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Emre Belözoğlu
Emre crop.jpg
Personal information
Full name Emre Belözoğlu
Date of birth 7 September 1980 (1980-09-07) (age 29)
Place of birth    Istanbul, Turkey
Height 1.71 m (5 ft 7+12 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current club Fenerbahçe
Number 5
Youth career
Galatasaray A2
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
Newcastle United
103 (21)
079 0(4)
058 0(5)
035 0(2)   
National team2
Turkey U-15
Turkey U-16
Turkey U-17
Turkey U-18
Turkey U-21
011 0(7)
035 (20)
007 0(2)
006 0(0)
012 0(4)
065 0(6)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 21:27, 1 March 2008 (UTC).
2 National team caps and goals correct
as of 14 October 2009 (UTC).
* Appearances (Goals)

Emre Belözoğlu (born 7 September 1980 in Istanbul) is a Turkish International footballer who currently plays for Turkish Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe. Technically gifted with an accurate left foot,[1] Emre is a playmaker of rare touch and vision and boasts a stinging shot with his left-foot.[2]

Pelé named Emre in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers as a part of FIFA's centenary celebrations.


Playing career


Emre's inspiration came from his father, who walked hand-in-hand with him and introduced him to football at the Zeytinburnuspor training ground. Emre's mother had seen the problems that her husband had faced through his football career, and thus did not want his son to become a professional football player. His father, however, urged and inspired Emre to embark on a career.

The fans of Zeytinburnuspor quickly took an interest in Emre, stating his wonderful control with his left foot. By the age of 12, every footballing fan in Istanbul knew who he was. Trainer Salih Bulgurlu noticed his amazing talent and started giving him special training. Salih looked after Emre for 4 years, teaching him all the basic techniques, improving and harnessing his fitness and stamina dramatically. Emre was quickly discovered by the Galatasaray legend Bülent Ünder, a close friend of legendary Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim. Bülent Ünder pleaded to Salih Bulgurlu that Emre join Galatasaray:

Wait and see. In two years, this teenager will be playing proudly within the battlegrounds of Europe.[3]

Forever the centre of attention while rising through the Galatasaray youth ranks, his magical left foot and irrepressible creativity brought him his first appearance for the club's senior squad as a sixteen-year-old in the 1996–97 season. The following year, he became a regular in the squad. Once the understudy to Romanian legend Gheorghe Hagi, it seemed that the sky was the limit for Emre as he won four league titles, three league cups, one UEFA Cup, and one UEFA Super Cup, all by the young age of 21. Emre also played in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Emre gained much popularity and fame at Galatasaray, earning legendary status and a reputation in Europe.

Inter Milan

Emre began to catch the eyes of major European football clubs. Italian leading sports paper Tuttosport described Galatasaray's little midfield maestro as the most sought-after player in Europe, with Emre attracting the likes of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona, Valencia CF, AC Milan, and Internazionale.[4] In 2001, he transferred to Internazionale on a œ10 million deal. It was during his time at Inter where he picked up the nickname "Maradona of the Bosphorus," after comparisons of playing style to the Argentine legend. In the 2002–03 season, Emre became the 17th winner of the Pirata d'Oro (Golden Pirate), an annual award given for the Internazionale player of the year. Inter made it through to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League that year, and that was as far as Emre would reach with Inter. Emre gradually became out of favour at Inter due to persistent injuries, and after making just nineteen appearances during the 2004–2005 season, he became available for transfer. City rivals Milan and English giants Manchester United, Arsenal, and Liverpool all declared their interest to sign Emre for their respective clubs, but the favourites to sign Emre were Everton and Newcastle United.[5]

Newcastle United

In July 2005, Emre moved to Newcastle United for a £3.8 million transfer fee.[6] He proved to be a fairly popular player amongst the Newcastle fans, as well as showing his ability to win matches not only from his goals, but also from his assists. However, three injury-hampered seasons at St James Park never allowed the Newcastle fans to see the full influence of his outstanding abilities. Nonetheless, The "Turk of the Tyne" will be remembered by many Newcastle fans for his match-winning free-kick against Tyne-Wear rivals Sunderland.


In July 2008, Emre was unveiled at the Şükrü Saracoğlu Stadium in a signing ceremony by Fenerbahçe president Aziz Yıldırım. At the ceremony, it was revealed that Emre had signed a 4-year contract and that he would wear the number 5 shirt at the Istanbul club. Fanatical Galatasaray supporters have started many "anti-Emre" campaigns for transferring to their rivals. He scored his first goal against MTK Budapest in a UEFA Champions League Qualifier. He also scored the winning goal in a league game against Denizlispor with a fierce volley from outside the box.

