Turkish football legends to make the draw
© AFP

Galatasaray coach Fatih Terim, Çaykur Rizespor coach Mustafa Denizli and former Turkey international players Hakan Şükür and Rüştü Reçber are all set to conduct the FIFA U-20 World Cup official draw.

Now let’s have a look at some short biographies and quotes from the famous names who will assist FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke at the draw, which is going to take place in the Grand Tarabya Hotel on 25 March at 19.00 local time.

Fatih Terim – Short bio and quotes on the tournament:
A former defender and now coach, ‘The Emperor’ Terim was a successful player with both Galatasaray and Turkey between 1973 and 1984. Once established in the dugout, he guided Turkey to an appearance at their first ever UEFA European Championship finals in 1996. Following that achievement, he took the reins at Galatasaray, where he went on to win four consecutive Turkish Süper Lig titles. His was also a key role in Galatasaray’s UEFA Cup triumph in 2000, when they beat Arsenal in the final to be the first Turkish team ever to win a European club competition.

Later, he enjoyed brief spells coaching Serie A heavyweights Fiorentina and AC Milan. Come 2005 he came on board for his second sojourn as Turkey’s senior coach, and led his country to the semi-finals of EURO 2008. He returned to Galatasaray at the beginning of the 2011/12 campaign and once again guided the Istanbul outfit to the Süper Lig crown, while his team are set to meet Spanish giants Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in early April this year.

Fatih Terim: Future stars will never forget Turkey
“The U-20 age group acts as an important stepping stone for candidates who have had their youth education and are on their way to competing on the professional scene. Having successfully taken this step, players will regard themselves as professionals and attempt to adapt to the ruthless nature of life in the game. However, they must be protected and supported until they have to bear the heavy burden of professionalism.

After this age level, players can reach a platform where they will find their feet. From there, either they will go on to be a good player by taking on board everything they learned about life and football, or they will endure various peaks and troughs in their careers. Thanks to this competition, over 500 talented players from 24 teams will take part in the same event. I think that hosting this event in our country will provide a huge opportunity for all football fans to truly enjoy the beauty of this sport.

Representatives of the world’s leading clubs, agents, coaches, football people and of course the media, will witness and closely follow an event in which we will potentially see the world-class players of the next few years or decade. Maybe some will make their first major breakthrough here and will never forget Turkey, because this was the place where their lives changed most dramatically.

I would like to wish all the teams the best of luck, safe in the knowledge that my country is totally committed to and capable of hosting this event - which will not only benefit football but also our whole country. I hope that respect, the beauty of sport and top performances will be the major priorities of this tournament.”

Mustafa Denizli – Short bio and quotes on the tournament:
A former Turkey international and now a coach, Denizli is the only coach who has guided all of his country’s big three clubs, namely Fenerbahçe, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, to league title success. He is currently putting his efforts toward trying to lead second-tier club Çaykur Rizespor to promotion to the top-flight. After serving Altay and Galatasaray for many years during his playing days, since going into coaching he has also worked abroad at German outfit Alemannia Aachen and Iranian teams PAS and Persepolis. During his four-year spell as Turkey senior coach, he helped them qualify for UEFA EURO 2000, and then led them to the quarter-finals.

Denizli: The tournament will be a success for Turkey
"I am sure that the FIFA U-20 World Cup, which is regarded as one of the leading sporting events in the world, will introduce new stars to both Turkish and world football. As a coach who cut his teeth in Turkey, it is my view that we are on the way to perfectly accomplishing the duties that fall into our area of responsibility for this tournament.

I have a lot of faith in the Turkish people, who I believe will provide huge support to a Turkish Football Federation undertaking a difficult task. I expect the public to give a warm welcome to athletes and football fans coming to Turkey from four different parts of the world for this tournament. I am sure that the tournament will be a success for Turkey and help us gain the opportunity to host similar events again in the future.”

Hakan Şükür – Short bio and quotes on the tournament:
A former Turkey international, now a Member of Parliament and TV pundit. Şükür played as a striker for Galatasaray for many years, earning the nickname ‘The Bull of Bosporus’, and also enjoyed spells abroad with Inter Milan, Torino, Parma and Blackburn Rovers. He was top goalscorer of the Turkish Süper Lig three times, as well as winning eight league titles and lifting the UEFA Cup with Galatasaray.

He put his gifts at the service of the national team for 15 years, with his 52 goals in 112 appearances, making Şükür the senior national-team’s all-time leading marksman. Now a Member of Parliament and TV pundit, Şükür also still holds the record for scoring the fastest goal in FIFA World Cup finals history, thanks to his strike nine seconds into the game against Korea Republic in the match for third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Hakan Şükür: U-20 World Cup is an opportunity for football
“In contrast to saying that ‘Football is more than just a game’, if we’re not able to say that ‘Football IS just a game’, then we can’t talk about Fair Play. Therefore, we must see the FIFA U-20 World Cup as an opportunity. If we can instil the youth players in the importance of sports ethics and, even more importantly, about having a conscience, then we will have helped save football’s future and played a part in preventing violence and match-fixing.

It’s a big honour and source of joy to be hosting the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. On behalf of my nation, I would like to thank Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the UEFA First Vice-President Şenes Erzik, the Turkish Football Federation and the Ministry of Sports, for their huge support in ensuring our country’s hosting of an event where the stars of the future will shine.”

Rüştü Reçber – Short bio and quotes on the tournament:
A former Turkey international goalkeeper, this vastly experienced custodian played for Antalyaspor, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş for many years and also had a short spell at FC Barcelona in Spain. Reçber served the national team for 19 years with distinction, being a member of Turkey’s squad at the EUROs in 1996, 2000 and 2008 as well as the 2002 FIFA World Cup™ and FIFA Confederations Cup 2003. The keeper, whose performances earned him a place in the ideal XI at Korea/Japan 2002, won a total of 120 senior caps for his country - making him Turkey’s most-capped player.

Reçber: Everybody has a responsibility for promotion of our country”
“The FIFA U-20 World Cup is a very important step towards hosting other major events in our country in the future. We are facing a big test now, which might enable us to host a EURO or World Cup in the years ahead. The U-20 World Cup will also be the biggest football event ever organised in our country. Many of the world’s biggest stars of the past shone in this tournament first.

We will have the opportunity to watch stars of the future as well as trying to show how valuable football is to our country. Given this tournament is very important for the promotion of our country, Turkish people have a big task ahead of them. I am totally convinced that Turkey’s U-20 squad will represent Turkish football in the best possible way. We will never stop supporting them, not even for a single minute.”