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Turkey surpassed most people's expectations by finishing third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Little known to most is that they did this without their greatest ever footballer, Sergen Yalçın.

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Turkey surpassed most people's expectations by finishing third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Little known to most is that they did this without their greatest ever footballer, Sergen Yalçın.
Right ... but Basturk really did well in 2001-02 prior to WC2002.
Not sure if the coach would play with 2 playmakers in Yacin + Basturk in that team! One should be on bench and that would be Yacin - 2002 was not his best year though

So I would say it was a miss for him as individual (3rd prize trophy WC02) more than for Turkey as a team!
 

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Basturk had a really great year for Leverkusen and a decent world cup to. He doesn't bring the drive and creativity that Sergen does though. Sergen was actually having a great year until his injury. These were his stats:

Champions League
9 matches, 57.22 minutes avg, 510 minutes total (5.7 matches)
2 goals, 2 assists

Turkish League

18 matches, 60.39 minutes avg, 1,087 minutes total (12.08 matches)
7 goals, 7 assists

International
1 match, 27.0 minutes avg, 27 minutes total (0.3 matches)
1 assist

Friendly
5 matches, 43.2 minutes avg, 216 minutes total (2.4 matches)
2 goals, 1 assist

Total
39 matches, 46.95 minutes avg, 1,840 minutes total (20.44 matches)
11 goals, 11 assists
 

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Basturk had a really great year for Leverkusen and a decent world cup to. He doesn't bring the drive and creativity that Sergen does though. Sergen was actually having a great year until his injury. These were his stats:

Champions League
9 matches, 57.22 minutes avg, 510 minutes total (5.7 matches)
2 goals, 2 assists

Turkish League

18 matches, 60.39 minutes avg, 1,087 minutes total (12.08 matches)
7 goals, 7 assists

International
1 match, 27.0 minutes avg, 27 minutes total (0.3 matches)
1 assist

Friendly
5 matches, 43.2 minutes avg, 216 minutes total (2.4 matches)
2 goals, 1 assist

Total
39 matches, 46.95 minutes avg, 1,840 minutes total (20.44 matches)
11 goals, 11 assists
I agree that Sergen Yacin > Basturk as a "playmaker" or general as a player

But in particular year WC2002, I would say (when Yacin was not at his best) was not a big lost for Turkey coincident with Basturk's good form! That's all
 

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Turkey surpassed most people's expectations by finishing third in the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Little known to most is that they did this without their greatest ever footballer, Sergen Yalçın.
Yeah and Denmark became the champions of Europe without their best ever player...it's a funny old game.
 

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Sergen Yalçın the best Turkish footballer ever? I'm from Italy and I had to type his name on Google to remind me who was the guy. He never played outside Turkey according to Wikipedia. If you ask to non-Turkish football fans, the most known Turkish players from that generation are probably Hakan Şükür, Hasan Şaş (great at Galatasaray), İlhan Mansız (mainly because of his performances at the World Cup), Yıldıray Baştürk and Rüştü Reçber.
 

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Yeah and Denmark became the champions of Europe without their best ever player...it's a funny old game.
It's called the Ewing theory, after Patrick Ewing of the New York Knicks.
A decent team actually play better without their best player playing.
We have France sans Cantona win WC98.
Man Utd sans Cantona win the treble in 99.
Denmark without Michael Laudrup in Euro 1992.
 

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Sergen Yalçın the best Turkish footballer ever? I'm from Italy and I had to type his name on Google to remind me who was the guy. He never played outside Turkey according to Wikipedia. If you ask to non-Turkish football fans, the most known Turkish players from that generation are probably Hakan Şükür, Hasan Şaş (great at Galatasaray), İlhan Mansız (mainly because of his performances at the World Cup), Yıldıray Baştürk and Rüştü Reçber.
I've watched all these guys play and none of them came even close to having the talent Sergen had.

The difference was those guys weren't raging alcoholics who didn't practice and showed up right before kick off hung over.
 

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So, can we consider this alcoholic guy as the best Turkish player ever? Greatness is made by unexpressed potential or by the effective actions made on the pitch? If he had alcohol problems and didn't practice, he would maybe have ruined the team in a moment as delicate and important as a World Cup event.
 

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So, can we consider this alcoholic guy as the best Turkish player ever? Greatness is made by unexpressed potential or by the effective actions made on the pitch? If he had alcohol problems and didn't practice, he would maybe have ruined the team in a moment as delicate and important as a World Cup event.
Yet he'd show up half drunk and destroy the opposition with 2 killer balls and a perfectly placed free kick. Bringing home the 3 points.

