Newcastle United’s midfielder Emre who has been under immense pressure in his homeland let his football do the talking in Oslo last weekend.
Emre, also known as the ‘Turkish David Beckham’ because of the media interest in him – has been at the centre of a storm from the Turk’s media for his country embarrassing set-backs in their European Championships qualification.
Turkey, just like the England national team situation, only got a drew with Moldova and lost at home to Greece in their last round of qualifiers. Last Saturday they need to win their final group game in Norway to secure the second qualification spot in Group C.
The former Inter Milan star swore at journalists after a game last month because of the criticism he has received. The 27-year-old even has been tempted to quit international football because of the pressure he has under his shoulder.
“I have had some problems with the journalists in national team games. It’s no problem, I will ignore it. I believe the people in Turkey know me. When I go, I don’t play for the journalists, I play for the Turkish people.” Emre said to the press as quoted from the Journal.
“We only have three or four players who play in Europe. There is me, Tunçay at Middlesbrough or Nihat in Villarreal who the people look up to.”
“Maybe in the last two or three games I have not played very well. But in Turkey, when we got third in the 2002 World Cup, when we won the Uefa Cup and the Super Cup [with Galatasaray] I played every time.”
Emre who has struggled to find his good run back after recovered from a thigh injury which forced him to miss Newcastle’s entire pre-season program. After making a comeback, he played an important role in United’s second-half fightback against Sunderland.
And to answer all the critism from his homeland press, Emre and the Turkish national football squad came from behind to beat Norway thus ensuring their qualifying hopes for the 2008 European Championships remain intact.
With the same circumstances as the England team, the Turlish side will have their final destination in Wednesday’s home game against Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Emre Belözoğlu equalizing goal for Turkey came in with a wonderful solo goal which set the Turks on the way to a vital win, after being a goal down against Norway by Erik Hagen’s bicycle kick in the 13th minute. Nihat Kahveci scored the match-winning goal in the 60th minute.
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