Soccer Players The Best Soccer Players from Turkey  

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18.7k votes 1.5k voters 70.6k views 141 items

List Rules Soccer players from Turkey or played for the Turkish national team.

Who comes to mind when you think of the best Turkish soccer players of all time? For many soccer fans, famous footballers such as Hakan Şükür and Arda Turan have to be in the top ten. So to see which Turkish footballers truly stand out, fans like you have voted on who they think are the best of all time. It can be a pitched battle, as there have been many top footballers from Turkey.

The list below is formatted so that the soccer players with the most votes are at the top of the list. Short biographies, photos, and details such as positions played are included when available. If you're searching for a particular famous Turkish soccer player, you can use the search box to find what you're looking for. So, if you've ever wondered whether one Turkish footballer was better than another, this list answers that question.

So who qualifies to be in the running for the best soccer players from Turkey? The player must either be Turkish born or have played for the Turkish national soccer team. So players such as Mesut Özil, who is of Turkish descent but played for Arsenal and the German national team, are not eligible. Players that are eligible for this list include Rüştü Reçber, who played for the Turkey national team.

This list should answer any questions about who are the best Turkish soccer players of all time, once and for all. If you're a sports lover then you can use this list of the best Turkish soccer players to discover some new athletes that you might really enjoy learning about.

1
401 151
Metin Oktay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Metin Oktay Forward Metin Oktay nicknamed the Uncrowned King by Galatasaray SK fans, was a Turkish footballer and one of the most successful goal scorers in Turkey.

2
343 152
Rüştü Reçber is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Rüştü Reçber Goalkeeper Rüştü Reçber is a retired Turkish international footballer who has played for Antalyaspor, Fenerbahçe, Barcelona and Beşiktaş. He has played a key role in the success of ...more

3
281 118
Tugay Kerimoğlu is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Tugay Kerimoğlu Midfielder Tugay Kerimoğlu is a Turkish former footballer who played the majority of his career for Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers. Primarily a deep-lying playmaker in midfield, he was also competent as ...more

4
493 239
Hakan Şükür is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hakan Şükür Forward Hakan Şükür, known by his nick name Kral – literally meaning The King – is a Turkish retired footballer who played as a striker. He spent the majority of his professional career with ...more

5
312 141
Sergen Yalçın is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Sergen Yalçın Midfielder Ali Rıza Sergen Yalçın is a former Turkish footballer and is recognised as one of the greatest footballers to play for Turkey. Sergen has played for every one of Turkey's big four clubs, ...more

6
588 303
Arda Turan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Arda Turan Forward, Midfielder Arda Turan is a Turkish footballer who plays for Spanish club Atlético Madrid as an attacking midfielder and is the captain of the Turkish national team. He is mostly known for his ball ...more

7
241 101
Nihat Kahveci is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Nihat Kahveci Forward Nihat Kahveci is a Turkish former footballer.

8
243 111
Lefter Küçükandonyadis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Lefter Küçükandonyadis Forward Lefter Küçükandonyadis was a Turkish football player οf Greek descent, who is recognised as one of the greatest footballers to play for Fenerbahçe and Turkey.

9
201 98
İlhan Mansız is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
İlhan Mansız Forward İlhan Mansız is a German former football player and current competing figure skater of Crimean Tatar origin.

10
279 154
Nuri Şahin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Nuri Şahin Midfielder Nuri Şahin is a Turkish footballer who plays as a midfielder for Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Turkey national football team. He began his career at Borussia Dortmund, spending six ...more

11
232 128
Hasan Sas is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hasan Sas Forward, Midfielder Hasan Gökhan Şaş is a Turkish former footballer player who played as a winger and is currently an assistant manager of Galatasaray. He is best known for his time at Galatasaray and for his ...more

12
180 104
Bülent Korkmaz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Bülent Korkmaz Defender Bülent Korkmaz, known by his nick names Büyük Kaptan and Cengaver –literally meaning Great Captain and The Warrior respectively, is a retired Turkish football centre back and ...more

