Arda Turan ready for return to Turkish national team
AA photoTurkey and Barcelona midfielder Arda Turan on Aug. 11 said he was ready to return to national team duty, two months after announcing his retirement from international football following a bust-up with former coach Fatih Terim.
Turan, Turkey’s captain, had in June been thrown out of a training camp by Terim following a fracas with a reporter on a plane.
But the situation changed after Terim this month stepped down, also in the wake of fisticuffs -- in this case at a Turkish kebab restaurant.
He was replaced by veteran Romanian coach Mircea Lucescu who immediately opened talks with Turan in the hope of acquiring his services for Turkey’s remaining four World Cup qualifiers.
“From now on, I want it to be known that I would feel honored to have the national jersey on my back when the coach thinks it appropriate,” Turan wrote on his Instagram account by a picture of the Turkish number 10 shirt.
“I want to be by the side of my teammates in these difficult four games that remain,” added the 30-year-old.
He praised the support of Turkish Football Federation (TFF) president Yıldırım Demirören and Lucescu which led him to reconsider his decision.
Turan joined Barcelona in 2015 after four successful seasons with Atletico Madrid. Although he has struggled to earn a regular first team berth, his performances are followed with intense interest in Turkey.
Turkey faces a nail-biting struggle to qualify for Russia 2018, currently in third place in its qualifying group, two points behind Croatia and Iceland.
It has more matches, starting with an away clash against Ukraine, which it leads on goal difference, on Sept. 2.