home      service centre   |   publications   |   football family   |   competitions   

Izzet moves closer to Turkey call-up

© Reuters 2002

By Steve Bryant

ISTANBUL, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Leicester City midfielder Muzzy Izzet moved closer to a Turkey World Cup place on Friday when he was named in a 28-man squad for a warm-up match against Ecuador in the Netherlands on February 12.

London-born Izzet, whose father is Turkish, was in the Turkey squad for Euro 2000 but was only on the fringes of the team that made history by reaching the quarter-finals.

Unsettled at Leicester, Izzet has been dogged by injuries over the past year and will have to fight hard for a place in Turkey's strong midfield.

The 28-man squad, announced by Turkish coach Senol Gunes, contains few surprises and retains faith with most of the players at the heart of Turkey's World Cup campaign and two European Championship appearances.

But many of the key players look alarmingly rusty and Galatasaray midfielder Hakan Unsal, who has been sidelined from the team since refusing to sign a new contract this year and demanding a transfer, is also included.

Up front, Gunes has picked veteran striker Hakan Sukur, despite the fact that the prolific centre-forward has only recently returned to first team soccer at Parma after months of inactivity at Inter Milan.

Gunes has also brought in 27-year-old Besiktas striker Ilhan Mansiz, in recognition of a strong season and third place in the goal-scoring rankings with 13 this season.

Ilhan's strike partner at Besiktas, Ahmet Dursun, is ignored, but Gunes keeps faith with off-form Galatasaray forward Umit Karan.

Arif Erdem of Galatasaray (30), Sukur's longest-established strike partner and second in the Turkish league goal rankings, is also included.

Turkey usually play with a packed midfield of five players and Gunes has given himself a wealth of talent to chose from in the centre of the pitch.

Tugay Kerimoglu, likely to play just ahead of the defence, has been in good form at Blackburn, while Bayer Leverkusen's Yildiray Basturk impressed in his last appearance for Turkey, scoring as the national side beat Austria 5-0 to qualify for the World Cup finals.

The Inter Milan pairing of Okan Buruk and Emre Belozoglu will also be challenging for a midfield place, as will Galatasaray playmaker Sergen Yalcin, regarded as strong in attack but as a defensive liability.

Reports provided by

Friday, 15 February
Former Denmark striker Eriksen dies at 44
Portugal goalkeeper Quim suspended over drugs test
Football fanatic keeps the faith
Ireland to start Euro 2004 campaign in Moscow
China and Slovenia struggle in Hong Kong
'McVogts' aims for Euro 2004 at Germany's expense
Puskas weeps as tributes pour in for Hungary's Hidegkuti
James cheered by England return
Collated results of international friendlies
Mexico coach no longer fears Cup opponents Croatia
Thursday, 14 February
Asian Games to follow Olympic U-23 format
North Korea beat Thailand in Kings Cup final rehearsal
Vivas hopes for quick Ronaldo return
Top players to continue image rights negotiations
Caniggia looks to mend rift with Maradona
'Kabul United' and foreign troops train for sellout match
Former Spanish coach Balmanya dies aged 87
U.S. rue missed chances in Italy
Wednesday, 13 February
Olisadebe dreads possible Poland-Nigeria clash
South Africa FA to review coach Quieroz's future
Eriksson reaches out to England's adults
Mexico happy to be facing strong Yugoslavian side
Tuesday, 12 February
Ireland likely to test new boys against Russia
Italy new boys handed chance to impress
Belgium coach Waseige to experiment against Norway
Beckham and Gerrard train with England
Van Nistelrooy hails England and Beckham
Coach Jozic looking for consistency from Croatia
England ready for experiments galore
Monday, 11 February
England wait on Beckham and Gerrard fitness
Belgium's Mpenza, Valgaeren out of Norway friendly
Beckham hopes to be fit for Dutch test
Bulgaria coach vows new tactics against Croatia
Lemerre has not ruled Anelka out yet
European-based trio strengthen Ecuador
Trapattoni looking to experiment against U.S.
Barthez pulls out of Romania friendly
McCarthy signs two-year Ireland deal
Sunday, 10 February
Bulgaria's Ivanov to miss friendly against Croatia
Injured Ronaldo to stay in Brazil
Zurawski double secures Poland win over Faroes
Cameroon swap chaos for German efficiency
Proud Beckham says captaincy has improved him

  Copyright © 1994-2002 FIFA. All rights reserved.
  Copyright © 1994-2002 En-Linea, Inc. All rights reserved.