Sports

The Best Soccer Players from Turkey 

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25.9k votes 2.2k voters 88.5k views 139 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
Metin Oktay is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward from İzmir, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Metin Oktay (2 February 1936 – 13 September 1991) nicknamed the Uncrowned King by Galatasaray fans, was a Turkish footballer and one of the most successful goal scorers in Turkey.
2
Hakan Şükür is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward from Adapazarı, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Hakan Şükür (born 1 September 1971) is a Turkish retired footballer who played as a striker. Nicknamed the "Bull of the Bosphorus" and Kral (king), he spent the majority of ...more
3
Sergen Yalçın is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder from Istanbul, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Ali Rıza Sergen Yalçın (born October 5, 1972) is a Turkish football coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of Yeni Malatyaspor. Sergen has played for every one of ...more
4
Rüştü Re&ccedi... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Goalkeeper from Antalya, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Rüştü Reçber (pronounced [ˈɾyʃty ˈɾetʃbeɾ]; born 10 May 1973) is a retired Turkish international footballer and a current sports executive. During his professional career, he ...more
5
Tugay Kerimoğlu is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder from Trabzon, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Tugay Kerimoğlu (born 24 August 1970) is a Turkish former footballer who played the majority of his career for Galatasaray and Blackburn Rovers. He was the coordinator of the Galatasaray youth ...more
6
Lefter Küç&u... is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward from Büyükada

Nationality: Turkey

Lefter Küçükandonyadis (Greek: Λευτέρης Αντωνιάδης, Lefteris Antoniadis; 22 December 1924 – 13 January 2012) was a Turkish football player of Greek descent, who played as a ...more
7
Arda Turan is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward and Midfielder from Fatih, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Arda Turan (born 30 January 1987) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as an attacking midfielder for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir, on loan from Barcelona, and the Turkey national ...more
8
Nihat Kahveci is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Nihat Kahveci Forward from Istanbul, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Nihat Kahveci (born 23 November 1979) is a Turkish former footballer who played as a forward.
9
Bülent Korkmaz is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender from Malatya, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Bülent Korkmaz (commonly known as Bulent Korkmaz) (born 24 November 1968 in Malatya), known by his nicknames Büyük Kaptan and Cengaver –literally meaning Great Captain and The ...more
10
Hasan Sas is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Hasan Sas Forward and Midfielder from Karataş, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Hasan Gökhan Şaş (Turkish pronunciation: [hasan ʃaʃ], born 1 August 1976) is a Turkish football coach and former international footballer, who is currently the co-assistant manager of ...more
11
Nuri Şahin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder from Lüdenscheid, Germany

Nationality: Turkey, West Germany, Germany

Nuri Şahin (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈnuɾi ˈʃahin], born 5 September 1988) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays for Bundesliga club Werder Bremen. He plays as a central midfielder and ...more
12
İlhan Mansız is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward from Kempten, Germany

Nationality: Turkey, West Germany

İlhan Mansız (born 10 August 1975) is a German-born Turkish former football player, currently assistant coach at Beşiktaş. He played as a forward. He is also a competing figure skater. He is of ...more
13
Hamit Altıntop is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder from Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Nationality: Turkey, West Germany, Germany

Hamit Altıntop (Turkish pronunciation: [haˈmit aɫˈtɯntop], born 8 December 1982) is a Turkish professional footballer who last played for SV Darmstadt 98. He is a versatile midfielder who can ...more
14
Can Bartu is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Can Bartu Midfielder from Istanbul, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Can Bartu (31 January 1936 – 11 April 2019) was a Turkish basketball and football player. He was also a sports journalist before his death.
15
Tanju Çolak is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward from Samsun, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Tanju Çolak (born 10 November 1963 in Samsun) is a retired Turkish footballer, who played as a striker.
16
Ümit Davala is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender and Midfielder from Mannheim, Germany

Nationality: Turkey, West Germany, Germany

Ümit Aydın Davala (born 30 July 1973) is a Turkish football coach and former international footballer, who is currently the co-assistant manager of Galatasaray, alongside co-assistant ...more
17
Tuncay Şanlı is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward and Midfielder from Sakarya Province, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Tuncay Şanlı (Turkish pronunciation: [tunˈdʒaj ˈʃanɫɯ]; born 16 January 1982), known as Tuncay, is a Turkish former footballer. He naturally played as a striker, but was also positioned as an ...more
18
Yıldıray Baştürk is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Midfielder from Herne, Germany

Nationality: Turkey, West Germany, Germany

Yıldıray Baştürk (Turkish pronunciation: [jɯɫˈdɯˈɾaj baʃˈtyɾk], born 24 December 1978) is a retired Turkish footballer. He was capped 49 times for the Turkey national football team, ...more
19
Ali Sami Yen is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ali Sami Yen

Nationality: Turkey

Ali Sami Yen, born Ali Sami Frashëri (20 May 1886 – 29 July 1951) was an Albanian-Turkish sports official best known as the founder of the Galatasaray Sports Club. After the enactment of ...more
20
Burak Yılmaz is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Forward and Midfielder from Antalya, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Burak Yılmaz (born 15 July 1985) is a Turkish professional footballer who plays as a striker for Beşiktaş and the Turkish national team. He has also played for the "big four" clubs in ...more
21
Şenol Güneş is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Şenol Güneş Goalkeeper from Trabzon, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Şenol Güneş, T.C., (Turkish pronunciation: [ˈʃenoɫ ˈɟyneʃ], born 1 June 1952) is a Turkish football manager and former player. His most notable managerial achievements to date include ...more
22
Gökdeniz Karadeniz ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Gökdeniz Karadeniz Defender and Midfielder from Giresun, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Gökdeniz Karadeniz (born 11 January 1980) is a former Turkish professional footballer who played as a winger or as an attacking midfielder.
23
Alpay Özalan is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Defender from İzmir, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Fehmi Alpay Özalan (born 29 May 1973) is a Turkish former footballer, football manager and politician. He last worked as the manager of Samsunspor.He played 90 international games for ...more
24
Ergün Penbe is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
Ergün Penbe Defender and Midfielder from Zonguldak, Turkey

Nationality: Turkey

Ergün Penbe (born 17 May 1972), known by his nickname Kemik –literally meaning the Bone–, is a Turkish retired footballer who played mostly as a left midfielder and left back, and is ...more
25
İlkay Gündoğan is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Soccer Players from Turkey
uluhan-tepe added Midfielder from Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Nationality: Germany

İlkay Gündoğan (German pronunciation: [ˈʔɪlkaɪ ˈɡʏndoːan], Turkish: [ˈilkaj ˈɟyndoːan]; born 24 October 1990) is a German professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier ...more