National Team

Since making his international debut against Norway in 2000, Emre has been a regular in the Turkish setup. Injury forced him out of the UEFA Euro 2000, but he was part of the Turkish national squad that finished third place at the 2002 FIFA World Cup. Emre played the opening match of UEFA Euro 2008, but an injury sidelined him for the rest of the tournament as Turkey progressed to the semi-finals. Emre is currently the captain of the national side and much of Turkey's most creative play goes through Emre.[7].

International Goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 2 September 2000 Istanbul, Turkey  Moldova 2–0 Win 2002 FIFA World Cup Qualification
2. 9 June 2002 Incheon, South Korea  Costa Rica 1–1 Draw 2002 FIFA World Cup
3. 20 November 2002 Pescara, Italy  Italy 1–1 Draw Friendly
4. 17 November 2007 Oslo, Norway  Norway 1–2 Win UEFA Euro 2008 Qualification
5. 10 September 2008 Istanbul, Turkey  Belgium 1–1 Draw 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification
6. 9 September 2009 Zenica, Bosnia Herzegovina  Bosnia and Herzegovina 1–1 Draw 2010 FIFA World Cup Qualification
Correct as of 9 September 2009

Personal life

Emre Belozoglu and his long-time fiancé Tugba Gurevin got married on January 2, 2009.[8]


On 24 October 2000 at 5:30 a.m., Emre, along with some friends, were driving to a mosque in Istanbul when he swerved to avoid a car which incorrectly crossed the motorway instead of going over the pedestrian bridge. He hit the car, killing a man that worked as a cleaner for the Gunes Hotel.

After a post-match brawl in a 2006 World Cup qualification playoff match with Switzerland, Emre was banned for Turkey's next six matches and fined CHF 15,000 (£6,622) plus costs of CHF 1,000 (£440) for his alleged part in the brawl. The FIFA Appeal Committee later reduced the ban to four matches.[9]

On 12 January 2007, Emre was charged by The Football Association with using racially-aggravated abusive and/or insulting words[10] in an incident during a 3–0 loss to Everton on 30 December. Newcastle United were unable to comment until Emre himself replied to the charge.[11] He later stated he was angered by claims that he was racist, citing his friendship with roommate Obafemi Martins as evidence he was not.[12]

On 16 February 2007, the FA announced another investigation into alleged racist remarks from Emre, this time aimed against Bolton Wanderers striker El Hadji Diouf. The incident allegedly took place during Bolton's 2–1 win at St James' Park on 15 October 2006. Emre's agent denied the accusation.[13] Diouf subsequently decided not to press charges. However, on 1 March 2007, Emre faced a third racism allegation, when Watford defender Alhassan Bangura claimed he was subject of racist abuse from Emre.[14]

On 19 March 2007, the allegations of Emre using racially-aggravated abusive and/or insulting words during the Everton match were found not proven by the FA.[15]

His transfer from Internazionale to Newcastle United in July 2005 is one of those about which the Stevens inquiry report in June 2007 expressed concerns.[16]


  • Individual
    • Pirata d'Oro (Internazionale Player of the Season): 2003
    • FIFA 100
    • Inter Milan Team of the Decade (2000–2010): [17]


  1. ^ "Emre Belözoglu Profile".  
  2. ^ "Emre Belözoglu Profile". ESPN  
  3. ^ "Emre Biography". 123football.  
  4. ^ "World Soccer Emre Profile". World Soccer. 2 September 2003.  
  5. ^ "Emre plans England Switch". World Soccer News. 23 June 2005.  
  6. ^ "Newcastle finalise Emre transfer". BBC Sport ( 2005-07-19. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  7. ^ "Emre Belözoglu Profile".,23132,13959_97160,00.html.  
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Sanctions for incidents during Turkey v. Switzerland pronounced final - reduced penalties for Turkish football association, Huggel and Emre". FIFA. 2006-06-24.,1369,118129,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  10. ^ "Emre charged". Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  11. ^ "FA Emre Charge - Newcastle Statement".,,10278~964354,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  12. ^ "Emre: I may quit over racism charge". 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  13. ^ "FA to probe new Emre race claims". BBC Sport ( 2007-02-16. Retrieved 2007-02-16.  
  14. ^ "Emre faces new racism allegation". BBC Sport ( 2007-03-01. Retrieved 2007-04-14.  
  15. ^ "Emre racism allegations 'not proven' - FA". ESPNsoccernet. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2007-04-14.  
  16. ^ "Reaction to Lord Stevens' key findings". Times Online (London: News International). 2007-06-15. Retrieved 2008-06-21. "In relation to Emre's move from Inter Milan, the inquiry was not prepared to clear the transfer as it was unable to obtain the co-operation of the lead agent, Ahmet Bulut."  
  17. ^ "Inter Team Of The Decade 2000-2010".  

External links


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