Soccer Players The Best Soccer Players from Turkey  

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20.3k votes 1.6k voters 74.8k 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.
list ordered by

1
439 169
Metin Oktay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
541 258
Hakan Şükür is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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

3
372 166
Rüştü Reçber is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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

4
307 133
Tugay Kerimoğlu is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
332 154
Sergen Yalçın is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
260 115
Nihat Kahveci is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Nihat Kahveci Forward
Nihat Kahveci is a Turkish former footballer.

7
604 336
Arda Turan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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

8
263 123
Lefter Küçükandonyadis is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
213 109
İlhan Mansız is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward
İlhan Mansız is a German former football player and current competing figure skater of Crimean Tatar origin.

10
295 168
Nuri Şahin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
252 138
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
199 112
Bülent Korkmaz is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
183 104
Hamit Altıntop is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
147 77
Can Bartu is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
145 80
Yıldıray Baştürk is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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

16
180 108
Ümit Davala is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender, Midfielder
Ümit Davala is a Turkish former international footballer. He was assistant manager at Galatasaray between 2011 and 2013.

17
186 115
Tuncay Şanlı is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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

18
188 123
Tanju Çolak is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward
Tanju Çolak is a retired Turkish footballer, who played as a striker.

19
134 91
Ali Sami Yen is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
157 117
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
128 93
Şenol Güneş is listed (or ranked) 21 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.

22
193 154
Burak Yılmaz is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward, Midfielder
Burak Yılmaz is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Galatasaray and the Turkish national team as a striker.

23
137 102
Alpay Özalan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
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
102 79
Ergün Penbe is listed (or ranked) 24 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

25
96 76
İlkay Gündoğan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
uluhan-tepe added 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