The Galatasaray player, who played with Atlético de Madrid and Barça, says goodbye to football after a career full of ups and downs.
Arda Turan, a veteran player forged in the Galatasaray and former Atlético de Madrid and Barça player, announced on Monday his final retirement from football at the age of 35. Considered one of the best Turkish players in history at his best stage, however, in recent years his star had declined and he has been better known for his irascible character than for his achievements on the playing field.
“I want to start by telling you a secret,” the 35-year-old player begins by saying in an emotional video posted on YouTube, in which he launches several reflections and reviews his football career, thanking many people but especially the former coach of the Galatasaray, Fatih Terim, who played an important role in his football career.
A promise of Turkish football forged at Galatasaray
Arda Turan, who played 100 games for the Turkish national team scoring 17 goals despite being expelled from the team for assaulting a journalist, was considered one of the best Turkish players in history during the best stage of his career. He arrived at Galatasaray when he was only 13 years old, and thanks to his skills with the ball, he climbed positions to the first team, with which he debuted in the 2005-2006 season, consolidating himself during 5 great seasons.
Considered a young promise of Turkish football, they were years in which he established himself as a reference not only in Galatasaray but also in the national team, the Milli Takım, and many foreign clubs began to notice him. It was finally Atlético de Madrid who, after lengthy negotiations, took over him in the summer of 2011 in exchange for 13 million euros.
Playing at Atlético de Madrid and Barça
Arda arrived at the Madrid’s team after winning a Turkish Super League title, a Turkish Cup and a Super Cup, achieved wearing the Galatasaray shirt. But it is at Atleti where he makes history, playing 128 games and scoring 14 goals over four seasons, and achieving the historic La Liga title for the 2013-2014 season that Atlético de Madrid won playing at the Camp Nou. Arda was then one of the essential players for “Cholo” Simeone.
In 2015, with his fame as a player almost intact, it was precisely FC Barcelona who decided to take over his services after Luis Enrique noticed him. The signing of Arda Turan by Barça cost the Blaugrana club 34 million euros, and that taking into account that the Turk spent 6 months without being able to play due to the sanction imposed by FIFA on the team. Arda came to the club as a star, but the injuries and the poor game he showed on the few occasions he had, ended up turning him into a burden for Barça, with whom he only played 36 games.
FC Barcelona ended up looking for a way to get rid of him, and at the beginning of 2018 he was loaned for two seasons to Başakşehir in Istanbul, with whom Arda Turan hoped to regain the prominence he had lost in a Barça full of stars. Unfortunately, his return to Turkey only accelerated his decline, and Arda occupies the front pages of the media not because of his goals, but for starring in all kinds of controversies on and off the pitch, including the attack on a famous singer.
Final return to Turkey… and end of his career
At the beginning of 2020, after leaving Başakşehir and briefly returning to Barcelona (his contract with Barça ended in June of that year), he is finally free and in August he decides to sign for the club in whose quarry he was forged, Galatasaray, to which he arrives at the age of 33.
However, even this second return to Turkey did not serve to resurrect Arda Turan, whose injuries, but also his bad shape and even his obvious overweight, kept him practically away from that football that he claims to love, and where he could certainly have done much, much more. Pity. Good luck, Arda.
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