Fenerbahçe fans support Alex, slam chairman

Fenerbahçe fans support Alex, slam chairman

Fenerbahçe fans support Alex, slam chairman

Hurriyet photo by Semih Bahadır

Fenerbahçe fans gathered outside the house of Alex de Souza and protested Chairman Aziz Yıldırım after the club announced that it had parted ways with its Brazilian star late yesterday.

Fans chanted slogans such as “I love you Alex” outside his door late yesterday, hours after the Brazilian sent out a farewell message on Twitter.

A teary-eyed Alex then came out his house, saluting and thanking the crowd; one fan took out a T-shirt emblazoned with Yıldırım’s face and burned it.

Fenerbahçe fans snapped up the Yıldırım T-shirts earlier this year in support of the chairman after he was arrested pending trial as part of Turkey’s far-reaching match-fixing case. However, Yıldırım might have lost that support with the Alex decision.

A chant “We will betray those who betray Alex” could be heard outside the Brazilian player’s house yesterday.

A few fans with jerseys of Fenerbahçe’s fierce rivals, Galatasaray and Beşiktaş, could also be seen among the crowd.

Yesterday morning, Fenerbahçe announced that it had left the Brazilian player out of the squad indefinitely and that he would train with the reserves. A few hours later, Alex went to the club’s headquarters and reportedly asked for the annulment of his contract before announcing the decision via Twitter.

“I have ended my contract; it was the saddest signature of my life,” Alex wrote on his Twitter account. “Fenerbahçe has lost a player, but it has won a supporter. Thanks for everything,” he added.

Although the team’s most prolific player in the last decade, the 34-year-old fell out of favor earlier this season after he took to Twitter to criticize coach Aykut Kocaman, who left him out of the squad to face Spartak Moscow in a Champions League first leg playoff match in August.

Kocaman had been saying that Alex’s playing time could be limited this year due to his age.

Fans chanted against Kocaman in a Europa League game against Marseille two weeks ago after the Yellow Canaries were pegged back to 2-2 after squandering a 2-0 lead. Alex had scored Fenerbahçe’s second in the game and was substituted with his team two goals up before Marseille’s late rally.

When substituted at halftime in last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Kasımpaşa, instead of sitting next to the coach on the bench, Alex chose to sit in the stands in a move that was seen as a protest.

With 136 goals to his name, Alex was just five goals shy of matching the Fenerbahçe record for league tallies. The current record is held by none other than the man most responsible for his departure, Aykut Kocaman.