Turkey has a fine and historic scenery when it comes to football. Nowadays, the tax laws allow teams to rescue some of the biggest stars and pay them an apt wage for their “trouble” (there is no trouble for them at all, in fact most players that go and play in the Turkish league end up loving the culture and the country, and are adored by the fans).
While it’s a not sought-after league per se, and you may not know much about it, soccer trends and statistics by Overlyzer will help you understand the tone, the type of play, the top teams and the players that inhabit the Turkish ecosystem.
Mario Gomez played there, and ended up being the best goal scorer ever for Besiktas in one season. Gheorghe Popescu made himself a legend at Galatasaray, where he won four consecutive leagues. Guti quit Real Madrid and the only other club he ever played for was Besiktas. Should I go on? Roberto Carlos was a star in Fenerbahçe, Samuel Etoo became a leader and a legend in Antalyaspor, an otherwise small team in Turkey… The examples are just too much to cite properly, so I will just end with Drogba for good measure: playing in Galatasaray, there is no fan of this team that isn’t absolutely in love with him; in fact, he still is seen as a superstar in Turkey.
After a 2 year long dry spell, Galatasaray is bound to at least try to take the throne once again. Finishing second last year, and with Faith Terim running the course, Arda Turan, Falcao and Diagne will undoubtedly be a pain for any team that tries to counter their technical abilities. Muslera is a last stand that can stop goals and, overall, the squad can be assured by their own talent that they can compete for the title.
The Champions in title, Besiktas is probably the team that has the most chances of winning it all over again, doubling down on their achievement. A turkish powerhouse in their own right, although sites like Transfermarkt don’t place them, in terms of squad value, alongside Galatasaray SK, they still have plenty of players capable of making a difference, and a cohesion that is plainly visible by what they achieved last season. Coric is a player to look forward to, Vida is just a “every game is a battle” type of player, and Cyle Larin may want to capitalize on his form to maybe attract teams from the Top 5 Leagues to try and snatch him. For that to happen, he needs to step up his game, and do at least as better as he did last season.
Since we talked about Transfermarkt, let us just say Fenerbahce sits at the top of squad value. That, of course, hasn’t been much of a help in the last seasons, as Fenerbahce last league title was won on 2013/2014. Nonetheless, one can help but to look at the breathtaking amount of talent in Fenerbahce SK (just naming Ozil should do the trick) and expect them to surprise. Tufan is playing wonders too, along with Szalai, and if we are to include Pelkas into the equation, we can already see that there are a lot of players at their peak, currently playing for Fenerbahce, that can lead the team into a title that has been eluding the squad for more than 7 years. Fans would surely go bananas if it were to happen, and it doesn’t seem like a long shot either.