Turkey recalls Arda Turan after Terim rift
ISTANBULTurkey’s star midfielder Arda Turan of Barcelona was on Nov. 5 recalled to the national side for the World Cup qualifier against Kosovo after apparently healing a rift with coach Fatih Terim.
Turan was included in the squad for the home game against Kosovo on Nov. 12 in Antalya, winning a recall along with fellow veteran players Burak Yılmaz of Beijing Guoan, Gökhan Gönül of Fenerbahçe and Selçuk İnan of Galatasaray.
Promising Danish-born winger Emre Mor of Borussia Dortmund, 19, is absent owing to suspension but another young foreign-based player, Bilal Başaçıkoğlu of Feyenoord, 21, was given his first call-up, according to the squad released by the Turkish Football Federation (TFF).
Caner Erkin and Ozan Tufan have not been called up due to injuries, while the squad also included four players from Başakşehir, which tops the Spor Toto Super League with no losses in nine games so far.
Başakşehir defender Yalçın Ayhan enjoyed the first international call of his career at the age of 34.
Terim made a total of 16 changes to the squad when compared to the team that played against Ukraine and Iceland last month.
Arda Turan, one of Turkey’s most successful players, had last month been sensationally dropped from the side.
Turkey, captained by Arda Turan, was knocked out of Euro 2016 in France in the group stages, with the team’s insipid performance and conduct leaving fans at home deeply unimpressed.
The rift between Terim and Arda Turan reportedly stemmed from a debate over the distribution of the bonuses to be paid by the federation to the players for reaching to the Euro 2016 finals.
As he squad was announced, Arda Turan took to his popular Instagram account to indicate that the problems were solved.
“I spoke to our coach [Terim] and God willing will once again be together with our country,” he wrote.
Another source of debate regarding the national team is coach Terim’s contract. The coach’s little-publicized deal with the TFF was made public by Sporx on Oct. 4. According to the contract, Terim is paid 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million) a year, which makes him among the best earning national coaches in Europe.
The contract also states that Terim will continue to receive his remaining salary in the event that the TFF cancels his five-year contract, signed in November 2013. The payments will stop if Terim signs a contract with another national team or club.
With two draws, a loss and no wins so far in Group I, Turkey will be hoping for a big victory against the international newcomer Kosovo to boost its chances of making the 2018 finals in Russia.
Meanwhile, Bayern Munich center-back Jerome Boateng will miss Germany’s 2018 World Cup qualifier at San Marino Oct. 11 and the away friendly against Italy with a right knee and groin injury.
The 28-year-old suffered the injury during Bayern Munich’s 1-1 draw at home to Hoffenheim on Oct. 5, which kept the Bavarian giant three-points clear at the top.
Boateng was substituted with 82 minutes gone in Munich.
Germany is targeting a fourth straight qualifier win on Oct. 11 against San Marino, which is 199 places below the world champion in FIFA’s world rankings.
Boateng is the latest star missing after Arsenal’s Mesut Özil was left out of Germany’s final matches of 2016 as coach Joachim Löw named a squad which contains just nine of the players who lifted the World Cup two years ago.
Germany tops its qualifying group after three straight wins and Löw feels the time is right to blood new talent along the road to Russia 2018.
The Nov. 15 friendly against the Italians in Milan will see Werder Bremen’s Serge Gnabry, Cologne’s Yannick Gerhardt and Bayer Leverkusen’s Benjamin Henrichs get their chance.
More established faces such as Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos have been called up solely for the San Marino match.