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Getting to Know: Arda Turan

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A look into Arda Turan’s footballing career

Spain v Turkey - Group D: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Full name: Arda Turan
Squad No: 7
Position: Attacking midfielder
Date of birth: 30 January 1987
Place of birth: Fatih, Turkey
Height: 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight: 76 kg (168 lbs)

Arda Turan was born in the town of Fatih, in the Istambul province, Turkey. He started playing youth football at Altıntepsi Makelspor at the age of twelve, but quickly moved to join the academy of Turkish powerhouse Galatasaray. There he quickly progressed through the youth ranks before making his first team debut against Bursaspor on 22 January 2005, eight days before his 18th birthday. He made one more appearance for the first team that season before moving on loan to Manisaspor for the 2005-06 season. For the Manisa-based team he scored two goals and assisted on another two in fifteen games.

Arda returned to Galatasaray the following season and from one season to the next the midfielder started making a bigger name for himself. Each following season he appeared in more games than the one before – only an injury plagued 2010-11 season broke that trend, and goal and assist numbers started to add up as well. Arda’s spell in Turkey ended in the summer of 2011, after 197 games, 45 goals and 76 assists for Galatasaray.

On 9 August 2011, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray came to an agreement, with the Madrid-based club paying €13 million for the Turkish international, making him the most expensive Turkish footballer. Arda’s playing style made him a key member of Diego Simeone’s title winning Atletico Madrid side. Arda proved remarkably consistent over his four year spell in the Spanish capital, closing his Atletico account with 178 appearances, 22 goals and 32 assists.

On 6 July 2015, Barcelona announced the signing of the Turkish star for €34 million. Due to Barcelona’s transfer ban, Arda could not make his Barcelona debut until January 2016, making his first Barcelona the first game he was available for selection – in the Copa del Rey on 6 January, in the Catalan derby against Espanyol. Arda struggled in his debut Barcelona campaign after missing six months of competitive football, but still appeared in 25 games, scored two goals and assisted on another four.

Arda Turan has been a household name on the international circuit since the year 2002 when he made his first appearance for the Turkish U-16 team. Since then he ran out for every under-age team up to and including the U-21, altogether taking part in 73 games and scoring thirteen goals for the Turkish youth teams. Arda made his senior debut on 16 August 2006 against Luxemburg and has since then become the national team captain and one of the biggest stars of Turkish football, gathering 94 appearances, scoring 17 goals and assisting on 25.

Profile

Arda is a powerful football player that prefers to play as an attacking midfielder but also has an abundance of experience on both wing positions. Known for his attacking play, the Turkish international prides himself on his excellent technique and hard-nosed, straightforward play. He brings creativity to any teams he dresses for, especially excelling in the final third of the pitch. Despite being an attacking player, Arda is very strong defensively.

Honors

Galatasaray

  • Süper Lig (1): 2007-08
  • Türkiye Kupası (1): 2004-05
  • Süper Kupa (1): 2008

Atletico Madrid

  • La Liga (1): 2013-14
  • Copa del Rey (1): 2012-13
  • Supercopa de España (1): 2014
  • UEFA Europa League (1): 2011-12
  • UEFA Super Cup (1): 2012

Arda Turan signed a five year contract upon joining Barcelona, the first year of which has already been completed.