13
166 95
Hamit Altıntop is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hamit Altıntop Midfielder Hamit Altıntop is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Galatasaray in the Süper Lig. He is a versatile midfielder who can play either in a defending or attacking role and on both ...more

14
133 70
Can Bartu is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Can Bartu Midfielder Can Bartu is a Turkish former basketball and football player. He is currently a sports journalist. He started to play basketball for Fenerbahçe and was a six-time international ...more

15
174 103
Tuncay Şanlı is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Tuncay Şanlı Forward, Midfielder Tuncay Volkan Şanlı, or simply Tuncay, is a Turkish footballer who plays for Umm Salal SC in the Qatar Stars League. His natural position is the striker position, but he has played as an ...more

16
167 100
Ümit Davala is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ümit Davala Defender, Midfielder Ümit Davala is a Turkish former international footballer. He was assistant manager at Galatasaray between 2011 and 2013.

17
131 73
Yıldıray Baştürk is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Yıldıray Baştürk Midfielder Yıldıray Baştürk is a retired Turkish footballer who last played for English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers in 2010. He was capped 49 times for the Turkey national football team, ...more

18
175 115
Tanju Çolak is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Tanju Çolak Forward Tanju Çolak is a retired Turkish footballer, who played as a striker.

19
121 81
Şenol Güneş is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Şenol Güneş Goalkeeper Şenol Güneş is a Turkish football manager and former player. His biggest accomplishment to date is coaching the Turkish team that won the third place in the 2002 World Cup.

20
149 106
Gökdeniz Karadeniz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Gökdeniz Karadeniz Defender, Midfielder Gökdeniz Karadeniz is a Turkish footballer. He currently plays as an attacking midfielder or winger for FC Rubin Kazan.

21
120 83
Ali Sami Yen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ali Sami Yen Ali Sami Yen was a Turkish sports official best known as the founder of the Galatasaray Sports Club. His birth name was Ali Sami Frashëri, the son of Sami Frashëri, one of the most ...more

22
181 140
Burak Yılmaz is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Burak Yılmaz Forward, Midfielder Burak Yılmaz is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Galatasaray and the Turkish national team as a striker.

23
126 95
Alpay Özalan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Alpay Özalan Defender Fehmi Alpay Özalan, known as Alpay, is a former Turkish footballer, who is currently a member of the management committee of Siirtspor. He played 87 internationals for Turkey, including at ...more

24
84 64
İlkay Gündoğan is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
uluhan-tepe added İlkay Gündoğan Midfielder İlkay Gündoğan is a German footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund and the Germany national football team, having previously played for ...more

25
91 74
Ergün Penbe is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ergün Penbe Defender, Midfielder Ergün Penbe is a Turkish retired footballer who played mostly as a left midfielder and left back, and a current manager. He is known for his "fair play" approach to the game, ...more

26
77 64
Mehmet Aurélio is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Mehmet Aurélio Midfielder Mehmet Aurélio is a Brazilian-Turkish retired footballer who last played for Olaria in Brazil. He is currently the assistant manager of Kasımpaşa.

27
103 93
Hakan Balta is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hakan Balta Defender Hakan Kadir Balta is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a defender for Galatasaray in the Süper Lig.

28
62 50
Cemil Turan is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Cemil Turan Cemil Turan, is a former Turkish football player and a topscorer and current Director of Fenerbahçe S.K. Academy. He debuted at Sarıyer G.K. when he was 14. He transferred first to ...more

29
144 141
Caner Erkin is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Caner Erkin Midfielder Caner Erkin is a Turkish footballer who plays for Turkish Süper Lig side Fenerbahçe and the Turkish national team.

