Fatih Terim signs on for third spell as Turkish national team coach

Fatih Terim signs on for third spell as Turkish national team coach

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Fatih Terim signs on for third spell as Turkish national team coach

Fatih Terim will also continue coaching Galatasaray, where he had returned for a third spell too. AFP photo

Turkey's most decorated manager, Fatih Terim, officially signed a one year contract as the new coach of the Turkish national team on Aug. 22.

Terim takes the helm of the crescent-and-star ahead of two critical World Cup qualification matches next month against Andorra and Romania. He will also continue in his role as coach of Galatasaray, which he has led to the Turkish Super League title for the past two seasons.

His signature still wet, the veteran coach issued confident messages with respect Turkey's perilous-looking qualification run to Brazil.

"Don't worry, the road is still long. We will try to the end," Terim said during the signing ceremony, adding that he could not have refused an offer from the national team. "When it's about the crescent-and-star, [accepting] the task is inevitable. I also thank my club. We'll make the diagnosis and get to work quickly."

Turkey sits fourth in Group D of the World Cup Qualifiers with seven points after six games, with four more games to go. The national squad is now hoping for a miraculous winning streak in the last four games in order to secure second place in the group for a playoff spot, ahead of Romania and Hungary.

The Herculian task pushed the federation to make an offer to Terim, who is known for instilling his teams with his trademark fighting spirit and never-say-die attitude.

"Turkish football has a lot of problems, and the person who will solve them is right beside me. We have made an agreement with Fatih Terim who is at the same time very successful and hungry for success," said the head of the Turkish Football Federation (TFF), Yıldırım Demirören, speaking at the ceremony.

Galatasaray Chairman Ünsal Aysal has reportedly given the green light for Terim to coach the national team for the four remaining qualifying games. The Turkish press has reported that the TFF had asked him to remain in the position for the the start of next season, to which Aysal objected.

On Aug. 19, Terim, whose Galatasaray contract runs out on May 2014, released a statement through the club's website, saying he would "not quit Galatasaray unless Galatasaray quits me."

Turkey experienced its first golden era under Terim in the mid-1990s, qualifying for the European Championships for the first time in 1996. The momentum was maintained by Mustafa Denizli and Şenol Güneş, the latter leading the crescent-and-star to an epic third place at the 2002 World Cup.

Terim took over the job again in 2005, leading Turkey to the semifinals of Euro 2008.