He just had no ambition in the sport and had zero interest of going overseas to ply his trade. He was happy drinking and throwing out assists for fun. Extremely impressive if you ask me.
 

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Yet he'd show up half drunk and destroy the opposition with 2 killer balls and a perfectly placed free kick. Bringing home the 3 points.

He just had no ambition in the sport and had zero interest of going overseas to ply his trade. He was happy drinking and throwing out assists for fun. Extremely impressive if you ask me.
He flunked in Euro 1996 and 2000.
Both Fatih Terim and Mustafa Denizli feel that the team actually played better without him. Senol Gunes likely gonna join their view if using him in 2002.
 

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He flunked in Euro 1996 and 2000.
Both Fatih Terim and Mustafa Denizli feel that the team actually played better without him. Senol Gunes likely gonna join their view if using him in 2002.
Turkish coaches, especially those two have a long and documented history of being wrong.

Hard to take their opinions at face value.
 

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He flunked in Euro 1996 and 2000.
Both Fatih Terim and Mustafa Denizli feel that the team actually played better without him. Senol Gunes likely gonna join their view if using him in 2002.
Turkish coaches, especially those two have a long and documented history of being wrong.

Hard to take their opinions at face value.
Dude, Those 3 dudes are the most renown (probably among the best) Turkish coaches. You're saying that they can't be more wrong about Sergen?
I think Sergen is like Matt leTissier. Great club legend, incredible when playing at home, may have troubles when playing away.
 

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Enzo Bearzot was the coach of the Italian winning team at 1982 World Cup. He didn't like Roberto Pruzzo.

Pruzzo was a 3-time top scorer of serie A, including in the 1981-82 season, just before the World Cup. Bearzot preferred Paolo Rossi instead, who had played just 5 full matches in the last two years.

Italy won the World Cup and Paolo Rossi was the top scorer of the tournament, including a hat-trick against Brazil and the opening goal of the final vs Germany. No-one complained about Pruzzo's absence. If you win, you've taken the right decisions.

Fatih Terim (1999-2000 UEFA Cup with Galatasaray and 2008 Euro semi-final) and Şenol Güneş (2002 World Cup 3rd place) are the best Turkish coaches ever. And they didn't need Sergen Yalçın. It's an evidence.
 

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Yeah and Denmark became the champions of Europe without their best ever player...it's a funny old game.
We won the Euros without our 3 best players by that time because as the coach didn't like their personalities. Funny enough honestly as he had received too much criticism for his decisions and he was about to get fired. Somtimes the team gets some extra motivation in the absence of the best player, I guess the same happened in the case of Turkey too.
 

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We won the Euros without our 3 best players by that time because as the coach didn't like their personalities. Funny enough honestly as he had received too much criticism for his decisions and he was about to get fired. Somtimes the team gets some extra motivation in the absence of the best player, I guess the same happened in the case of Turkey too.
Exactly... Our last competitive trophy for the senior national team was in 1991. The coach was Anatoli Polosin and Vladimir Urin (both are Russian). Their training methods considered crazy for our established star players. It said that most training involving physical regime and without ball movement. At least 3 star players (Ansyari Lubis, Fachri Husaini and one other person that I can't remember) walked out from the team, thinking that they prefer to watch the game from the comfort of their own home rather than got killed in tropical heat by two crazy Russians.

In the end, we won the Football tournament at the 1991 Southeast Asian Games with 2 last games go on through extra times and penalties. Our team considered as worse than Thailand and Singapore (with Fandi Ahmad).
 

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Dude, Those 3 dudes are the most renown (probably among the best) Turkish coaches. You're saying that they can't be more wrong about Sergen?
I think Sergen is like Matt leTissier. Great club legend, incredible when playing at home, may have troubles when playing away.
Don't think this is much like Le Tissier. He was simply never given any proper chance with the English national team. It wasn't that he showed laziness, inconsistency which meant he was in and out of the squad or didn't get on with managers.
 

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We won the Euros without our 3 best players by that time because as the coach didn't like their personalities. Funny enough honestly as he had received too much criticism for his decisions and he was about to get fired. Somtimes the team gets some extra motivation in the absence of the best player, I guess the same happened in the case of Turkey too.
Who were these 3 players by the way?
 

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As for Sergen, I am a massive fan of his talent. I don't know about greatest ever Turkish player but on raw mercurial ability, he was probably the best I've seen. Followed probably by Emre, who had it all, apart from being injury free and being semi-retarded.

However, I don't think Sergen had the strongest season in 01-02 at Gala and Basturk couldn't really be benched after his season at Bayer Leverkusen. You couldn't play both, and also Hasan Sas. The gambler missed out.
 
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