lions this season carrying out his defensive and attacking duties to a T. He uses his power, strength and pace to his advantage and really lifts the team during training as well as in the dressing room. Eboue always gives it his all and has established himself as a crowd favourite.




Reto Ziegler

Taken from Goal

 When Fenerbahçe brought in Ziegler on loan to replace Arsenal bound Andre Santos, it raised a few eyebrows, however, suffice to say the transfer has worked out swimmingly. 


The Swiss left back has been in fine form, created six assists and even scored a vital goal away against Galatasaray in the Intercontinental derby.




Selçuk Inan 

Taken from Milliyet

The brains of this Galatasaray team, Selçuk has been pulling the strings in midfield. They say the best things in life are free, well there couldn’t a more fitting term to describe Selçuk. 


He was signed on a free contract from Trabzonspor and has since gone onto become known as Xelçuk, the Turkish Xavi. Selçuk has contributed to the Istanbul giant’s dominance this season with 16 assists and 13 goals in 40 matches. 


He’s unrivalled in his position and is finished as the league’s Assist King and the team’s Goal King. 


Keeping with the theme of ‘names’, İnan actually translates to ‘Believe’ and with the way Selçuk has performed this season Galatasaray have dared to start believing again.




Felipe Melo 

Taken from Goal

The Gladiator, the Pitbull, whatever you want to call Felipe Melo has been Galatasaray’s X-factor this season. The Brazilian international has been outstanding; the fans refer to him as, ‘Sahadaki biz’, (‘us [the crowd] on the pitch’). 


The way he electrifies the crowd, rallies them and feeds off their energy has to be seen to be believed. Melo has worked his socks off in midfield, undoubtedly a great ‘destroyer’, he’s not limited to the stereotypical defensive midfield duties. 


Melo is actually one of the most accurate passers in the league; it’s nothing new he also had a 90% pass accuracy rate in World Cup 2010. What is new to Melo’s game is being given the No.10 shirt and actually living up to it, the passionate Brazilian has scored 12 goals this season, a career high. 


Galatasaray must make it a priority to complete the signing of Melo from Juventus ahead of next seasons Champions League campaign; he is in a class of his own right now.




Miroslav Stoch 

Taken from K8G

Miroslav Stoch has gone onto win the affection of the fanatical Yellow Canary supporters and is known as ‘Kadıköy’ün golcüsü’ (The striker of Kadıköy) due to having scored 9 of his 12 goals at home. Not just any ordinary goals either, he has scored enough crackers to win the 1st, 2nd and 3rd spots for Goal of the Season. 


Stoch is undoubtedly a very talented player; he uses the left wing as his personal motorway and will exploit any given space. He glides past opposition players with ease and has wonderful vision in picking out forward runs with lethal through balls.




Manuel Fernandes 

Taken from UEFA

Beşiktaş have had a turbulent season to say the least. However, there has been one beam of light shining through the darkness, Manuel Fernandes. The Portuguese magician has gone from strength to strength, it’s no wonder his value has increased 5 fold. 


The Black Eagles talisman has without a doubt been the team’s player of the season. With 7 goals and 16 assists Manny has been the lead man in midfield and we were genuinely surprised that he didn’t make the Portuguese Euro 2016 squad. 


Fernandes has been in wonderful form, it’s a real shock to see Almeida and Quaresma make the squad ahead of him.




Alex De Souza

Taken from Spor.Haberler

 Despite being 34, performance wise, Alex is showing no signs of slowing down. In his 8th season with the Istanbul giants he scored 16 goals including a goal of the season candidate against rivals Galatasray, in the mother of all Turkish footballing matches, the Intercontinental derby. 


It’s been a tough season for Fenerbahçe, club legend Lefter Küçükandonyadis passed away earlier this year and it looks like Alex de Souza, their living legend, could be on his way out. 


Whether he decides to stay or leave you can be sure of this, the king of the Şükrü Saracoğlu will never be forgotten.




Burak Yilmaz 

Taken from Turk Spor

The Trabzonspor goal machine has been in sensational form this season. Yilmaz broke the club’s all-time scoring record with an incredible 33 goals and 9 assists. 


The prolific striker scored 51% of Trabzonspor’s 65 goals and was directly involved in 68% of them. The Turkish Goal King possesses an impressive mix of pace, shoulder strength and off the ball ability. 


Weighing 88kg and 188cm tall he uses his strength well in one on one situations, makes intelligent forward runs and is an uncanny ability of creating space. 


He holds the ball up well, takes an impressive free kick and has been carrying an otherwise poor attacking team on his back this season. With his modest €5 million minimum fee release clause expect a transfer war to ensue over him.




Substitutes



Sebastian Pinto

Taken from Turkish-Football

 Bursaspor’s season can be summed up as B.P, Before Pinto and A.P, After Pinto. Relatively unheard of in Turkey before the winter break, he’s now one of the league’s most feared strikers. 


The Chilean international’s impact has been immense, since his arrival the Green Crocodiles rose from just outside the relegation zone to finishing the league in fifth place and making the Turkish Cup Final. 


Pinto is the real deal, he has height, strength, power as well as impressive movement, lethal finishing and is a real team player. Pinto racked up 14 goals and four assists in just 19 games and has subsequently been called up for the Chilean national team.




Pablo Batalla 

Taken from MS-Scouting

Sebastian Pinto’s partner in crime, Pablo Batalla has been in fabulous form for Bursaspor. The midfield trickster has exhibited his mastery of skills, passing range and shooting technique all season. 


The Argentinian playmaker immediately gelled with Pinto and the duo were directly involved in 50 goals! Batalla alone scored 15 and contributed with 17 assists.




Volkan Demirel

Taken from Blogcu

 Sporting the biggest mustache in the league, the experienced Fenerbahçe goalkeeper had been in good form all season however, he really came to life during the Championship playoffs. 


The Yellow Canaries talisman played a key role in getting his side within touching distance of lifting the title. Volkan kept 15 clean sheets over the course of the league campaign and showed just why he’s the Turkish National Team’s first choice goalkeeper.




Johan Elmander

Taken from Turkish-Football

The hitman of the Golden Horn has made himself at home on and off the field; he’s been partnered with a manager who fully appreciates his role and what he brings to the table. 


The 30 year old affectionately known as ‘Golmander’ is in fantastic physical form; he never misses a training session and really looks after himself well. Elmander has found a home from home with the Lions; he has scored 12 goals but offers much more than just scoring. 


His work rate allows for others to get into space and he constantly drags his markers out of position. Elmander played a major role in Galatasaray’s league success and deserves a place in the squad.




Kamil Grosicki

Taken from WP Sport

Grosicki has been the surprise package this season, the 23 year old Polish international joined Sivasspor for €900,000 and hasn’t looked back. 


13 assists and seven goals later, Grosicki has established himself as one of the most dangerous wingers in league.




Written by Emre Sarigul
Follow me on Twitter @Turkish_Futbol
Check out their wonderful site, Turkish-Football


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