Unbeaten Fenerbahçe seeks victory at Antalyaspor
Fenerbahçe, buoyed by an administrative move mid-week, will play Antalyaspor on Nov. 2 in Week 7 of the Turkish Süper Lig.
Emre Belözoğlu, a former Fenerbahçe and Turkish international player, will watch his first game as the Istanbul’s club’s sporting director after being appointed to the post on Oct. 28.
“It is the dream of every player to wear the shirt of his favorite team and say goodbye to football with the team’s jersey. I am very happy and proud of this,” Belözoğlu said in a news conference.
“We want Fenerbahçe fans to believe in and trust us. We need your support,” he added.
Belözoğlu, who started playing football in Galatasaray’s youth team, scored 79 goals and made 85 assists in 720 club appearances in his career. He won the Turkish league on six occasions — four times with Galatasaray (1997-2000) and twice with Fenerbahçe in 2011 and 2014.
The 40-year-old was also a member of the Galatasaray squad that claimed the UEFA Cup in 2000.
He made 101 appearances for the Turkish national side, scoring nine goals, and was part of the famous team that won the bronze medal at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.
Belözoğlu, a former Inter Milan and Newcastle United midfielder, hanged up his boots in August when he was a captain for Fenerbahçe.
He was actively involved in Fenerbahçe’s pre-season preparations, reportedly stepping in to convince some of the 18 players signed by the club in the transfer season.
The club has made a solid start to the season, gathering 14 points in six games with four wins and two draws.
Last week’s 3-1 win against Trabzonspor gave the fans hope that Fenerbahçe may claim this season the league trophy ahead of its city rivals Galatasaray and Beşiktaş.
Coach Erol Bulut is aware that it is essential to end the club’s six-year league title drought.
“My initial target is to become successful in the league, and the cup,” Bulut told reporters mid-week.
“After that, we want to be in the Champions League and succeed there with the help of new signings, but today we must focus on the task at hand. And that is to claim the title at the end of the season.”
Galatasaray, which returned to winning ways last weekend following a draw and two losses, will host Ankaragücü at home on Oct. 31.
League leader Alanyaspor, one of the two unbeaten teams in the league along with Fenerbahçe, will travel to Göztepe the same day, also when Gençlerbirliği takes on Gaziantep at home.
Beşiktaş hosts Malatyaspor, Başakşehir visits Konyaspor and Rizespor plays Kayserispor at home in games that will be held on Nov. 1.
Hatayspor, which has been hit with several coronavirus cases, is scheduled to play Sivasspor on Nov. 2.
The Süper Lig games are taking place with a limited number of fans allowed in boxes and under strict measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
With 21 teams in the league after the lifting of relegation last season, Denizlispor will have a bye week.