30
72 66
Ogün Temizkanoğlu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ogün Temizkanoğlu Defender Ogün Temizkanoğlu is a Turkish former international footballer. He played mostly for Trabzonspor and Fenerbahçe as a central defender. He also played for Konyaspor and ...more

31
85 83
Hakan Ünsal is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hakan Ünsal Hakan Ünsal is a Turkish former international footballer. Hakan Ünsal is remembered by many for his rocket left foot and his pinpoint passing as well as his nonstop desire for victory. ...more

32
53 47
Okan Buruk is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Okan Buruk Midfielder Okan Buruk is a Turkish former international footballer who played in the midfielder position. He played for Galatasaray, Internazionale, Beşiktaş, and İstanbul Büyükşehir ...more

33
108 110
Fatih Terim is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Fatih Terim Defender Fatih Terim, Commendatore OSSI, T.C, is a Turkish association football manager and former player who is manager of the Turkish national football team. His Turkish nickname is İmparator, and his ...more

34
53 48
Feyyaz Uçar is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Feyyaz Uçar Forward, Midfielder Feyyaz Uçar is a former footballer, as a striker, and more recently a coach. Uçar started his football career at Avcılar Spor Klübü. Attracting various scouts while with ...more

35
84 84
Ümit Karan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ümit Karan Forward Ümit Karan is a retired Turkish football player. He played for Gençlerbirliği S.K., Ankaraspor, Galatasaray and Eskişehirspor. He made his international debut for Turkey in 1999, and ...more

36
111 115
Volkan Demirel is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Volkan Demirel Goalkeeper Volkan Demirel is a Turkish goalkeeper who plays for the Süper Lig club Fenerbahçe and is also the goalkeeper for the Turkey national football team. Demirel was the starting ...more

37
73 72
Fatih Tekke is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Fatih Tekke Forward Fatih Tekke is a Turkish former international footballer who played as a striker.

38
44 39
Mehmet Özdilek is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Mehmet Özdilek Midfielder Mehmet "Şifo" Özdilek Turkish football manager and retired player who is nicknamed as Şifo after Belgian star Enzo Scifo with whom he shared a similar playing style. Having spent ...more

39
64 65
Elvir Baljić is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Elvir Baljić Forward, Midfielder Elvir Baljić is a Bosnian football manager and former player. He was assistant manager of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team, with whom he qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

40
46 44
Necati Ateş is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Necati Ateş Forward Necati Ateş is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Kayseri Erciyesspor as a forward.

41
61 62
Oktay Derelioğlu is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Oktay Derelioğlu Forward Oktay Derelioğlu is Turkish former international footballer. Derelioğlu played as a forward and is notable for his goal against Belgium during the qualifying rounds of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. ...more

42
62 64
Suat Kaya is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Suat Kaya Suat Kaya is a Turkish former footballer who played as a midfielder, and a current coach.

43
53 54
Sabri Sarıoğlu is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Sabri Sarıoğlu Defender, Midfielder Sabri Sarıoğlu is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a right back for Galatasaray. Sabri can also play as a right winger and a wingback.

44
33 30
Gokhan Gonul is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
mertoyuncu added Gokhan Gonul

45
67 71
Tümer Metin is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Tümer Metin Midfielder Tümer Metin is a retired Turkish international footballer. He played as an attacking midfielder.

46
80 88
Aykut Kocaman is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Aykut Kocaman Forward Aykut Kocaman is a former Turkish footballer, who played as a striker and current manager of Konyaspor. Before he made his debut 1980 with the amateur club Kabataş Altınmızrak in Istanbul, ...more

47
56 60
Abdullah Ercan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Abdullah Ercan Defender, Midfielder Abdullah Ercan is a retired Turkish international footballer. He currently manages Gaziantepspor and the Turkey U-17 team.

48
49 55
Arif Erdem is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Arif Erdem Forward Arif Erdem is a retired Turkish international footballer of Albanian descent and the former manager of İstanbul Büyükşehir Belediyespor. He played in the forward position. Starting out ...more

49
58 69
Gökhan Inler is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Gökhan Inler Midfielder Gökhan Inler is a Swiss professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for Serie A side Napoli. He began his professional career at FC Basel but did not break through, ...more

50
40 46
Ertuğrul Sağlam is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ertuğrul Sağlam Forward Ertuğrul Sağlam is a Turkish football coach and former player. He was recently the manager of Eskişehirspor. Sağlam was recently voted one of the top 20 most promising coaches by respected ...more