Beckham nemesis and former Aston Villa player Özalan to run as MP candidate for AKP
Former Turkey international footballer Alpay Özalan, who famously taunted David Beckham in a Euro 2004 qualifier, is one of several personalities from outside politics standing for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the June elections.
Turkey will vote in presidential and parliamentary elections on June 24 and parties are now submitting the names of candidates to the authorities.
In addition to Özalan, other athletes who are MP candidates for the ruling party candidates include former world wrestling champion Selçuk Çebi and Supersport motorbike racer Kenan Sofuoğlu, who has recently retired.
The English player was awarded a penalty but then struck it sky high over the crossbar after slipping just before contact. A gleeful Özalan then went up to Beckham and poked his nose. Beckham contemplated hitting back but thought better of it.
Özalan, now 44, has gone on to play in Asia and for Cologne. He has since managed Eskişehirspor and Samsunspor in Turkey.