STUN REAL

The winger of Galatasaray, Albert Riera, has said that his side can stun Real Madrid in the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Galatasaray has reached the quarter finals of the Champions League after 12 years. The last time they had qualified for the final 8 of this competition was way back in the 2000-01 season. In that season also, they had to face Madrid in the quarter final. They hadn’t managed to get better of the Spanish giants and were knocked out of the tournament.

This time also, it’s Real Madrid which is the favourite. The first leg of this quarter final clash will be played at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday, while, the return leg will be played on Tuesday next week at Turk Telecom Arena.

When asked about the upcoming quarter final clash against Madrid, Riera said, “Real Madrid is undoubtedly a great side, but, frankly speaking, we have got enough capability to face any side in this world. Our team can stun a lot of people. We will play aggressive football and will make things very tough for Madrid.”

“The Real Madrid players have got more experience of playing in these kinds of matches. People are expecting them to win both the legs easily, but, in these matches, sometimes, unexpected things happen.”

“At home, we are a very dangerous side because we have our supporters behind us there. So, if we don’t fall that far behind in the first leg, we will have a real opportunity in our hands in the return leg.”

This is Riera’s second season for Galatasaray. He had joined the club in September 2011.
Riera has so far played 19 matches for Galatasaray in this season and has found the net once. He has also assisted a couple of goals.

TERIM DISAPPOINTED

The manager of Galatasaray SK, Fatih Terim, has said that he is disappointed with his team’s performance in the Champions League match against Schalke 04. The Galatasaray team lost quite a few opportunities against Schalke 04 and the match eventually ended in a draw.

Galatasaray took the lead in the 12th minute of the match with the goal of Burak Yilmaz. Selcuk Inan assisted the goal with a fine pass.

Galatasaray lost its advantage just a few minutes before the half time break. Jermaine Jones scored the leveller for Schalke 04.

Talking to the reporters after the match, Fatih Terim said, “We started well and took the lead, but, we lost our concentration just a bit towards the end of the first half which gave Schalke the opportunity to equalize the scores.”

“We had quite a few opportunities to get ahead again in the second half, but, we failed in cashing on those chances and ended up playing a draw. I am really disappointed with this result. I had expected the boys to perform better than this.”

In this match, the former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba was included in the starting XI of Galatasaray. This was Drogba’s second match for Galatasaray. He had featured for his new team in the last match against Akhisar Belediyespor as well, but, in that match, he hadn’t started. He was sent onto the field as a substitute, but, he had scored a goal just 5 minutes after coming onto the field.

When asked about Drogba’s performance in his first couple of matches for Galatasaray, Terim said, “He has been fantastic so far. He was at his very best in the last match and today also, he played quite well. Hopefully, his form would remain good in the upcoming games as well.”

BIG GAMES

The Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has slighted that the upcoming group stage match with Manchester United is one of the biggest in the Turkish club’s history. Galatasaray are involved in the Champions League group stages alongside teams like Manchester United knowing that they still have an opportunity to take part in the last 16 stage provided they perform well in the remaining two matches. Fatih Terim has said that he cannot wait to meet Sir Alex Ferguson, while he is extremely hopeful that the team will be able to win this match more than anything else.

Turkish football has been under a cloud of doubt of match fixing over the last few months. The prospect of having a Turkish team in the last 16 stage of the Champions League will be extremely positive for the nation as a whole according to the Galatasaray manager. Galatasaray have so far collected four points from four matches this season. Due to the fact that Manchester United have already qualified, they are expected to have a weakened line-up for this match. This coupled with the fact that the Ali Sami Yen is one of the toughest places to visit in the world, Terim is confident of success.

“It’s clear that this match is one of the most important games in Galatasaray’s history. Hopefully we’ll see a historic night at the Ali Sami Yen. I am sure that the fans will be putting a lot of effort into their preparations for the game and will support us until the final whistle. Our group is very complicated. There are two teams on four points and one team with three. The best thing now is us and Cluj winning tomorrow,” said the Galatasaray manager ahead of the match. Ferguson has confirmed that he will not have seven first-team players for this match.

TURKEY STRUGGLING THROUGH

The Turkish national team manager Abdullah Avcı will be without the services of the influential Fenerbahçe midfielder Gökhan Gönül for the match against Hungary. Turkey will be taking on Hungary in the World Cup qualifying matches tomorrow after having been recently defeated 1-0 by Romania.

The 1-0 defeat only a few days ago adds more pressure to the manager Abdullah Avcı. However, he will have to do without the services of Gökhan Gönül, who is regarded as one of the best players for Turkey over the last few years. Aside from this, he is also suffering from a long list of injuries to key players ahead of this match.

It has not been a great qualifying season for the manager after he has recently seen the nation lose in the first World Cup qualifying match against Netherlands. They then followed that with a respectable 3-0 win over Estonia, but the victory has now been rendered useless following the 1-0 defeat against Romania. As result of this defeat, Turkey must now definitely win the match against Hungary in order to have any chance of progressing. Even though it is still the early stage, the Turkish manager Abdullah Avcı feels that other teams will pull away from them if they do not take a victory against Hungary.

“I believe that I was not wrong in my player choices, the choice belongs to me and my team. Losing is a part of the game and today we lost. Nuri is one of the most valuable players in this country and the national team. He has been taking more time since his transfer to Liverpool, and that is an advantage for us. Nuri is one of the players who will wear this team’s jersey,” said the Turkish national team manager after the match against Romania.

GALATASARAY CHASE KAKA

Galatasaray will not be in the race to sign the Real Madrid midfielder Kaka according to the chairman of the club. It has emerged in the last couple of days that Turkish club Galatasaray will be making a stunning move for the Real Madrid midfielder Kaka. The former world player of the year has been shadow of his former self in the last three seasons due to a number of injury problems. As a result, the Spanish club are willing to cut their losses by selling the player. The 31-year-old is expected to cost around £ 25 million, which has been the major deterrent factor for many clubs.

Kaka has been left out of the first two matches of the la Liga season by the Real Madrid manager José Mourinho. As a result, it has been rumoured that he is getting closer towards a permanent move away from the Santiago Bernabeu. Galatasaray were the unlikely destination for the former AC Milan star. However, it appeared that they were closer to negotiating a deal, but the chairman of the club recently confirmed that Kaka will not come to Turkey. However, the Galatasaray chairman said that he wants the club to bring in a few more players before the close of the transfer window.

“What is Kaka going to do in this team? Do I really have much of a need for him? We will work in co-ordination with [coach] Fatih Terim to bring important players into the squad. If needed, new reinforcements could be made. We are looking at alternatives at left-back,” said the Galatasaray president Unal Aysal in a recent interview. Galatasaray will be playing against Besiktas in the Istanbul derby, which is one of the fiercest matches in all of Europe. Galatasaray will be hoping to start to the defence of their title from this match.

RIERA WILL BE FORGIVEN

Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has revealed that the club are considering the prospect of forgiving Spanish winger Albert Riera and Brazilian midfielder Felipe Melo after the two were involved in a training ground bust up.

The two were fined after the incident and were told that they had no future at the club. However, recognising their importance for Galatasaray, Fatih Terim has confirmed that the club are currently in discussions with the top officials over the possibility of forgiving the two players. It is thought that the two players had an argument during training, which escalated into a major incident when Felipe Melo decided to lock up Albert Riera in a room and beat him.

Albert Riera sustained a number of injuries and had to be hospitalised. The two were seen exchanging foul mouthed languages prior to the bust up. It was revealed that the top officials of Galatasaray had decided to give the final say to manager Fatih Terim over this issue. The manager has now said that he might look at the possibility of forgiving the two players. Fatih Terim has said that he has considered forgiving them after a number of the current players approached the manager requesting their stay at the club.

“I wasn’t expecting that my players would come to speak up for their friends. It’s impossible for me not to be affected by this. I know they are both sorry. Melo is one of my important players. Despite that, some things can be sacrificed for the sake of principles and institutions,” manager Fatih Terim said in a recent interview regarding the future of both players. Albert Riera moved to Galatasaray a few seasons ago from English Premier league club Liverpool. He was originally signed by Rafa Benitez at Liverpool before he left for the Turkish club.

RIERA WILL BE DISCIPLINED

Galatasaray manager Fatih Terim has confirmed that both Albert Riera and Felipe Melo will be punished by the club accordingly. Both the players were involved in a pre-match altercation just before the match against Manisaspor.